Gifted/Classical School List

CPS info on Gifted and Classical Programs:

2015 Fall Open Houses




Beaubien RGC ( 1-8 ) / 5025 N. Laramie / Neighborhood school and RGC / 7:45am – 2:45 pm


Beaubien State Report Card


Bell RGC ( 1-8 )/ 3730 N. Oakley / Neighborhood school and RGC (Near Addison and Western) / 8:15am-3:15pm

773- 534-5150

Bell State Report Card

Coonley RGC  4046 N. Leavitt (Near Irving and Damen)/ Neighborhood school and RGC /

8:30 am-3:30 pm


Coonley State Report Card

Decatur Classical (K-6) / 7030 N. Sacramento  / Classical (Near Touhy and McCormick) / 7:45am-2:45pm


Decatur State Report Card


Edison RGC ( K-8 ) / 4929 N. Sawyer / Gifted (but school is housed in building with a separate middle school) / 7:45am-2:45 pm

(773) 534-0540

Edison State Report Card

Pritzker RGC ( K-8 ) / 2009 W. Schiller / Neighborhood and RGC / 9am – 4pm

(Near North and Damen)


Pritzker State Report Card



National Teachers Elementary Academy ( K-4 ) / 55 W. Cermak Rd. (Near Cermak and State) / Neighborhood school and RGC  / 8:30am – 3:30pm (773) 534-9970

NOTE: The National Teachers Academy will add one grade each year until the school serves grades K-8.

NTA State Report Card


South Loop RGC ( 5-8 ) / 1212 S. Plymouth Ct.  / Neighborhood school and RGC (Near State and Roosevelt) / 8:30am – 3:30pm 773-534-8690

NOTE: The RGC at South Loop is being phased out and will decrease by one grade each year until the currently enrolled fourth grade students graduate at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.)

South Loop State Report Card


Skinner West Classical (K-8) / 1260 W. Adams. / Neighborhood school and Classical / 773-534-7790.   8:30am – 3:45pm

Skinner State Report Card


Skinner North Classical (K-8) – 640 W. Scott. / Classical / 773-534-8500  8:30am – 3:30 am.

Skinner North State Report Card



Beasley RGC ( K-8 ) / 5255 S. State St. / Math and Science Magnet and RGC (Near State and 51st) / 8:45am – 3:45pm


Beasley State Report Card

Carnegie RGC ( K-5 ) / 1414 E. 61st Pl.  / Neighborhood school and RGC (Near Dorchester and 63rd) / 8:45am – 3:45pm


Carnegie State Report Card


Keller RGC ( 1-8 ) / 3020 W. 108th St.  / Gifted (Near Kedzie and 111th St.) / 7:30am – 2:30pm (NEW hours)


Keller State Report Card


Lenart RGC ( K-8 ) / 8101 S. LaSalle St. / Gifted / 7:45am – 2:45pm


Lenart State Report Card


McDade Classical ( K-6 ) / 8801 S. Indiana / Classical (Near 87th and S. King Dr.) / 7:45am – 2:45pm   773-535-3669

McDade State Report Card


Poe Classical ( K-6 ) / 10538 S. Langley Ave. / Classical  (Near 103rd and S. King Dr.) / 9am-4pm


Poe State Report Card


238 Comments Add your own

  • 1. melissa richardson  |  May 13, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    I am interested in the upcoming dates and ages for the gifted program.
    Many Thanks

  • 2. Mayfair Dad  |  September 21, 2009 at 4:00 pm


    You will want to keep your eyes open for the Options for Knowledge booklet that appears sometime near Halloween – check at your neighborhood school, library or park district fieldhouse. All of the application forms, due dates, school/program descriptions and other useful information can be found in this booklet. These booklets tend to get snatched up very quickly. The CPS website will also post a .pdf version. Please note: applications are usually due sometime in December, before Christmas break.

  • 3. lana berkovich  |  October 30, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    sorry for so many posts – scrap the previous two, the information was a little inaccurate. Here is the correct information:

    The deadline for GEAP application (gifted, classical and other programs) is December 18. There are test dates in November, December, January, February.

    Here is the lowdown on Skinner (they don’t make it easy!) May be worth updating the listing info:
    Skinner West Classical (K-8) in new building, combined with Skinner Magent School, 1260 W. Adams, 773-534-7790. Tour on 11/5/09@10am

    Skinner North Classical (K-3) – 640 W. Scott, 534-8500, located close to, but separate from the CPS “swing” building on Clybourn that currently houses Ogden Elementary (while Ogden awaits construction of its new building on Walton). Skinner North is an offshoot of Skinner West, is its own separate school with a separate principal. They are currently K-3, but are adding a grade every year.

  • 4. cpsobsessed  |  October 31, 2009 at 8:21 am

    Thanks Lana – I have updated it above! I appreciate the info!

  • 5. George N. Schmidt  |  November 4, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Thanks for correcting when the gifted testing takes place. With the deadline of December 18, any date before that wouldn’t have let families get the children tested after the final deadline for applications.

    Two things.

    First, having navigated one child through CPS ‘gifted’ (Beaubien, class of 2003; Whitney Young, class of 2007; now doing very well at Cal Berkeley College of Engineering) I think CPS should do some truth in advertising and basically state that what CPS calls “gifted” education is really accelerated. With class sizes of 30 or more, the main advantage to the child who really wants the challenge is the fact that the program is basically homogeneous grouping with a lot of speed up along the way. True gifted education would have class sizes half that.

    Second, because CPS is so (multiple choice) test driven, the “gifted” children face some challenges, depending upon the school’s drive to constantly produce “top” test scores. This is particularly damaging in math (although it messes up everything unless you really believe that psychometrically rendered multiple choice machine scored secret tests measure more than the narrowest reality).

    Students who master the “multiple choice math” grand guessing game by the middle grades actually drift away from mastering real math skills.


    By the middle grades, I had to help make sure that our eldest actually did math — a great variety — and mastered what are called “math facts”.

    By high school, he realized what I had been talking about obsessively and was ready to continue to do math at the “highest” levels offered in CPS: AP statistics; both levels of calculus. However, we noticed that a large number of 9th graders began to wash out of further math because they had cleverly learned “multiple choice math.”


  • 6. concerned  |  December 9, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Keller RGC rocks.

  • 7. twodogs  |  March 23, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    FYI – Pritzker School’s website is

    As a parent of two young children at the school (one RGC program; one pre-K,) it intrigues me as to the puzzlement over the institution and its direction. I will try to come up with a more articulate statement in the near future, but want to share that we have been very happy with the teachers our kids have had, the support of the administration and the programs offered.

    There is also a lot of ground swell around the Friends of Pritzker ( group which is a neighborhoor org – not affiliated with the school – to raise funds and enrich the schools facilities and programs. Their blog on wordpress uses the same theme as CPSObsessed…so they must be notable…right?

  • 8. Steph  |  March 27, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    So, I recieved our letter from CPS placement tests for this upcoming school year. My incoming kindergarten student scored in the 99th percentile for the RGC tests and the 86th percentile for the Classical Schools. However, he did not earn a spot. How can a child placing in the 99th percentile for an incoming crop of kinders not be placed? Any ideas? Perplexing system… What are hte odds that he might get a spot in the upcoming round of selections? Thanks!

  • 9. cpsobsessed  |  March 27, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    @Steph – what Tier are you in? I’d think with that 99% you’d have a good chance…

  • 10. frustrated dad  |  March 30, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    I can’t make any sense out of the admissions process either — our twins tested in the 99th percentile and neither received a spot in the gifted kindergarden program at Coonley. One is reading at a 3d grade level or better but it wasn’t enough. For now, our only option is our neighborhood school, which gets terrible reviews.

  • 11. MDJ  |  April 3, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    I love this blog. You have been a calming influence, well you and a glass of wine, during this entire admissions process. My son currently attends a private academically advanced preschool. He’s been accepted at Carnegie RGC for kdg. My husband and I welcome the break in tuition, but are concerned because there is so little information about the RGCs’ curriculum available. Carnegie is also a neighborhood school so I’m curious as to how the 2 programs mesh. Does anyone know/have an opinion about Carnegie?

  • 12. BuenaParkMom  |  June 29, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Could you please explain the difference between the “Magnet Clusters” and “Magnet” schools? I am very confused since it appears a school can have a “Magnet Cluster” yet have an attendance boundary. For example, Greeley, which is south of me is listed as a “Lakeview North Magnet Cluster” school in the Options for Knowledge Book, however it does not have a lottery and only accepts children outside of the attendance area if they have room. What gives? Is this just a case of confusing labels? Who decides if a school gets to be a “Magnet Cluster” and does it actually mean anything? My local neighborhood school, Brenneman, (feel free to pity me right now) is also listed as a “Magnet Cluster” and given it’s abysmal performance I’m wondering if this is merely a label CPS slaps on all neighborhood schools to make it more confusing. Any illumination you could offer would be appreciated.

  • 13. cpsobsessed  |  June 29, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Hi BuenaParkMom.
    A Magnet Cluster School is neighborhood school that has received special designation for a certain area. There isn’t really anything Magnet about it. For instance a Fine Arts Magnet school proved to CPS that they have a specialty in that area so they get the designation. They get one extra fine arts position funded by CPS (which is a bonus to get ANY extra positions.) From what I’ve read, in theory, the idea is to have a whole area of the city with different schools having different specializations. But as you point out, it’s not like you can just decide to send your child to the school of your choice!
    So what happens is that neighborhood schools (some of them) end up with a special focus. So my neighborhood school is a Fine Arts Magnet Cluster school and has an awesome Fine Arts department, but in theory, what if my kid doesn’t care about art? What if I’d rather have a Match focus? I guess maybe you plan ahead before you buy a home?
    So the Magnet label doesn’t mean anything in terms of other academics, performance, etc.
    The school my son attends (part neighborhood/part gifted) has chosen not to try for a Magnet Cluster status and focus on a more well-rounded education, but part of me thinks they’re crazy not to angle for an extra teaching position.
    Hope that helps! But you’re right. The names don’t make sense and are confusing.

  • 14. Lindsay  |  September 1, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I am new to this whole process (I have a 3yo) and I’m wondering about Disney II. Is it a magnet? Are they adding grades? Thanks for any help you can give!

  • 15. grace  |  January 6, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    @5 I agree with you, George, about the focus on test scores and the drop in math curriculum. How did you compensate? Did you get your child tutoring?

  • 16. david  |  March 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    any feedback on southside school?

  • 17. pamina  |  March 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Can anyone give me some info on South Loop Elementary RGC? Thanks!

  • 18. jg10  |  March 28, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    I am also looking for information on South Loop RGC if anyone has feedback. Thanks

  • 19. ss  |  May 24, 2011 at 9:01 am

    I am looking for feedback on South Loop RGC and also the neighborhood program. One of my twins was acceted at RGC yesterday and I am trying to weigh in on whether it’ll be good for my other twin to join the neighborhood program. Both have admissions at their neighborhood school – Pulaski in Wicker Park. Does anyone know whether my kids will be able to benefit from the magent program at South Loop at all. IThanks.

  • 20. lawmom  |  June 28, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    We completed our first year in the “gifted” program at Pritzker. This school is 3 in one. Pritzker is a neighborhood school, a magnet school and has a “gifted/choice” program. I have high praise for our teacher this year. However, the administration is lacking. The Principal and Vice Principal have one foot in the “pension plan” and while their hearts may be in the right place, their administrative skills are not.

    On day one at this new school, there was no paraprofessional hired for our son as required under his IEP even though we had attempted through email and by phone all summer to communicate with the principal about hiring a paraprofessional. Further, our son, late in the year, was suspended for 3 days because of benign behavior (verbalizing, no threats) due to his diagnosis. I had to call in CPS for training for staff about Autism. In addition, our son was bullied early on in the year and I had to micromanage this process as well. His first paraprofessional (whom I liked) was fired (not because of any complaints by us but due to prinicpal’s observations) and we were given another paraprofessional without prior notice. This paraprofessional was not trained, lackidasical and under her watch, the suspension happened, among other incidences and she never “seemed to be around” when our son “got reprimanded”. Quite honestly, I heard that this paraprofessional couldn’t manage another child, was given office work and then “needed a place to land” and was assigned to our son. Our son achieved straight A’s 2 out of 4 quarters and is not a pariah at school.

    Additionally, I brought in a 3K dollar donation for the library and did I receive a thank you either verbally or in writing from either Friends of Pritzker or the Administration? No. I am still waiting although I did a little “PR” blurb for the school newspaper and Friends of Pritzker website. At our former school, Nettelhorst — we would have been graciously acknowledged. Further, the donating school, Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School (my daughter’s school) also received no public acknowledgement (which was included in the blurb).

    While the curriculum was great, I feel we traded curriculum for staff. I am not supporting this administration for contract renewal. They do not understand kids who are gifted but who have special needs. Further, if they want to keep the affluent parents involved, Pritzker needs to acknowledge their involvement and make them feel part of the team. Nettelhorst has learned this, Pritzker has not. The Administration is not used to parent involvement on the level that Hawthorne, LaSalle, Nettelhorst etc. are used to and that needs to happen if they are going to retain mover and shaker parents that will bring them to the next level.

  • 21. Pointofview  |  June 28, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    My son attended South Loop RGC and had a good experience there. The gifted classes are not as diverse as the neighborhood program. The gifted program teachers are smart, care about the kids, and foster a love of learning. The neighborhood program from what I can tell has it’s share of kids who cause discipline problems…and when teachers are dealing with discipline, no learning is taking place.

  • 22. B. Lou  |  July 28, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Can anyone give me some info on Lenart? Thanks!

  • 23. mary  |  September 8, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    is south loop a great school for kindergarten?

  • 24. vlv  |  September 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    How strong are kids in South loop middle school( gifted classes)?
    90 % in math and reading doesn’t look so great to get in( it is B for private school).
    My little one get scored in math and reading 98-99%.

  • 25. mm  |  October 3, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I have a kid in 3rd grade gifted and 4th grade neighborhood program in South Loop. Both programs are wonderful, I could not be happier with the school and the staff. Yes, neighborhood classes have to take in kids with learning disabilities and other problems, but they have special ed and personal assistants, these kids are considered as a valuable part of our diverse neighborhood. They are not the problem, in fact quite the opposite.

    To my understanding the discipline issues rise from the fact that class sizes on lower grades are too big, because everybody want’s to get in and kids are pouring in. The principal is working around the clock get this ‘positive problem’ solved.

    I do agree that lowering the grade scale is a bummer, but they just started it this fall (fall 2011) so all the scores you see are based on the old grading scale (93% and up =A).

  • 26. Melissa Howard  |  November 2, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Can someone comment on Skinner West. I’ve been told that its test in only but many real estate listings indicate that properties are zoned in to this school. Is it a neighborhood school with a separate test in program? Also, does Ogden have a test in gifted program for those not zoned in?

  • 27. CPSDepressed  |  November 2, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Do not ever trust a real estate agent to give you school boundaries. Do not.

  • 28. daddio  |  November 2, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Skinner West has both a neighborhood program, and a completely separate, test-in only Classical program within the same building.

  • 29. lawmom  |  November 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I want to give an update about AN Pritzker from my post in June, 2011. My son is now in the 5th grade gifted classroom.

    There is one gifted classroom per grade at Pritzker. This can be a “mixed” blessing, as your child will be with the same children throughout the years. The students mix with other students during gym, art and music. I can say the “gifted” teachers have been excellent and my son is challenged and likes the curriculum.

    The principal is very devoted to the students. The school has a wonderful music program and operates a branch of the Chicago Children’s Choir out of the school. In addition, the school puts on two musicals per year. There are also a nice selection of after school programs available and an active parent group. Fundraising is not as “rich” as many other schools, but it is gaining momentum.

    I think the principal has “heard” the plea — at least from me. At the beginning of this school year, the principal had “her ducks in a row”, which was impressive. This was not so much the case last year. There have been many physical improvements to the school physical plant. They are growing the library, have refurbished the science lab and are also upgrading the auditorium.

    The school is a very diverse community, as it is a neighborhood school in Wicker Park, as well as a magnet school. The socioeconomic diversity is huge. However, the rules at the school are strict and feels perfectly safe there. The three new families who joined last year have remained and our children seem happy and challenged there.

    I think this school will continue to improve as parents become more actively engaged. All of the students will benefit from this. My guess is that in a few years, this school won’t be “under the radar” much any more.

  • 30. pamina  |  November 4, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Mamas and Papas,

    Looks like that time of the year is upon as again. Last year when I started the process I knew nothing, We were planning on moving to Chicago, so I cast my net in all directions and applied to a wide range of schools. Logistically SL seemed a good choice given my work situation, and we were really lucky when my daughter was given a first choice acceptance to the South Loop RGC program as a third grader.

    One year later, I have mixed reviews. The RGC class is academically appropriate and rigorous. Best of all, the peer group of bright kids excited about learning is a huge benefit. The program is not “gifted” as our previous school’s ,which emphasized citical thinking, logic, and creative problem solving, but rather just accelerated. The after school program is awesome and the parents are very involved and committed to the school.

    However, the school seems extremely strict. Students have homework every night and it is not accepted more than one day late. There are no holiday parties (Halloweeen was not aknowledged) or birthday celebrations. The class and the school are permeated with rules and my daughter lives in fear of not getting an assignment in, receiving a B, or going on “yellow” for being out of her seat. As you may have heard SL is also removing the RGC for the incoming K class. As I have only one child, this will not impact my family, but I am concerned about how it will impact the general culture of the school and its funding.

    As the application deadline approaches, I want to know if this is a CPS wide phenomenon or whether this is the culture of the school. I want to stay in a Gifted and Classical school, and I am wondering if any of you could please weigh in on the following questions from other selective enrollment schools on the North and Northwest side:
    Are all schools as strict?
    Do they have parties?
    Are parents allowed easy access to teachers?
    Is the afministration approachable?
    Are any of these “gifted schools” actually focused on a curriculum as it is describediin the CPS websites or are they all just accelerated programs?

    I would greatly appreciate any feedback as I make the decision of how to rank my schools on the selective enrollment application,


  • 31. CPSDepressed  |  November 4, 2011 at 8:01 am

    We’re at Blaine. Under the former principal, it was very strict, but my kid needed that structure. (Some kids do, some don’t.) They didn’t have birthday parties, but they did have some holiday parties. The teachers are approachable, the former principal was not.

    There’s a new principal there, though, so who knows what will happen? So far, so good.

    My impression is that the regional gifted programs are accelerated and for truly gifted kids, and that the comprehensive gifted programs are designed to let parents who give money tell everyone that their kid is gifted. It’s just tracking, nothing more.

    As for creative problem solving, etc., the reality is that with a 5 3/4 hour day, you’re going to have to supplement if you care about your kid’s education. Some schools make it easy with good after-school programs that include art, music, language, etc. As usual in CPS, the kids who need a good public education the most get screwed because the schools don’t have time to provide them in a regular day.

  • 32. nonplussed  |  November 20, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Was at testing yesterday – we are the first group to be tested. All the moms I talked to had their kids in either private or Montessori. Not one in CPS (these are kindergartners going into 1st) Their were alot of competitive moms. Although 2 confessed they’d be surprised if their kid knew their phone number (not that that is required but I was a little surprised to hear that) The staff were very nice to the kids – although some kids were uset and crying which I felt they shouldn’t be there if it was stressing them out that much. As for the test my 6 yr old said she couldn’t recall the questions – or didn’t wanna talk about it. But she seemed happy enough after it. She did say they did puzzles though – don’t know if that is jig saws or what ..And that they did not repeat the questions so if u missed it u missed it.

  • 33. wren  |  November 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Pamina, from what I’ve read here and what I hear from other parents, most CPS gifted programs are that way. The homework only increases, BTW. Many parents wouldn’t have it any other way.

    I was really disappointed when my kids got into an RGC and were simply working one year ahead. I eventually took my older child out and found a magnet school where I believe that the learning is “deeper” and there is more opportunity for critical thinking and problem solving. My kid is much happier too, even with a longer school day and a similar homework load. Differentiated learning in the classroom allows for challenging the kids who are ahead.

  • 34. Beth  |  December 3, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I have noticed in some of the comments that these schools are all about acceleration. It’s pretty common knowledge that gifted kids face a lot of emotional sensitivities as well. How well do these schools address the social and emotional aspects of giftedness? Our child is already smart — he teaches himself math, science, reading — we would like a truly well-rounded education including social and emotional learning. It seems the suburbs, Glencoe and Hinsdale, are doing the right thing. Do any of these schools in CPS fit the bill aside from homework and accelerated curriculum? Thank you!

  • 35. mama  |  December 3, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    @34 Beth

    Apart from teaching one grade above, Skinner North also uses this approach to develop the child emotionally and socially. So far it has been a very well rounded learning experience for our kindergarten daughter.

  • 36. Meme  |  December 14, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    I believe that you should have more resources about levels k-8

  • 37. Michelle  |  December 16, 2011 at 12:24 am

    Lenart offers a wonderful learning envirionment. The kids are great. The families are wonderful. The teachers are knowledgeable and caring. My daughter graduate from Lenart two years ago. She now attends a private boarding school and is doing very well. Students study french and latin. They have historically had a very strong music program. The curriculum is rigorous, but for a child that is bright the load is manageable.

  • 38. EDB  |  December 21, 2011 at 10:33 am

    @30, Pamina
    Edison RCG (K):
    Are all schools as strict? No
    Do they have parties? Yes, frequently. Birthdays, holidays, etc.
    Are parents allowed easy access to teachers? Yes, via email or phone.
    Is the afministration approachable? Very
    Are any of these “gifted schools” actually focused on a curriculum as it is describediin the CPS websites or are they all just accelerated programs? Mostly accelerated, though there are some aspects that seem to be more in line with the true “gifed” curriculum.

  • 39. Jessica Green  |  February 20, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Someone touched on the difference between regional gifted centers and comprehensive gifted programs, but I wonder if anyone could elaborate. Is one recommended over another? Like others have voiced, I’d choose intellectually, emotionally and socially appropriate over simply “accelerated.” Does either one of these options use this approach?

  • 40. Mayfair Dad where are you  |  February 20, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Jessica, unfortunately all CPS gifted programs are basically just accelerated.

  • 41. CPSDepressed  |  February 20, 2012 at 9:05 am

    “Comprehensive gifted” is the classroom for the whatever percent of students with the highest scores. So, if a school has three classes per grade, the top third are “comprehensive gifted.” At my kid’s school, it’s the top half – which means it ain’t exactly gifted.

  • 42. PTA Southside Mom  |  March 7, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Some SES schools offer SENG(social emotional needs for gited children) groups BUT parental participation was very low. I’m sure if parents want to start the groups up again, the principals would be more than happy to accommodate. My daughter attends Lenart and I can’t see her anywhere else. Most teachers get to know the child’s personality and quirks to help them overcome their issues.

  • 43. RGCFAN  |  March 22, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    my daughter just started at a RCG and loves it. she goes so much faster: 1 unit a week! she tried for South Loop, Keller and Lenart. She got in SL and really enjoys it. Anyways, if your child complains about being bored try RGC.

  • 44. Southside mom  |  April 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    PLEASE give more info about the S.S. schools. Northside schools are not an option. We’re far, far southside.

  • 45. KeithH  |  May 2, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    This is good information! Will you be updating the South Side schools w/info as well? That would be very helpful for me and my wife. Thanks again!!

  • 46. dana  |  June 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    my kid got into edison for first grade. both parents work outside the home full time. i heard from Mrs. O that the bus can drop off my kid at our local park district for after school care and that some parents arranged for the irving park ymca to pick up their kids from edison. anybody aware of any other after school options for the young’ens? anybody use private taxi companies like happy wheels? anybody use the park kids program? how is the procedure for it? how messy is the bus schedule the first week of school?

  • 47. MRR  |  July 29, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    What are the 2012/2013 school drop off/pick hours for McDade Classical?

  • 48. Carrie  |  September 17, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Can anyone provide any info on Agassiz?

  • 49. southsidemom  |  November 9, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Does anyone have information on the quality of southside RGCs? Beasley, Carnegie, Lenart? I will be applying to these and to magnets for my son who will enter kindergarten next year.

    Also can anyone help me understand the distinction between gifted programs in schools that also include neighborhood kids and gifted only? I understand the basic idea (and have visited Lenart once — teachers/kids/classwork impressive, principal off-putting). But I don’t feel I know much about what it means in practice.

  • 50. Southsidemom  |  November 20, 2012 at 5:05 am

    I can provide rave reviews as a mom of a kindergartner at Poe Classical on the southside. The only RCG in my consideration set last year was Lenart, but I too found the principal at Lenart to be less friendly and nurturing than I wanted so Lenart was my third choice. Poe was our first choice followed by mcDade. Overall, I love Poe with only 3 key concerns… 1. Communication (website never updated but they are transitioning to a new technology teacher) email communication, however, is very effective. 2. Local school council does not seem to be partnering with the principal. 3. The neighborhood is not nice (at all, not even a little bit). I love that my sons teacher is making up specialize lesson plans for him and one other child who are ahead of their peers because even with gifted kids, there is some variance.

  • 51. Beasley Gifted Parent  |  November 28, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    My son attends Beasley gifted. It was not my first choice and I would not send my son there if he was not in the gifted program. Here are my pos:

    * offers french and spanish
    * offers drama
    * offers swimming (the school has a pool that is 10ft deep!)
    * has K-8 ( I did not want my son attending a school that he had to look for another school in 7th and 8th – way too stressful!)
    * has many activities for kids through out the year
    * 1 gifted class per grade level so you can build relationships with other parents
    * even though the school is very big it has a family feel; the school is accessible and it doesn’t “feel” like there over 1000 kids (that might be because he is in the gifted program and there is just one per grade level)
    * while the school had a dip in test scores they are still over 80% and have a significant number of free and reduced lunch, are magnet so they dont enroll based on scores and are predominately african american and very large. I dont think there is a school their size, number of free/reduced lunch in the AA community with those numbers


    * just changed leadership and there seems to be discord between parents and admin
    * met AYP last year; did not this year
    * gifted program is far better ran and challenging than the other classrooms
    * the size of the school and bussing means that by default its not a “community” school and loses that appeal of other gifted/classical schools
    * its working hard to get its stellar reputation back and that might take a few more years

  • 52. anonymouse teacher  |  December 15, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    I don’t know where to post this, so feel free to move this wherever it is most applicable. My daughter is 8 and has read the Harry Potter series probably a dozen times (she reads books over and over). She started reading them when she was in first grade. She’s now finished The Hobbit and has started on Lord of the Rings. I feel like I should know what to do since I teach, but I have always been rather resistant to pursuing many “gifted” options for her because, a) I kept waiting for her to level out and her classmates to catch up and b) sometimes, I just think, okay, is that really that advanced? Surely there must be a ton of other 3rd graders doing the same thing.
    As I see it now, she isn’t leveling out. Her lexile levels came back after NWEA and her reading level and vocabulary is at about a 9th/10th grade level. She will often read a 250 page book (with complete comprehension) in a day. She writes stories that none of the 8th graders in my school could write.
    We’ve sent her to northwestern’s CTD which she loves. She’s in her school’s advanced reading group. (We about died when the reading teacher said, “oh yes, in here she’ll get to read chapter books, an entire year ahead”. All I could think was, “have you seen her scores? have you discussed a novel with her?” She needs 5-6 years of acceleration, not one year.) I don’t know what to do for her. Do I just let her read whatever and enjoy it and not push her school? I don’t want to be “that parent”, you know, the one who thinks their kid needs such specialized instruction and is a total pita.
    We aren’t in Chicago proper and even if we were, we wouldn’t send her (she wouldn’t qualify anyway due to just being normal in math) to an RGC or classical because I don’t agree with or like the way CPS approaches gifted kids. We can’t afford somewhere like Avery Coonley or Science and Arts (which, academically, is a place I think she belongs). What have other people done in this situation? I guess I just need to go in and make an appointment with her school and then keep sending her to CTD. She’s a well adjusted, socially happy child so we don’t have any of the issues of hypersensitivity or anything like that. I don’t know, sometimes, I just wonder if I should be doing something else for her.

  • 53. SoxSideIrish4  |  December 15, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    #52~anonymouse teacher~ I feel your frustration. My son was reading like that in 2nd/3rd grade as well. I kept waiting for my son to level off and he never did. His second grade teacher told me that he would not level off and she was so helpful in creating a course for him. I kept him at our n’hood school and most (not all) of his teachers were very good and gave him advanced books and math. It still really wasnt enough, but I didn’t know what to do. I waited until he was in 6th grade and him tested for an academic center~which he entered in his 7th grade yr.

    I think you will have to go in each year and have a very specific talk w/each of her teachers. Tell them what she needs in them as teachers and creating a course so she isn’t bored. Good luck~I’m sure your are doing everything that you can. Gr8 job mom!!

  • 54. Southside Daddi-o  |  January 3, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Re: Poe Classical and Beasley: These schools are nearly 100 percent black and mostly low-income. I am not a racist person, but I also do not want my white first grader to be the only upper-middle class and white child in her class, just as I would not want my daughter to be the only female in a classroom full of males. It’s depressing, but if our child does not get into Keller RGC, we will likely go the Catholic school route.

  • 55. RL Julia  |  January 4, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Anonymouse teacher – sounds like you are doing all the right things. Let her happiness be your guide. In my experience, you’ll probably be fine until she hits middle school – but when you get to middle school maybe there will be better options to accelerate should she be interested. In the meantime, maybe she should start a literary magazine at her school as a project (or a newspaper?).

  • 56. Mommy_of_1  |  January 4, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Re: @ 54 Southside daddi-o. I see your point. However, your comment in regards to Poe being “mostly” low-income was incorrect. Poe is actually 44% low-income. While that may be higher than some, it is not the same as “mostly” low-income.

  • 57. cpsobsessed  |  January 4, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Yeah, that’s not much higher than coonley (30 percent) and is the same as Waters (45 percent.)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 58. cpsobsessed  |  January 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Wow, Lincoln elem is 12 percent low income. That’s gotta be one of the lowest rates in the city. I thought they were clamoring about wanting to keep diversity by not splitting up the school? Or am I remembering that incorrectly?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 59. RL Julia  |  January 4, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Blaine -20%, Edison RGC – 6%, Edison Park – 15%, Bell – 16%, Hawthorne – 16%, Alcott – 19%, Decatur – 17%, Norwood Park – 15%, Edgebrook – 10%. What I find a little distressing is the low poverty level associated with the test in RCG’s – like Bell, Decatur and Edison…. apparently, the kids pulled into them from tiers 1 and 2 might be from those non-impoverished families living in the tier….Maybe?

  • 60. anonymouse teacher  |  January 4, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Agree about Poe. 44% low income is a very low percentage of low income kids.

  • 61. anonymouse teacher  |  January 4, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    @59, all of the kids (maybe 2 dozen?)I know from my old neighborhood (mixed tier 1 and 2) who got into RGC’s and Classical programs came from solidly middle and upper middle class families, often with at least one parent with a graduate or doctoral degree.

  • 62. Southside Daddi-o  |  January 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    @60 Unfortunately, I still wouldn’t feel comfortable with having my daughter be way in the minority at a school that’s ~95% black and nearly half the kids are from low-income households. I’m not expecting New Trier, but we have seriously limited options for white families on the South Side. 😦

  • 63. SoxSideIrish4  |  January 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    @62~SSDO~what is your n’hood school?

  • 64. Southside Daddi-o  |  January 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    @63 Our neighborhood school is Kellogg. It’s a very strange situation, because most of the neighborhood children my daughter’s age go to the local Catholic school (88% white) while most Kellogg students are from a wide swath of the neighborhood, 75% black /45% low-income.

    What makes it strange is that Vanderpoel elementary is a nearby magnet school with a 100% black student body, large majority of students are low-income, and, as it is a magnet school, very few local families send their kids (I’ve yet to meet one and I’ve lived here for 7+ years). So, families such as ours which do not want their child to be one of very few kids who are not minorities and/or low-income, well, we’re left with little to no options in the CPS world. Our high school situation is even more depressing, and our elected officials don’t really seem to give two craps. 😦

  • 65. SoxSideIrish4  |  January 5, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Kellogg has a fine reputation. There are hardly problems there but many kids go to CK. But I think bc many in your area send them to CK, Kellogg takes kids from other areas. If you get into Keller, go, but if not, I wouldn’t rule out Kellogg w/out trying it first. Then get involved~no one will do anything if there is no noise and I don’t think anyone is making noise abt Kellogg bc many are sending theirs to CK.

  • 66. BevPerson  |  January 5, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    @southside Daddi-o I know how you feel.I do find it ironic that Kellogg is so non-diverse, considering that the neighborhood is very diverse. However as SoxSideIrish4 mentioned, Kellogg is a great school. However, so is CK, (Which is seemingly better in the primary grades).
    I do agree the High School situation is not especially good for the Beverly/Morgan Park/Mt. Greenwood area, which makes it difficult to attend a good school if you can’t afford a Catholic School (Mother McAuley, St. Ignatius, St. Rita, etc.).

  • 67. anonymouse teacher  |  January 5, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    This is straight from Poe’s website:
    Schoolwide 100% of Poe students met or exceeded state standards on the ISAT in reading math and science for the 2009-2010 school year. Results from Spring ISAT 2011 have Poe exceeds growth from 64% from the previous year to 75%, a composite of 99% meets/exceeds, and now Poe is ranked number # 3 in the district!
    I am sorry, #64, but when you turn down a school where 100% of kids are meeting and or exceeding standards because the students are 44% are low income (and 56% are not) and your child would be one of the few or possibly even the only white child, I have ZERO sympathy for you and your lack of options. You have good options, you just don’t like the ethnic and socioeconomic make up of those options. I am sorry, but you don’t deserve a school as good as Poe.
    Yes, we’d all love our kids to be in a school where each of the main ethnic groups are represented equally in about thirds. But sheesh, writing off an awesome school with rockstar scores simply because you don’t want your kid to be the minority? There’s something wrong with that.
    If a school has good scores and the neighborhood wishes it were more diverse than the neighborhood needs to make it more diverse by sending their own kids. Not a hard concept.

  • 68. local  |  January 5, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    White people: Have you ever been in an extreme minority as a white person? How’d that go? It’s interesting.

  • 69. local  |  January 5, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    @ 64. Southside Daddi-o | January 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    I have a lot of empathy for your situation. Kellogg/CK and North Beverly is a truly weird situation. Ditto Morgan Park HS.

  • 70. Southside Daddi-o  |  January 5, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    @67: I am sorry, #64, but when you turn down a school where 100% of kids are meeting and or exceeding standards because the students are 44% are low income (and 56% are not) and your child would be one of the few or possibly even the only white child, I have ZERO sympathy for you and your lack of options. You have good options, you just don’t like the ethnic and socioeconomic make up of those options. I am sorry, but you don’t deserve a school as good as Poe.

    So, in other words, you would want your child to be one of a very few number of students with a similar background? Would you be ok if your son was one of maybe 9 boys in an entire school full of girls? How about if your child was one of 9 kids in a school where English was a second-language? I wouldn’t, and that is similar to the make-up of Poe.

    Yes, statistically it’s a great school and it seems to get Rock Star results, but if my kid has very little in common with almost the ENTIRE student body, why in the world would I send them there? They would always be “The Outsider” or “The Misfit”. Would you want your child to go through that?

  • 71. HS Mom  |  January 5, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Skinner before it was north and south was a predominately black gifted program. It took a leap of faith by some and then the floodgates. Same thing with Westinghouse. Some open minded people will get in on the ground floor and possibly avoid the whole tier and testing angst. The longer you anguish the more opportunities for African American kids. Sounds to me though that more SS kids of all races would benefit by what is already happening in Beverly – more schools that mirror the neighborhood culture.

    I personally wouldn’t mind being in the extreme minority and we considered it a possibility. The trigger for me is school performance. If it has a solid educational environment then you know that the kids have the right attitude.

  • 72. addicted2politics  |  January 5, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    I was disturbed by the original comment here, but I initially decided not to say anything. But now that outrage has already been expressed, I’ll weigh in…

    But first, a word of caution- when you have to start a statement with, “I’m not a racist, but”, a racist statement usually follows. This case is no exception.

    The fact that Poe is predominantly black doesn’t mean it’s not an outstanding school (as test scores indicate). There are plenty of very well educated black families on the south side of Chicago who have excellent family values and make the education of their kids a top priority. I have two boys, and the oldest attends South Loop’s RGC. He’s one of two black kids in his class. And neither he nor his white classmates notice their racial differences. He has a lot of really good friends because they focus on the things that matter most to 6 year olds. They bond over BeyBlades, Star Wars, and Ninjago cartoons. Thankfully, they’re un-tainted by racial divisions at their age. And by being exposed to diversity, and seeing first hand that their peers, even from different backgrounds, are just like them, they’ll be less likely to fall into the racial traps that divide Chicago & previous generations.

    My wife and I (yes, we’re actually married) spent nearly $2,000 per month on a preschool for our boys that had a rigorous curriculum to ensure that they got into one of the selective entry school- any of the selective entry schools. I know that some kids from our pre school are now attending Poe, and I’m offended by your comments on their behalf.

    You may not ever understand how offensive your comments are, and that’s fine, but they are offensive. I work for a global corporation, and I’m frequently the only black person both at my company & in my industry. When I attended college, I was part of the extreme minority. In fact, minorities frequently find themselves in situations in which they are the only one of their kind. The difference is that we’d never make the comments that you’ve made about it. We’d never claim to have absolutely nothing in common with “those people”. But you are somehow not only comfortable with that claim, but defensive of it. It’s pretty sad.

    What you’re complaining about is called diversity, and it’s actually quite desirable. It’s extremely important to expose your child to both racial and social-economic diversity. It actually improves a person academically. Your daughter will be exposed to a broader range of views, perspectives, and opinions than what she’d get in a homogeneous environment. Embrace it. It’s getting more and more common and necessary.

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

  • 73. cpsemployee  |  January 5, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    @ 72 (Keith) Love your response; so glad you posted!

  • 74. anonymouse teacher  |  January 5, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    I teach in a school where we often have only one or two kids who speak English as their first language in each classroom. Many parents refuse to send their kids because of this. They miss out everyday. Our kids are awesome. Our test scores and our amazing students are kids ANY child would be lucky to have as classmates because they are wonderful people and hardworking, intelligent students. Our families are amazing. CPS’s bad policies might keep my kids out of any CPS school, but being one of 9 first language speakers nor one of 9 boys in a school with good scores, nope.

  • 75. anonymouse teacher  |  January 5, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    @68, I have. Many times. I spent two years of my life teaching and living in a situation where I was one of the only white people. It is uncomfortable. And a tremendous experience. And wonderful. I’ve learned a lot from those experiences. I am grateful for them. I hope my children get the same chance.

  • 76. Southside Daddi-o  |  January 6, 2013 at 12:00 am

    @72 Keith: Wow, defensive much??? Please tell me where I mentioned anything critical about black students. Locate it. Post it.

    I welcome diversity. I do not want my children to be completely surrounded with kids ONLY of their own background — if I wanted that, I’d have bought a home in Naperville or Hinsdale. I *CHOSE* to live in Beverly because I wanted to live in a heterogenous atmosphere with my family.

    However, I DO NOT want my child to be one of a handful of children of a similar background. I don’t want my daughter to be one of a handful of girls in the school. I do not want her to be one of a handful of whites in the school. I do not want her to be one of a handful of non-low income kids in the school.

    At any rate, thank you for your completely IGNORANT screed accusing me of being a racist. Not that I really care; I’ll never meet you and you pointing fingers and calling me a racist won’t change what’s important for me in school selection for my kids.

    Real quick question for you, Keith: Why don’t you send YOUR kids to Poe?

  • 77. HS Mom  |  January 6, 2013 at 10:51 am

    SSD “Yes, statistically it’s a great school and it seems to get Rock Star results, but if my kid has very little in common with almost the ENTIRE student body, why in the world would I send them there?”

    This is a comment that people would find objectionable. So, assuming that your child would get Rock Star results what they don’t have in common is ….skin color? And, don’t assume that because you are white you would be able to get into these selective programs.

    For you extreme minority doesn’t work. I get it. Not an ideal situation. No need to justify that. To your original point, there are great schools on the south side that people can go to. They just chose not to.

    Keith’s statements are valid. The fact that you try to dismiss them only supports that.

  • 78. Southside Daddi-o  |  January 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    @77 How are Keith’s IGNORANT statements supported? I want my child to go to a good school with a diverse racial mix of kids. Let’s look at the school Keith’s kids go to, South Loop: 46% black, 27% white, 27% other races. That sounds like a pretty good mix (which is another reason Keith’s comparison of a white kid going to Poe [~95% black] to his black son’s attendance at South Loop [a majority black school] is flat-out silly). But because I want a mix more like South Loop at schools closer to my home, and nearby SES and Magnet schools like Beasley, Poe and Vanderpoel are ~95% black, I’m racist? That’s a pretty bold and insulting comment.

  • 79. anonymouse teacher  |  January 6, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    @78, We all want our kids to go to a good school with a diverse racial mix of kids. The reality is, that is extremely rare anywhere. What will you do instead?

    Private school is likely to not have much diversity. Some Catholic schools have small amounts of diversity, but they aren’t exactly known for their strong academics with a few rare exceptions. Will you move to a diverse suburb?

    Beasley, Poe and Vanderpoel would not be 95% black if white neighbors in the area didn’t turn down spots they were offered because the schools are “too black”. I’m just sayin’. I can totally see turning down a school of any racial makeup based on scores. But personally, given that most people don’t have the luxury of sending their kids to a school with children who achieve at a reasonable level, the racial makeup of a student body seems so far down on the list of requirements (at least for me) it is hard to understand.

    If Poe were 98% white instead (or say 90% like a few schools in CPS are) would you send your child? Or would you vehemently refuse to send your child to Edison or Hawthorne because it isn’t diverse enough? If they were right down the street from you, I am assuming you would be ranting about how you don’t have any good options too, right? Because you want a school as diverse as South loop, right?

  • 80. addicted2politics  |  January 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    @Southside Daddi-O – Your predictable reaction is the reason I initially refrained from expressing concern over your comments in the first place. I didn’t expect the person who made & defended such statements to understand how offensive they were.

    Again, I almost didn’t respond to your latest posts, but I can’t sit by and allow you to potentially mislead others and convince them that your rebuttal is valid. It’s not. You said what you said, and I’m here to tell you that I, and others who have chimed in, took offense. You don’t have to agree with those who you’ve offended, or even understand, but it is actually ignorant of you to attempt to deligitimize someone because they took offense to something that you said.

    The entire basis for your objection to Poe & Beasley relates to race and class. As a reminder, here’s what you wrote:

    “These schools are nearly 100 percent black and mostly low-income. I am not a racist person, but I also do not want my white first grader to be the only upper-middle class and white child in her class…”

    You bring up race and class in a way that seems better placed in the 60’s (1860’s, that is).

    To answer your earlier question, I would be proud to send either of my boys to Poe because of their outstanding academic record. That’s our highest priority when it comes to educational choices. If we lived farther South & West, we would have applied to Poe, and if my son was accepted, he would be there today. We also applied to Beasley’s RGC, but we were accepted into South Loop’s. Based on proximity to both home and work, it worked out nicely for us. We aren’t refusing good programs because they’re either too black or white.

    My son is a student of South Loop’s Regional Gifted Center, and the black population of his RGC class is less than 10%. He does not attend the neighborhood component, which is more diverse. He will attend 100% of his classes with this group until he graduates 8th grade.

    Like it or not, your comments were offensive. Had you initially said that your preference would be a school with more diversity, I don’t think anyone would have been offended. The way in which you deliver a message is important. I disagreed with your statement. I did not pass judgment on you as a person. There is a more artful way to express your view without disparaging a group of people. Your comments sound very elitist.

    You probably still won’t agree with me, and I’m okay with that. But you’ve heard me now. And I wish you (and all of us on this blog) well in your pursuit of the finest education that we can obtain for our loved ones. In the end, all of us have found this blog because we have more in common than what divides us.

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

  • 81. HS Mom  |  January 6, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    80 – Keith. Thanks for chiming in. I’m sure it’s difficult. I find your thoughts refreshing and in line with many CPS parents. Enjoyed the chuckle for the day.

  • 82. Southside Daddi-o  |  January 6, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    @80 Keith, you’re just digging yourself deeper and deeper. You basically called me a racist, despite the fact that I want a school with a racial composition like South Loop (where your kids go to school) on the Far South Side,

    I don’t want my daughter to go to Poe or Beasley or Vanderpoel (~95% black), or conversely Mt. Greenwood or Cassell Elementary (~85% white). But because I am WHITE and want to go to a school with a wide variety of students, and not one that is ~95% black, your reaction is to claim I’m being a “Racist”, and some other goofy bull$h*t about the 1860s. Surprised you didn’t mention the KKK.

    I’m confused, Keith, because you said diversity is “quite desirable. It’s extremely important to expose your child to both racial and social-economic diversity” and “a broader range of views, perspectives, and opinions than … in a homogeneous environment. Embrace it. It’s getting more and more common and necessary.” But yet, you also said you’d “be proud” to send your black sons to nearly all black schools.

    So which is it, Keith? How many Indian kids go to Poe, Keith? How many Asian students at Beasley, Keith? How many white kids at Vanderpoel, Keith?

    And why is it ok for you to want your kids to go to a school with the racial makeup of SL, but if a white person wants the same diversity for their kids at SE/Magnet schools on the Far South Side schools, you call them racist?

  • 83. local  |  January 6, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Based on what I’ve seen, as students get older and into middle school, being an extreme minority can turn weird. Seems like it works best in primary and (if the student self-selects and desires) in HS, college and in professional life. Also, skin color and culture are not the same, but I think everyone pretty much understands that. I might be off, but it seems all parents want their children to not have to experience any abuse for their skin color or culture. Finding that place (in a school) can be hard in Chicago.

  • 84. local  |  January 6, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    @ “Beasley, Poe and Vanderpoel would not be 95% black if white neighbors in the area didn’t turn down spots they were offered because the schools are ‘too black’.”

    Ditto for Morgan Park HS.

  • 85. local  |  January 6, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    This reminds me that I turned down a full-ride for graduate school because the program was just a smidgen less diverse than the other (almost full-pay) program in contention. Maybe it was the idealism of youth that led me to have ignored the economic factor in the decision. Water under the bridge. Post-grad education still needs more diversity.

    BTW, the main reason I went to WY for HS was for racial and class diversity.

  • 86. HS Mom  |  January 6, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    local – I can see your point. Consider too that commuting to high school, as many kids do in Chicago, changes the whole dynamic anyway. The few white kids that do go to Westinghouse or Lindblom, for example, will probably experience little turmoil in their HS career because they are in a group of equal peers. We have a friend at Westinghouse who has no difficulty with her minority status. She is excelling scholastically, has a few good friends that she sees outside of school. Kids tend to socialize no where near the school itself and come from all over the city. In the 4 brief years that do whiz by she is poised for some excellent college options. Her experience is not much different than those at more diverse schools. In this case, extreme minority, even in the higher grades is OK. Again, not ideal, but a fine option as long as the educational program is solid and the kids are all on the same page.

  • 87. anonymouse teacher  |  January 6, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Thank you Keith for your comments. I agree with you wholeheartedly.

  • 88. CarolA  |  January 6, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    I’m on board with Keith as well. Thanks for posting.

  • 89. Formerly working mom  |  January 6, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    “I didn’t expect the person who made & defended such statements to understand how offensive they were”.

    The above statement sums it up nicely. Trying to enlighten someone who doesn’t understand will just frustrate you and that person. Don’t waste anymore energy on him…although your efforts to enlighten him were certainly appreciated by many of us.

  • 90. RL Julia  |  January 6, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Daddy-O – I hate to say it- but your comments are racist – if only because if by following the logic for your decision everyone would stay in a race (or economic)-defined comfort zone – i.e. .why would black kids want to go to school with non-black kids? The very fact that you first define a school by it’s race and economic status is far from original – many, many, many people of all races and economic status’s do this and make the very same choices and/or conclusions that you came to. From there we are just one slide away from “separate but equal” which I believe we can all recall was/is anything but.

    You might be saying that you are uncomfortable being in the minority – but since you are by your own admission white and upper middle class – the type of person who generally welds the power (whether this is true to your particular case or not), admitting to being uncomfortable comes off as sounding – well if not racist – at least a little indulgent or arrogant? I mean – it’s o.k. for others to be in the cultural minority to (more highly desired) your whiteness and upper middle class-ness but not o.k. vice versa? While I applaud you to for at least being aware that you are uncomfortable – I do think that you could have written about your feelings with a greater awareness of how they might be perceived by others who are not like you (aside from the fact that they read/contribute to this blog).

    For the record I have always been a minority of some sort in every school I ever went to – either racially (I am white) or economically (I spent some years in private school definitely being on the lower end of the economic spectrum). I have also been in the minority in many of the places I have worked. I think that what I have learned from all this is that it is hard to be a member of the non-dominant culture and most people regardless of their color, ethnicity etc… really are more comfortable when they are not in the minority. However, it is something that you can get used to. For the record I sent both my kids to a school where they were in minority religiously, economically and ethically/racially. Would my life be easier if everyone knew about my religion and I didn’t have to explain what a perm does to white hair – I suppose but it would be a whole lot less interesting too. In the meantime, I love the fact that my kids pick their friends based on the content of their character NOT the color of their skin – something I believe they’d be less likely to do if they hadn’t been in the minority at their elementary school.

  • 91. Southside Daddi-o  |  January 6, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    I want to make sure I am reading this correctly, and that I don’t have a brain tumor.

    I want my white, upper-middle class 6 year old daughter to go to a good, racially diverse CPS school similar in composition to what South Loop has, and one that is closer to where we live. I don’t want her to go to a nearly all-black school (Vanderpoel, Poe, Beasley) or a nearly all-white school (Mt. Greenwood, Cassell).

    On the Far South Side, I have very few options for elementary that have this, (notably Keller) and ONE for HS (Chicago Ag).

    Some ignoramus decries me as being a racist because I want my child to go to a school that is multi-cultural, with students coming from multiple backgrounds, and yes, even more numbers of white kids (hence the multi-cultural aspect). Then, the same ignoramus accuses me of having a mindset of pre-Civil War America. Yet what I want for my daughter is deemed as racist and closed-minded. Is it because we are a white family daring to want more options from CPS?

    Please tell me how wanting a nearby multi-cultural school on the Far South Side is racist. Go ahead and tell me what is wrong with wanting that. RL Julia, Keith, CarolA, chime in and tell me why this is so wrong and racist. Can you? Of course not.

  • 92. karet  |  January 6, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    @91: I think you ran into trouble when you said that your kid would have “very little in common with almost the ENTIRE student body.” That comment really stands out.

  • 93. CarolA  |  January 7, 2013 at 7:48 am

    SSDO: My problem with your comments is that the only reason you wouldn’t pick a high functioning school is because of the racial make-up of the school. I work in a high functioning school and currently have only 2 African-American students out of 30. They are soaring and don’t feel a bit out of place. Thank goodness their parents didn’t skip over our school because of the racial make-up. My daughter, now almost 30, never saw skin color as a issue. Through the years, it amazes me how children at a young age, don’t seem to notice skin color. It’s the adults they are around that influence them into seeing the racial differences. Another example of how adults can influence children’s thoughts: Just before the Christmas break, one of my first grade students asked me when we had to come back to school. I told her she had to come back for Thursday and Friday of the second week. Immediately she said and I quote: “Oh, that’s right. It’s because you teachers wanted more money.” Really? A first greader thinking that? You can’t convince me that wasn’t quite the conversation at home! Adults need to curb conversations around children. Maybe this world would be a better place if we all put certain stereotypes aside.

  • 94. CarolA  |  January 7, 2013 at 7:49 am


  • 95. Southside Daddi-o  |  January 7, 2013 at 8:48 am

    @93 CarolA: I also wouldn’t pick Mt. Greenwood or Cassell. Or a school which had 95% boys.

    I find it absolutely fascinating that Keith says he “would be proud” to send his black sons to a nearly 100% black school yet no one has a problem with that. Had a white person wrote “I’d be proud to send my white daughter to Mt. Greenwood or Cassell” the next posts would be “Oh, you’re racist!”

  • 96. Southside Daddi-o  |  January 7, 2013 at 9:18 am

    The point is this: Because I want to send my white daughter to a school with a lot of diversity, not one that is ~95% black, and mention that there are very few options on the Far South Side, I get called a racist. That comment is hateful and it hurts; it says that I can’t accept people from other cultures, believe that my race is superior, stuff like that.

    People like Keith then take it one step further and say my views are from pre-Civil War America, which I guess means that I don’t support equality, I’m pro-Slavery, other crap like that.

    Why do you think that it’s okay to take a free and cheap shot? Is it because I’m white?

  • 97. Bookworm  |  January 7, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Maybe it’s time for a new thread?

  • 98. RL Julia  |  January 7, 2013 at 10:28 am

    SSDO – While I get your point, the reason why your comment is perceived as being racist and Keith’s is not is because in this country (although not in CPS), your race is still the majority not the minority race. Additionally, in this country of ours, your/our race, has had a rather embarrassing history in treating people who are not white poorly -in that we (as a race, not necessarily individuals or even families) undervalue/d their contributions, exploit/ed their labors and did not offer truly equal access to goods and services (including education). Just in the same way every German is not a Nazi but bears the collective guilt of Germany’s Nazi past, so goes it with white people in this country.

    The other comment is that Keith wrote a positive post saying what he was willing/proud etc… in doing (sending his kids to a certain school), while yours was more a negative one – you did not chose to extoll the diversity of South Loop – you chose to discuss what you were avoiding – which in this case was your daughter’s potential exposure to too many “people who aren’t like her” racially and economically.

  • 99. cpsobsessed  |  January 7, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Indeed…we need a new topic. I have some ideas to work on and hopefully can arrange some interviews soon, but in the meantime….. ???

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 100. HS Mom  |  January 7, 2013 at 10:37 am

    @95 – In Chicago, there is no such thing as a 95% boys school that a girl could go to. This is not a gender issue.

  • 101. Southside Daddi-o  |  January 7, 2013 at 11:24 am

    @98 RLJulia Ok, you’re really proving my point. If my white daughter was at a school with very few children who look like her, a la Poe, Beasley or Vanderpoel and she did not agree with someone or like them, the response is going to be from the other children “Well, that’s because you don’t like —– people”. Hispanic. Chinese. Black. Indian. Doesn’t matter. Look at what Keith wrote, look at YOU wrote. Automatic response was that b/c a white person said something about not wanting to be one of a very few people in a ~95% minority school, that the white person don’t like minorities.

    She’d be in first-grade and dealing with this “collective guilt”, but that’s just how it is because she’s white. Sounds like a REALLY AWESOME situation for me to put my 6-year-old child in.

  • 102. Paul  |  January 7, 2013 at 11:31 am

    It’s tough to be a minority in the U.S. and many other countries. I think that most parents don’t want their child to be in the minority because they want their child’s life to be easier, not harder.

    Parents like the idea of diversity in schools, but they want it balanced. And, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to find schools balanced in terms of race and class. But, it’s not surprising. Our neighborhoods aren’t balanced either. Most parents live in non-diverse neighborhoods and send their kids to non-diverse schools.

    Schools that are racially diverse often aren’t diverse in terms of class. Many have few low-income students. That seems to be the case with many selective enrollment and magnet schools.

  • 103. RGC Mom  |  January 7, 2013 at 11:47 am

    SSDO – I’m African American and I’m not mad at you for wanting diversity, I want that for my daughter as well. You thinking that your child would not have anything in common with AA children, well that’s another topic altogether.

    I am curious to know why you did not mention Lenart RGC as another ss option, which is about 20% white. Though you are not in the majority percentage like Keller, it does offer more diverisity than Poe. Or is it simply that your race must be the majority for you to consider it a good option?

  • 104. cpsobsessed  |  January 7, 2013 at 11:49 am

    I had just looked at stats for Andrew Jackson magnet last week – perfect pie chart of diversity. It’s 34 percent low income which isn’t high but is more diverse than a blaine or lincoln.

    But chicago is truly a depressingly segregated city in terms of neighborhoods which makes it difficult to achieve diverse schools.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 105. Anon  |  January 7, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Not going to weigh in too much here, except to say that I frequently hear people of all races remark that they would never send their kid to x school (typically privates or certain neighborhood schools) because the school is too white and too high income — this is put as “not diverse enough” or “not enough kids like my minority child” — and no one jumps up and down about how racist that is.

  • 106. Southside Daddi-o  |  January 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    @103 I’ve spoken with a few parents who took their kids out of Lenart because they claim the coursework is basically “worksheet, worksheet, worksheet”. Additionally, they claimed that Lenart has a difficult relationship between the school administration and parents; even though I don’t have first-hand experience, it didn’t seem to be what we were looking for. That’s it. The racial composition of the school had nothing to do with the decision to not go for Lenart.

    Re: Whites have to be in the majority: No, that’s not it either. Look at South Loop — it’s a majority black school (44%), whites are 28%, 28% other minority. That’s a fairly decent mix.

  • 107. Southside Daddi-o  |  January 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    @105 Or that nearly every college has a Black Student Union (I don’t have a problem with that whatsoever, just as I don’t have a problem with Campus Crusade for Christ, Student GLBTA organizations, etc.).

    Yet I’ve been told by people on this board that my comments are racist and from the days of slavery because I want my white daughter to go through school with some other children who have a similar background.

  • 108. enoughs enough  |  January 7, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    OK so the school needs to have a comfortable blend of racial mix (whatever that is to the individual). In addition to that the curriculum must not involve a high use of worksheets. Plus the school cannot be rumored to have a tense relationship between administration and parents.

    Anything else?

    Any suggestions for CPS schools that meet this criteria on the south side or anywhere else in the city? Anyone?

  • 109. CPS Parent  |  January 7, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    107. Southside Daddi-o The key issue is that you want your daughter in a school with other kids of a “similar background” which does not necessarily imply “of the same race”. The problem is that in Chicago the type of “background” and race are closely intertwined and therefore the discussion easily becomes racist by definition.

  • 110. JeffH.  |  January 7, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    From post #54:
    “Re: Poe Classical and Beasley: These schools are nearly 100 percent black and mostly low-income. I am not a racist person, but I also do not want my white first grader to be the only upper-middle class and white child in her class”

    From post #70:
    “Yes, statistically it’s a great school and it seems to get Rock Star results,
    but if my kid has very little in common with almost the ENTIRE student body, why in the world would I send them there?

    I don’t know, but you brought up race A LOT in those two posts. You didn’t say that you want diversity. What you said was you don’t want your kid in a school that’s nearly 100% black and poor, regardless of their grades, because you have nothing in common with them.

    From post #80:
    “I would be proud to send either of my boys to Poe because of their outstanding academic record.

    Seems like a legitimate reason to send a child to Poe. It doesn’t mention race as a factor.

  • 111. CarolA  |  January 7, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    I think we’ve worn this topic to the bone, but I find it ironic that all this talk is happening just two weeks away from MLK Jr.’s birthday, don’t you? What would MLK Jr. think?

  • 112. cpsobsessed  |  January 7, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    CarolA, that is an interesting question; what would MLK think of the state of the chicago public schools. And importantly, would he support charters? 🙂

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 113. local  |  January 7, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    I was in intrigued by Chris Ware’s recent New Yorker cover/s (seem to be based on his own kid’s Chicago school). Doesn’t look like the south side of Chicago, that’s for sure. Maybe school north of Roosevelt?

  • 114. CarolA  |  January 7, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    He probably would support charters and it’s a good thing because I just heard (and maybe I’m late to the game here), but there are definitely 8 new charter high schools opening next fall. I believe most of them ( if not all ) on the south side. I’ve come to terms with charters. For the most part, I don’t think they are any better than neighborhood schools and they do get more resources for the children, so I guess it’s all about choice. Change and choice are good things. I don’t mind the charters. I mind CPS closing schools, laying off teachers, then opening charters with newbies who cost a lot less. If the “laid off” teachers (that are good) can go to the charters, then I could live with that. A job is better than no job. I’d just hope that there would be some sort of compensation towards pensions, sick time, etc.

  • 115. local  |  January 7, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    We’ve hit that point:

  • 116. Bookworm  |  January 7, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Chris Ware’s NYker cover also has an essay inside. I found it very worth reading.

  • 117. its just a skin color  |  January 9, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    re: how much in common do people have with people of other skin colors

    I moved to US over a decade ago, I’m a white European. Most of my white American coworkers have more in common with my aa/latino/indian coworkers that were born in US, then they have with me. They grew up with the same kid’s, teenage and now grown up TV shows, know the major American bands and musicians, in the same political environment and get the same kind of jokes. Just because someone is the same skin color, doesn’t mean they have something in common.
    The ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic diversity is this country is really, really huge. It will always cause frictions to some extent. People fear what they do not know very well. Is it somewhat of a primal reflex to be cautious around someone that doesn’t seem just like us? Most people in the US seem to do good job at trying to move pass the skin color/culture and socioeconomic factors.

  • 118. EK  |  January 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    [ its just a skin color ] – I love your comment as I can totally relate. Thank you for posting this.

  • 119. Lisa  |  January 29, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Does anyone know if Beaubien RGC has an after school program, and if so what is offered? I was also curious what foreign language(s) are taught? Thanks!

  • 120. WRP Mom  |  January 29, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    I toured Beaubien last year and they offered some after school activities for the older kids, I think for intermediate grades.

    They teach Latin.

  • 121. Anonymous  |  January 30, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Lisa, I think they still teach Latin.

  • 122. lolita  |  January 31, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    All I can say is wow, I love this website I am a new mom again I have a 23 year old an now I’ve started over I have a two year old and I am worrying about schools already. I love the site its very informative It was just getting a little deep there with the back and fourth which isn’t my interest I just want to stay with topics on how can I find a good school and afterschool programs ect. It was getting a little facebookish and I don’t have a face book page for that reason. I am just so thankful to have something like this to turn to for a network of parents who are concerned with their childs education.
    By the way does anyone know when schools have their open house, I was looking at McDade and Poe, they are in my area and I know that they test. I am already working with my daughter at home.

  • 123. camila cardenas  |  March 1, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    I am in third grade and in march 4 i will do the Isat test

  • 124. Dana  |  March 3, 2013 at 1:21 am

    The sad part is that the comment about white families choosing not to come to these high performing schools will be the reason that racial diversity is not achieved. I am the proud parent of a McDade student and waiting for results of my other child. You may have no idea what you would have in common with the parents/students at McDade it Poe. There are only 194 students at McDade and I have worked with at least 4 of the parents at University of Chicago…The lack of information on the South Side schools is very telling. I now understand who this site was made for. Perhaps all of the high performing, top ten ranked south side school parents should make a website that can be a real resource for parents who just want their child to just go to a good school.

  • 125. Christine Whitley  |  March 3, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Dana #124 in all fairness to CPSO this site wasn’t “made for” anyone in particular. She happens to be a mom living on the north side. She started this blog just as a way to share her own experiences, not to become the huge resource it has become. As you will notice this site is entirely unmonetized — when was the last time you visited a website with no ads or Paypal button?

    Everyone is welcome here to share their stories and ask questions. More north side parents know about it at the moment but I think we would all love it if more south and west side people came and shared their experiences as well.

    I, for one, will admit that my knowledge of south side schools is not as thorough as my knowledge of north side schools. Only because I live about as far north as you can get and still be in city limits. I would love to learn more though! Please encourage your friends to come and share information! Or, if you did start your own blog please post the URL so I can read it.

  • 126. Southside Daddi-o  |  March 3, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Open question: I’m torn between sending my child to an RGC or a local Catholic school (CK or Barnabas) and the largest determinant will be the homework load. I know parents at Keller who say that the 1st graders get ~2 hours of homework per night; this is after the kids spend 7 hours a day at school. To me, this sounds like a “homework factory” and, quite frankly, I’m not certain that this is the way I want my child to be exposed to school. Just wondering if this homework load is typical for RGCs or Classical programs? Thoughts?

  • 127. local  |  March 3, 2013 at 11:12 am

    @ 126. Southside Daddi-o | March 3, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Is your family a parishioner at CK or St. Barnabas? If so, by sending your child to one of those Catholic schools, you could unite your academic, social and spiritual aspects of family life – but racial and economic diversity is minimal.

    If your child attends Kellogg, where there is economic (but not racial) diversity, there’s a strange “plantation” bifurcation there among the high-scoring students and the low-scoring students, from what I’ve observed. It seems to work for the high-scorers, but is icky as a whole community, imho. Have you attending the Kellogg LSC meetings?

    Don’t expect any northsider to understand this conversation. Your community is very different.

  • 128. local  |  March 3, 2013 at 11:16 am

    SD: And, regarding Keller. I’ve heard reports from current and alumni parents that they are now bitterly unhappy with the new principal. Prior to her coming, everyone I’ve known who’s attended has been delighted by the diversity and community and OK with the homework and odd hours. One highly educated family did pull their children out and transferred to MP Academy b/c they judged the instructors inferior.

    Just reporting here, no judgement.

  • 129. Southside Daddi-o  |  March 3, 2013 at 11:28 am

    @127 I’m confused by your comments Re: Kellogg, with economic but not racial diversity. Is that another way of saying “mostly black, with upper-middle kids mixed with low-income”?

  • 130. SoxSideIrish4  |  March 3, 2013 at 11:44 am

    #127. local. I’ve lived in this area for years and know ppl who attend Kellogg and it isn’t ‘icky as a whole community’. A lot of ppl love the principal and are very happy w/the school. They have a fabulous IB mid yrs program.
    You’re right Keller is going through some tough times w/regard to the principal but hopefully that will all work out.
    As for CK/Barnabas~one is a stronger academic school and pairing academic w/faith is nice

    #126. SSDO. no school is w/out flaws, but whatever school you pick, your child will be getting a solid education. Good luck.

  • 131. local  |  March 3, 2013 at 11:53 am

    130. SoxSideIrish4 | March 3, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I’m just speaking from my own POV and values, and to me Kellogg was ‘icky as a whole community’. I did not like the bifurcation at all. But, to me, CK and Barnabas were icky too. This is despite having folks I love, honor and admire in all those groups. FWIW.

  • 132. local  |  March 3, 2013 at 11:58 am

    @ 129. Southside Daddi-o | March 3, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Examine Kellogg’s historical ISAT scores for breakdown by race, sped, and income, if you can find it. Flip through the past 10 years of yearbooks. Go to PTA and LSC meetings. You might see the bifurcation I’m talking about. It’s kind of like a “small elite” and the “left-behind.” You can see that white, higher income students are clustered in the small elite. But, you see that throughout CPS, no?

  • 133. Southside Daddi-o  |  March 3, 2013 at 11:59 am

    @130 Out of CK/Barnabas, which one is stronger academically? I like Barnabas’s MATCH program, but we are in CK parish sooooo it might feel strange having all the local kids go to CK except for my child who is going to the “rival” school.

    @131 Can you go into detail on the whole “bifurcation” thing at Kellogg?

    Also, to anyone else, what is the current situation regarding Keller’s principal? I’ve heard grumblings that she is a “turn-around” specialist but I also know that Keller is listed as one of the top schools in the State. What’s happening over there?

  • 134. local  |  March 3, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    @ 133. Southside Daddi-o | March 3, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I’m not sure what else to say about Kellogg, beyond what’s above. A relatively few students/families seem to have gotten and contributed all the goodies, but the rest just kind of went along without all the extra attention and kudos. Still, when you compare Kellogg to other CPS general elem schools, ALL students there likely got better opportunities. Teachers like scoreing a job there b/c it’s considered an “easy” or “better” school, from what they’ve told me. Also, the newish principal might have plans to make Kellogg more inclusive throughout the school. It would be interesting to see if the gap between white and black students in ISAT scores has closed.

  • 135. local  |  March 3, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Make that “scoring”

  • 136. Dana  |  March 3, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Christine #125: I can appreciate your point and the perspective of the creator of the site. It is just startling that not one south side school has more information than you could find on the official CPS site. McDade is like a family. Yes a heavily Black family, but that is due to the choices of other parents. The Kindergarten class is more diverse than my child’s class (1st grade). I suspect that trend will continue. If my second child gets into a north side selective enrollment school where she is in the minority, she will be at that school. She goes to a very diverse preschool, but I am most concerned with her not being bored and being a part of a rich academic environment. My husband and I own a transportation company and we transport one of McDade’s non-black Kindergarteners. She seems to be having the same experience that my child had. McDade has an amazing Kindergarten teacher who really understands and challenges “little people”. If the idea of a science fair and a black history fair make you squeamish, this is not the school for you. If you want a small close-knit school that cares about every child, then you may be fortunate enough to get a seat. We transport students to Poe as well. It is not an amazing neighborhood, but it is also a great school. The inherent privilege in some of the comments were troubling, but not surprising. My children are secure in who they are and open to new cultural experiences so I am confident that they would thrive in any school that they go to. I will say that even if it is under the anonymity of the web, I can appreciate the honesty of some parents even if I don’t like it. Good luck to you all.

  • 137. Christine  |  March 22, 2013 at 11:12 am

    My son is at the Carnegie Gifted Kindergarten. We love the teacher, Mrs. Wilson and school. He is in a small classroom with only 19 children that impress me. The staff at the school is extremely friendly and warm to both me and my son. They all know who he is (may be a bad thing). He loves it there gets upset when it is Saturday and can’t go to school. Only thing he hates is the red/yellow/green behavior chart. The amount he has learned since starting startles me. He is already doing subtraction of double digits. He is writing sentences for language arts. Science has been quite complex learning about ecosystems. As a parent the two complaints I have is the amount my five year old has to do for homework. He gets two worksheets daily, study for a weekly spelling test, and weekly book report. He also has to do 15-20 minutes daily of the Compass Learning Odyessey program. There is also weekly projects that need to be done. A lot of work for a little one. I am fortunate with a child who is a hard worker, and loves to learn. The other concern is about the amount of violence around his school. We are in and out as fast as possible since we live in Rogers Park. The school though itself feels safe and loving. We are looking for a new school this year not because of the school itself, but its location. One year of fighting traffic is enough for me!

  • 138. Jen  |  March 26, 2013 at 11:46 am

    I understand there are 13 RGC programs in CPS, I am wondering if there are some differences between these 13 RGC programs. Are they at the same level? or some of them are better? some of them are worse? If there are not at the same level, how is Beaubein RGC? My son was just recruited by Beaubein RGC last week, I noticed the rating of this school is only 7. Could anyone please tell me? ?? Thank you!!

  • 139. GiftedTeacherMom  |  April 1, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Wow, I am blown away by the dialogue about the south side classical schools. I am an African-American resident of North Beverly. I moved here based upon Kellogg’s reputation. After visiting, I was sooo disappointed in the environment and level of rigor. My pov was that it was very mediocre compared to some other schools I visited, but probably okay for a neighborhood school, especially with scores in the 80th percentile. It is my opinion that they didn’t have the support of the neighborhood like Sutherland. It is my opinion that because a large number of North Beverly residents send their kids to CK and Barnabas, the seats at Kellogg are filled with students not from the neighborhood. My husband and I went back and forth about whether to apply to CK around the corner or drive across 95th Street to St. Barnabas where our two sons wouldn’t be the only African-American kid in the classroom. We really like what CK has to offer, but are afraid of our kids having to deal with not being accepted. Fortunately, my kindergartner was accepted at Poe Classical. When my older kids were there ten years ago, there were a handful of non-minority students there who blended right in. I think it’s definitely the parent’s choice which environment they feel comfortable putting their child in. Racial and socioeconomic diversity is such a fiery topic in Chicago because most of our neighborhoods and schools are unofficially segregated. And as a result, often times, resources for schools and playgrounds, and park programs are reflected by this unofficial segregation. Parents just want the best education for their children that will prepare them for the ever so important academic center and high school admissions competition. This includes going to a school with an awesome learning environment. This means academic rigor, talented teachers, visionary principals, strong parent involvement, and wealth of resources and enrichment programs for kids. Let’s keep the dialogue going.

  • 140. SaraChum  |  April 12, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    For classical school perspective parents, can you please share the content of the admission entrance test for K? As far as I know, kids should be able to read and do some calculation. Any suggestion for preparation? Thanks

  • 141. Person  |  April 14, 2013 at 2:08 pm


    CK vs. Barnabas – Barnabas is stronger academically (especially in the upper grades), however you are right that it may be hard for your child attending the ‘rival’ school. If you child is into sports (as in, HEAVILY into sports) either of these may be good choices.

    Keller (as I have heard) is not as great as it was with the previous principal as it is with the new one. But, I’ve heard great things about the first & second grade teachers.

    Kellogg seems more favorable to the parents of the higher-performing kids, but seems like an overall good school. So, as local said, you may want to look into it.

    Best of luck!

  • 142. CPD 012  |  June 14, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Can any one give me any feedback on Beasleys Gifted program?My son will be starting Kindergarten in the fall.

  • 143. Mommy_of_1  |  June 28, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    @ 142. CPD 012 My daughter will be starting the gifted program this fall also. When I registered her I was able to speak to some current K families. They were very happy with the K teacher. From my understanding, the gifted 1st grade teacher is national board certified. I also was impressed with the fact that the principal and vice principal both came from Poe. The principal is a golden apple award winner, and seems very determined to make Beasley a more desirable and competitive program. I am interested to see how the year turns out, and I am very optimistic about what the school has to offer.

    I too would like to hear more from current families in the gifted program : )

  • 144. Pro diversity  |  August 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    I missed the conversation by a few months, but am with SSDO. It’s perfectly reasonable to seek diversity and 95% of ANY race is not diversity. Kenny’s situation is not analogous at all. Being a 10% minority is very different when the other 90% split than when it is made up of a single group. We sent our daughter to preschool in our neighborhood where it was a 95/5 split and she was definitely singled out at times even at that young age. Their current school is 35/30/25/10 and that is perfect.

  • 145. Al  |  August 29, 2013 at 3:30 am

    Skinner West has 5 k class this year – I think this school is so over crowed – It will not be long before the classical side is phase out

  • 146. momof3boys  |  August 29, 2013 at 8:05 am

    My son was offered a spot at skinner west. 6grade but we’43 declining.

  • 147. Phil  |  September 1, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Just offered a spot at Pritzker RGC. Any feedback, suggestions, first-hand experience? Thanks.

  • 148. Jenna  |  September 3, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    @ 142 & 143 – Beasley has had a lot of issues the last couple of years as a school; however the gifted program is adequate. My son is in 4th grade and with the exception of his 2nd grade teacher (it was her first year as a gifted teacher and she only had 3 years in total) I feel all of his teachers were outstanding. He has a very strong foundation and is a critical thinker with a solid understanding of the basics in all subject areas. I am confident he will easily be able to handle AP courses, honors, etc… and will do well on the selective enrollment exam for high school. He also took swimming each week for PE and as a result can swim extremely well and pretty much all of his classmates learned to swim from having this opportunity at school. Beasley also has a ton of extra curricular activities and opportunities for students to be engaged. Although the school is very large I always feel like they “know” my child and there is a history and tradition of family. Gifted students are also are privileged in a good way if you have a child in the gifted program. Having said that there is A LOT of room for improvement. The fact that principal is from Poe virtually has meant nothing but I believe the legacy of the school and the quality teachers who are there are holding the school together. I am hoping that the school can return to its glory days.

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    Many thanks for sharing!

  • 150. Wonderer  |  September 29, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    What would be the best CPS school for a would be first grader (currently in KG) and a highly gifted child? This kid reads at least third grade level (chapter books), started division after mastering addition, subtraction and multiplication, has enormous interest in science (favorite book is Matter Matters!), and scored unusually high in gifted and classical kindergarten tests. He goes to a renowned selective enrollment school but it seems the school is unable to feed his appetite for science and math. Parents are flexible to relocate but can’t afford a private school.

  • 151. RR  |  October 8, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Why isn’t Bell (RGC) or Hawthorne (RGC) an option when I am online to rank the CPS gifted schools? Are they no longer taking students for K? Also what is the difference b/w a “magnet” school and a “magnet cluster” school? Thanks!

  • 152. cpsobsessed  |  October 8, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Bells only takes kids starting in first grade and hawthorne is a magnet.

    Magnet cluster is just a neighborhood school with a special area of focus. So it functions the same as a neighborhood school, only taking kids outside the hood if there is room.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 153. RR  |  October 9, 2013 at 12:12 am

    So what is special about a “magnet” school? Is it just as good as a RGC? I know one is pure lottery while the other one you have to test into…

    Also, does this mean a “magnet” is better than a “magnet cluster”? sorry if these are basic questions…but I’m already so confused. Grateful you and others are here to guide us… 🙂

  • 154. cpsobsessed  |  October 9, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Magnets aren’t really “better by design” but the fact that you get kids from familes who seek out better education options creates magnet schools with what could probably be described as a student population who is more ready to learn and easier to teach.
    So the magnets tend to show strong results.
    Also, magnets have caps on their class size which is beneficial.
    Magnets use the tier system for the lottery so they tend to be more diverse, which many parents value. Many neighborhood schools lack diversity.

    So in some ways, yes, a magnet ends up being a good choice.
    BUT – being part of a neighborhood community school also has strong benefits (esp if it is your neighborhood schools or nearby.) More community feel and friends (both kids and parents) are nearby.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 155. RR  |  October 9, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Thank you so much! Is Hawthorne a RGC too? For K or 1st?

  • 156. cpsobsessed  |  October 9, 2013 at 12:24 am

    Hawthorne is a magnet.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 157. CindySE  |  October 24, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Are there any stats out there on the odds of getting into the magnets elementary schools? Do the schools provide accuarate information on how many students were placed (non-siblings) the previous year? I’ve accepted the slight chance of getting my twins into gifted or classical after reading many posts.

  • 158. TimeForADoOver  |  October 24, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    @157: It all depends on how many kids apply and, thus, accept said magnet school. Definitely not an exact science. Let’s just say that your odds of getting into a magnet school are decent, but it might not be your top (or even top 15th) choice. It’s a true lottery with high stakes. The northside schools are particularly popular and challenging to secure a spot. The best advice anybody can give you is to “cast a wide net.” You’ll hear this phrase often. Good luck!

  • 159. Cliff  |  October 24, 2013 at 12:35 pm


    check this post:

    (not broken out by sibling vs non-sibling)

  • 160. Jen  |  October 24, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    @157 Keep in mind that if one twin gets into a Magnet for K, then in 1st grade, the twin would have a sibling preference (meaning, if space is available, the siblings get picked first). There’s still no guarantee the sibling would get in but the odds are probably significantly better than getting into the same SEES.

  • 161. cpsobsessed  |  October 24, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Twin applications can be linked so that one is put right after the other on a waiting list for magnets:

    For applications to magnet, magnet cluster, or open enrollment schools, parents of twins, triplets and other higher order multiple births have the option of linking their applications together so that the students are either admitted together or placed next to each other on the waitlist.

  • 162. Helen  |  October 25, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    I am trying to apply for my daughters on classical programs starting K. Has anyone compared Skinner North and Skinner West program?

  • 163. Deni  |  November 18, 2013 at 4:46 am

    @162 – Helen

    We’ve applied for both, generally Skinner North seems to rank higher on testing scores and Chicago Mag rankings put it at the 3rd best elem. school in the city. Skinner West is also a neighborhood school with the classical program in the same building. Skinner North is only a classical school. I’ve heard West is getting very crowded with the growing neighborhood population. North is not at full capacity because they still only go up to 6th grade this year and will be adding 7th and 8th grades over the next two years.

  • 164. NPN  |  November 18, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Did you seethe facilities at SkinnerNorth? It was horrendous. Sorry, I know I should be thrilled since it is such a great school but I can’t get over the facilities. What is wrong with me?

  • 165. cpsobsessed  |  November 18, 2013 at 10:00 am

    I haven’t toured SN. Can you be more specific about the facilities?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 166. karet  |  November 18, 2013 at 11:30 am

    @164, If you think SN is “horrendous” it’s hard to imagine any school in CPS that you would like! (Maybe NTA, since it is brand new?)

    For those of you who haven’t toured, here’s a description. There is an auditorium, a gym (with a climbing wall), a cafeteria, and a library (staffed by parents). The rooms all have smart boards. There are separate classrooms for specials, which include music, art and Spanish. The school isn’t overcrowded — there are still empty rooms that will be used once the school goes up to 8th grade.

    It’s not a new school, and it’s not one of the beautiful old buildings — I tried to find the exact year it was built, but couldn’t — it looks like it was built in the 60s or 70s. Before it was Skinner North it was Schiller.

    I’m trying to think of any reason that a person would find it “horrendous,” and I just can’t! It’s perfectly clean, cheerful, up-to-date.

  • 167. NPN  |  November 18, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    While it was clean, if you look in the corners,you can see rusting pipes, etc. It smelled terrible and the hallways didn’t have much light. The classrooms were definitely well done and cheerful with lots of fun things on the wall. Yes, I feel so bad that I keep telling myself that it is about the teachers and quality of education…but you’re right about how I visually react to most CPS schools – even with the beautiful old buildings (Blaine and Burley) on the inside, they feel that way to me (just not as bad).

  • 168. cpsobsessed  |  November 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    I think it’s something you just learn to get past. Kind of like living in an old house….

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 169. NPN  |  November 19, 2013 at 1:07 am

    So if there are 13 RGCs and Several “classical” schools, why was it that I was only able to rank 7 for K? I understand that a couple only start at 1st (bell and Beaubien) but shouldn’t there still be more than 7? I can’t remember how I ranked them now, but I remember that only 7 were listed…anyone know why? Thanks!

  • 170. cpsobsessed  |  November 19, 2013 at 1:11 am

    Is it 7 now? In the past they allowed you 6 choices. It’s never been the full list (or for the recent past at least…)

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 171. NPN  |  November 19, 2013 at 1:17 am

    I’m confused. Why isn’t it the full list? Meaning that in some schools they are not going to take a gifted class that year? Or people are randomly given 6 or 7 to rank and you don’t know which one you’ll get until you go to log in and rank?

  • 172. cpsobsessed  |  November 19, 2013 at 1:25 am

    You’re not able to choose from the full list? You should see the full list, but be able to choose only 6 (or 7 if that’s the new thing.). As you mentioned, schools that start in 1st will be excluded for K admission.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 173. Christine Whitley  |  November 19, 2013 at 10:08 am

    There are 13 programs from which you are allowed to rank up to 6.

    NPN it sounds like maybe you’d be happier at one of the newer CPS buildings: Ogden, Skinner West, or Camras. Or maybe a charter school. Many of them have newer, more modern buildings.

  • 174. Christine Whitley  |  November 19, 2013 at 11:03 am

    NTA also has a gorgeous building.

  • 175. OTdad  |  November 19, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    @167 NPN:
    You probably toured Skinner North on a not so good day. We toured quite a few schools, mostly RGCs, magnets, and 2 classicals. To us, Skinner North is among the better ones in terms of environment. Except the ceiling is a little bit lower than we would like, the building is not that old, seems clean and well lit, no smell as far as I can tell. Pretty good auditorium and gym, they even have room for parents. It is located in the middle of mostly empty land, the back door directly leads to Stanton Park, really gives a wide open feeling. Kids have plenty of room to run around. It’s rare among CPS schools that you can park your car in a big parking lot and walk your kids into school. They have many free after school programs, also cheap youth guidance program run by the park district. Considering the kids, the school, and all other things, Skinner North is actually a very attractive package (to us).

  • 176. hello all  |  November 20, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    are the schools above really the only RGC and classical gifted schools available to apply for? Is there a list of magnet schools too?

  • 177. cpsobsessed  |  November 20, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    These are the elem gifted/magnet and I am not great about keeping this up to date, as NTA needs to be added.

    Info on magnet schools here:

    And here is the elem school guide that will list the magnet schools, I believe:

    Hope this helps!

  • 178. Christine Whitley  |  November 20, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    If you look at the Options for Knowledge guide, the entire book is a list of schools to choose from including:

    Open Enrollment
    Magnet Clusters
    Selective Enrollment

    find the guide at

  • 179. In Bridgeport  |  November 26, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Does anyone have children in NTA’s rgc? I’d love to hear your thoughts. NTA is geographically very desirable for me, but I really haven’t heard pros/cons from any parents that have kids there. I’m going to check out the open house 12/4 but would appreciate any insider info! Thanks!
    Also, any thoughts about the magnet school Mark Sheridan?

  • 180. UptownMama  |  November 26, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    @179 My kindergartner is at NTA and we’ve been very happy. The K teacher is wonderful and works with two student teachers (I think most classrooms have one addl student teacher) so it’s a great student-teacher ratio. Lots of differentiation, kids have swimming, art, music, technology and gym. They’re still working to hire a foreign language teacher (most likely Spanish), but I think we’ll get there. Great and relatively new facility, too, and very close to public transportation. Have also heard good feedback from parents with 1st graders.

    Check out last year’s thread on SEES admissions; there’s a lot of info on NTA there. Definitely check out the open house.

  • 181. In Bridgeport  |  November 27, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Thanks for your comments UptownMama. Based on your post, I’m assuming you have not felt any issues with safety at the school. I have seen posts in the past around this issue and know there was an incident last year after school between some older boys. I’ve heard that there is inclusion for lunch and recess with the RGC kids and neighborhood kids (as there should be) but I was wondering if they separate the younger kids from the upper grades at things like recess and lunch? Anyway, if you have any thoughts on this subjects, I’d love to hear them.

  • 182. UptownMama  |  November 30, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    No, we haven’t had any worries about safety issues. I read those same comments last year and have been paying attention to it, but haven’t seen anything that worries me. The younger kids do generally seem to be kept physically separated from the older kids – I think that’s true at many big schools just because the kids are on different floors and have different schedules. Pick up and drop off seem relatively calm (or at least as calm as you’re likely to get with a bunch of grade schoolers running around!) and there’s a significant adult presence in both the morning and the afternoon. And, yes, the younger kids get mixed up together for lunch and recess, which has definitely been a positive. But I’m pretty sure that the primary kids have lunch/recess at one time and the older kids go later; in any case, my daughter mostly seems to be with other kindergartners for those activities.

  • 183. In Bridgeport  |  December 3, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Thanks so much for your reply. I’m definitely going to check out the open house. For anyone interested, NTA’s open house is 12/4 from 6-8pm.

  • 184. Stacey  |  March 25, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    What is the difference between RGC, gifted only, and classical only?

  • 185. BHawk  |  March 25, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Our son just got into Coonley’s RGC for Kindergarten. Feedback?

  • 186. Mario Parham  |  March 25, 2014 at 3:18 pm

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  • 187. Academum  |  March 27, 2014 at 11:04 am

    My son liked Coonley a lot, but you should definitely visit to see for yourself. Despite ongoing renovations, they are at capacity and it is a pretty big school already. It feels like the kind of big old public school building I went to in the 1980s, with sort of gothic architecture and exposed pipes. You probably already know this, but the school is a neighborhood school with a gifted track rather than a completely gifted program, so they are mixed at recess and other school activities. The lunch room and gym are in the basement, and the principal is male, if those are things that interest you.

    How high did your son test? The numbers I am hearing on other threads are well over 100 so I am guessing my child would not get in there although he was accepted into a classical program.

  • 188. BHawk  |  March 27, 2014 at 11:24 am

    He scored a 147. Is your son in the gifted track or the neighborhood program? And is there tension between the 2 groups?

  • 189. Academum  |  March 27, 2014 at 11:46 am

    He’s not in either…we only took the tour. Most of the reps at these schools (Bell, Coonley, Pritzker) downplay any “tension” between the groups but just knowing how kids are, I am skeptical. Was Coonley your top pick of RGCs? What would be next on your list if you declined?

  • 190. BHawk  |  March 27, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    To be honest, I can’t remember what our top pick was; we didn’t have high expectations that he would get in anywhere (we’re fairly pessimistic re this whole system). We think we would avoid Decatur (Classical, I know; he scored 89% reading and 99% math, so that may not even be an option) because it only goes up to 6th and seems pretty rigid. We would be open to Edison. We feel pretty lucky with Coonley, however, and are going to accept. Our 11 year old daughter goes to Beaubien and is in the RGC program there. She likes it a lot, but their RGC program doesn’t start until 1st grade.

  • 191. Academum  |  March 27, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    I imagine you will be very happy there. I am going to keep trying to get my son in there over the next few years. Why would you “avoid” Decatur? I feel that way about Edison, actually, so we should trade notes even though we may have different values…

  • 192. BHawk  |  March 27, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    To be honest, my feelings about Decatur derive solely from friends who have or have had kids there. Definitely do not use me as a solid opinion about this.

  • 193. Mr Ash  |  March 31, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    hello all
    Love this site. My daughter just got accepted into poe on the south side. I have seen some comments above about the diversity issues. Does anyone have kids currently attending and can shed some light on the ACADEMICS??? after all i believe that the ultimate goal for the kids is to get a quality education. Also I see that they only go to 6th grade. does anyone know where the students that attend poe eventually transfer to?

    proud dad

  • 194. lilmama  |  April 2, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Greetings!….my son is currently at lenart. very long commute for him on the bus from Lincoln Square. Does anyone have any feedback on Edison RGC? I am trying to figure out if it will be a better option for our family. Thank you!

  • 195. Christina  |  April 6, 2014 at 7:47 am

    You need to correct Beaubien. They now have a wondeful playground and recess time. My son goes there for 1st grade and we love Mrs. Silvers. The only negative comment that I have on Beaubien that the adminstration is not very good with their special needs children. They are reluctent to help these children. If you have a child that is twice special – gifted and has an IEP I would search elsewhere.

  • 196. The Mom (@rkoloms)  |  April 9, 2014 at 8:42 am

    I am a former Decatur (and Whitney Young) parent. Decatur is rigorous and highly competive; if you child needs “warm fuzzies”, this isn’t the place. My biggest complaint is the administration’s view of bullying: the victims are punished along with the bullies.

  • 197. lawmom  |  April 9, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    That approach to bullying really sucks. Why do the parents tolerate this? Bring it to the LSC.

  • 198. HCJ14  |  April 28, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    To “In Bridgeport”, I don’t know if you are still looking at this blog, but I just discovered it. I know someone who teaches at Mark Sheridan and it seems to be a great school. Many teachers send (or apply) their own children there. Is is a lottery admission, and being in Bridgeport does not help your chances of being accepted. It has a very diverse student body. Discipline seems to be a little weak, but most of the kids are pretty well behaved. Academics are strong, although some upper grade students don’t have a science lab or do science fair, which is odd since it is a “Math and Science Academy.” There is a strong parent group that raises funds for technology and activities like a big picnic/carnival at the end of the school year.

  • 199. Levski  |  May 24, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Beaubien RGC 1st graders parents for 2014-2015 – we are starting a Facebook group for incoming families. If you would like to network, get to know each other, please join us!

  • 200. Christina  |  May 24, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    As a current first grade Beaubien RGC mom, welcome!!!

  • 201. cpsparent  |  May 26, 2014 at 1:16 am

    #193. Welcome to the Poe family. Academically, Poe has a wonderful balance of academics and the arts. I wouldn’t describe the curriculum as rigorous, but the children are challenged. They have an adequate amount of homework, maybe 1-2 hours per night–more when they have a big project to do. After 6th grade, almost all of the students end up going to the academic centers.

    The only shortcoming at Poe is the lack of diversity. I am African American and I would have liked my daughter to go to a more racially diverse school, but it is hard to convince people that their child will be safe on the south side, especially given all of the negative news reports. There are a few White children at Poe and from what I can tell, they are treated well. They aren’t bullied or singled out at all.

  • 202. Anonymus Student  |  September 9, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Whitney Young’s Academic Center is a great place. As a former student, now in the high school, I can say that going there was one of the best choices of my life. I went to Beaubien RGS before that and LOATHED THE PLACE. Beaubien was fine for grades 1-3, but 4-6 were terrible. All the good teachers have now left, the city championship Math Team is now subpar and I don’t know if the band or chorus still exist. In my opinion Decatur (my brother went there) is a better choice, though, like Beaubien now, is weak at math.

    The reason why I bring up math is because it is VERY IMPORTANT at Whitney Young. Most Academic Center students are in Trigonometry (some even in Precalculus) by freshman year. Whitney Young is also very diverse, and is in one of the most interesting neighborhoods in the city. The academics are tough, though (expect plenty of homework, but not busywork), and the atmosphere is quite competitive.

    Two notes to parents.
    1) You will lose A LOT of control over your child when they enter the Academic Center. High School and Academic Center operate within the same building and share elective classes. Being so far away from home, they will often be heading around town on the CTA. That’s OK, because they will go with classmates. Just make sure they have some knowledge the grid of the city and the CTA map before they go (the major streets will suffice).
    2) If your child is an exceptional student (the key at Whitney is proficiency in one or more subjects, as this makes the classes manageable), he will do well in the Academic Center. What I mean by proficiency is that any assignment or test in that field comes easily to your child. I am great at math, science, and social studies, so getting all A’s was accomplishable. If your child has multiple academic strengths, I permit you to stress over his or her acceptance. If they do not, THEY WILL SUFFER AT WY. My brother is in the Academic Center. He got high marks on the entrance exam, he is now works for all B’s, because he isn’t naturally proficient at any of his subjects, or at least not naturally proficient enough. Please, please make sure that your child has real strength in at least one or two subjects. Otherwise, they will most likely not meet your grade expectations.

    With all that said (sorry for the lengthy post), send your child to the Whitney Young Academic Center if they have the smarts. Remember, the WYAC is home to the 100 smartest students in the City of Chicago. Which is not to scare you away or say your child isn’t good enough. If school is too easy, the WYAC is for them. If they have any struggle in grammar school, consider somewhere else.

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  • 207. Carrie Both  |  September 29, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    National Teachers Academy (NTA) is also a RGC school in the South Loop area, located at 55 W. Cermak. They began the RGC program in SY 2013-14. They have grades K,1,2 this year. They will have grades K,1,2,3 next year.

    Open houses dates:
    October 22nd, 6-7:30 pm (open house and tour)
    November 13th, 9:30-11:30 am (open house and day tour)
    December 2nd, 9:30-10:30 am (day tour only)

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  • 210. Tammy  |  December 29, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Dear Anonymous Student,
    Thank you for your very insightful and well written comment. My son is a Decatur student like your brother and he will be taking the exam for Whitney AC. He seems to be candidate for “Whitney”but what I am concerned about is the extra help…
    Does Whitney ‘ freely’ help those students who are having trouble in any subjects??
    I am concerned because my son is proficient in some areas but he needs extra support in others and at times is lazy about asking for help.
    I look forward to your honest response.

  • 211. rewing123  |  February 17, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Magnet versus Magnet Cluster. If I’m doing the lottery, is there one that is more likely that I’d get into? Like, if cluster takes from the neighborhood first, does that mean there are way more spots/ chances at a regular magnet school for lottery kids?

  • 212. rewing123  |  February 17, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Can someone explain the selection process for RGC/ Classical? You take the test but then do you apply to only a certain number of those schools? Or are you matched up somehow? Do you list in which order you’d like to attend? Thanks.

  • 213. Tier4Mom  |  March 23, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Can anyone please give me any insight on Pritzker’s gifted program? My child just got accepted in the Kinder class.
    Thanks a million.

  • 214. May  |  March 24, 2015 at 12:21 am

    Congratulations!! What score did your child obtain?

  • 215. May  |  March 24, 2015 at 12:25 am

    I was wondering what the average kinder scores are for Skinner West, NTA, & Pritzker? Were any of your children wait listed?

    Thank you!

  • 216. wadhwakomal  |  March 24, 2015 at 12:25 am

    Tier 1
    Reading/ math 96 & 80

    Offered at Decatur, but its very far from our place. Any chances of getting accepted in skinner north or west? …

    On another note are there other parents who travel 10 miles for kids school?…

  • 217. OIPJEnn  |  March 24, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    My daughter got into Kinder at Pritzker with a score of 146…this wasn’t our first choice school and trying to make a decision if her score is high enough to take a chance that we’ll get into another RGC closer to our home. Would love any insight!

  • 218. Tier4Mom  |  March 26, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    @219 Pritzker is having an open house this Saturday… check out their website.

  • 219. Tier4Mom  |  March 26, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    I meant @217

  • 220. lawmom  |  March 27, 2015 at 9:11 am

    My son is in 8th grade at Pritzker choice program and headed to Northside College Prep along with two other classmates. He rides the bus with younger kids and I have polled them to get insight into the earlier years.

    Prtizker has an amazing music program. Their music teacher recently completed her doctorate at Northwestern. They also have a branch of the Chicago Children’s Choir which meets Friday afternoons for rehearsal and the school puts on two musicals a year and their dance programs are astoundingly good. Spanish is offered at all grades as part of the curriculum. I would describe this school as something like Nettelhorst. It has gone through a lot of changes but the parents of the choice program kids are really driving the bus. They are the fundraisers and are parents on the LSC. I encourage you to attend the LSC meeting to get a feel for the administration. The active parents have worked on improving the school through various projects, including the playground, sound system and library (which was pretty sad when we started in 4th grade, but much better).

    My friends and their children are very happy at Pritzker. I can tell you from 6th to 8th grade the teachers are amazing and really invested in their students. There are lots of after school activities as well. Usually about 10 children leave in 7th grade to attend academic centers. This was great for us because our son only had 20 kids left in the class the last two years. Out of those 20, 7 are going to WY, 3 to Northside, 2 to Payton and 1 or 2 to Jones and Lane and a few opted for Charter/Private schools.

    The school is unique in that it is a neighborhood school, choice school and magnet school so you have a wide range of ethnic and socioeconomic diversity.

    The only hiccup you might have is if your child has behavior problems. The Principal/Vice Principal are pretty strict on good behavior and the school does have detention. High energy boys may have a few transition issues, but after the first year, this wasn’t a problem for us. I think because of the range of kids attending the school, the Principal wants to be sure that kids are safe and respectful at school and I understand this — sometimes it can seem a bit picky though. Let me know if you have any specific questions.

  • 221. Cubase 8 Hack  |  May 17, 2015 at 12:50 pm

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  • 222. help  |  August 20, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Does anyone have any opinion on the Beaubian gifted/options program?

  • 223. cipelino  |  November 20, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Dear NPN I am so with you on this one.. I went on the tour of Skinner North and as much as I loved the teachers, the academics and their emphasis on socio and emotional development of kids (such a good fit for my child) I am so disappointing in the condition of the school. I did not expect much but the building is so run down and air quality is so poor that is hard for me to accept that my son will be spending all day in that environment. I got a chance to see 5 more CPS schools and Skinner North is in the worst condition…

  • 224. KinderDad  |  December 8, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    @217 OIPJEnn: Did you end up staying at Pritzker? How do you like it thus far?

  • 225. McDade 1978  |  April 14, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    I love McDade. Yay for it being #4 and the awesome statistics!! I was one of the original 4th graders who entered the school in 1978 when it first turned Classical. My parents simply wanted me to go to one of the “Classical” schools at the time, and McDade was open. One of my best friends in 4th grade is still one of my best friends. I was looking at the photos online of McDade tonight (feeling nostalgic for some reason) and the kids look energized and happy. In my class photo from 1978, we all looked energized and happy too. It’s a small school. When I went there, there was a family atmosphere, as one parent notes in one of the posts above. Looking at old posts above, I noticed some discussion about race (starting at post 54). In 1978, I was one of three white kids in the entire school. It was a wonderful experience, and I had terrific teachers. And yes, I had to be in situations where I felt “white” and “different.” But you know… I am white. Why not learn this at a young age? But this is how we learn and grow, through experience! I think my experience at McDade (and my experience at all the schools I attended), were pivotal to who I am today. Please don’t shield your child from a wonderful education because they may be “uncomfortable” at certain times. Let them grow and learn from the experience.

  • 226. GiftedMom  |  April 17, 2016 at 7:01 am

    Hi CPSObsessed: I have an idea for an additional resource for the regional gifted centers (and I would be willing to research.) What about publishing a summary of the number/percentage of teachers at the RGC’s who have their gifted certificate/endorsement?

  • 227. GiftedMom  |  April 17, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Here is Keller’s website (the link above is broken.)

  • 228. cpsobsessed  |  April 17, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    @226 – yes, if you’re able to find that information I’d be happy to post it!

  • 229. cpsobsessed  |  April 17, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Thank you, @Giftedmom!

  • 230. URSZULA M  |  June 21, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    My son didnt get it to Edison, but he could choose from that schools. 2nd grade any suggestions?

    Keller RGC (Gr 1)
    Carnegie RGC (Gr K-4)
    Beaubien RGC (Gr 1)
    Beasley RGC (Gr 1-4)
    Nat’l Teachers Academy RGC (Gr 3,4)

    Lenart RGC (Gr 1)
    McDade Classical (Gr K, 4)
    Poe Classical (Gr K,4)

  • 231. vAVM  |  June 23, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Are there any gifted school in northwest suburbs?

  • 232. sanjana  |  September 30, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    hello .. can I have more info. about school
    my zip code 60645. I need school info. near by my home.

  • 233. movingmom  |  October 5, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Hello. We are going to move to Chicago and searching for both elementary and high schools for my two kids (3rd, 8th). It seems CEHS schools are really rigorous and competitive as a high school, but they are not successful to send their smartest kids to top IVY schools. I am only researched the info on websites and papers and
    Only IMSA is doing a correct job with their smart kids. I wonder why…or am I misinterpreting the information? Any misunderstanding?

    I contacted Lab school to inquire about advanced placements for my kids.
    My older one is currently under one year advanced placement in all subject areas (honors 9th grade classes) and more advanced placement for Math based on his Gifted Individual Education Plan (He is highly gifted). The counselor said, “all our kids are smart. He has to repeat 9th curriculum because our curriculum is very high level (college level).”

    My third grader is highly gifted in math. She travels to 6th grade for her math class and her Map score is over 260. Lab school counselor said, she will receive the exactly same curriculum with other 4th graders (next year) because all of their kids are smart and a teacher will differentiate the lesson with other advanced kids. I get it many kids in Chicago are gifted and smart. But even among them, how come the kid who is already learning basics of algebra with x in both sides can repeat fourth grade curriculum?

    I’v heard Lab is one of the most wanna be school in the area, but my impression was quite opposite. Would anybody explain what SEHS and Labschool are like in real for me?

  • 234. SomeonesMom  |  December 8, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    #233 MovingMom. LabSchool is not a rigorous curriculum by definition, it’s a progressive curriculum that teaches the whole child. Most RGCs and Classical SEES schools offer advanced curriculum to highest achievers, in addition to every student always starting off one grade level ahead. Some 2nd graders can go as high as 5th or 6th grade math classes because they’ve mastered prior content, but maybe come back to 2nd grade (which always teaches 3rd grade content) for reading/literacy and all specials (art/PE/language). Some also skip a grade officially because they’re so much ahead of their peers in all subjects. I suggest you contact the principals of SEES with your kids’ specific academic details.

  • 235. Hayt  |  April 6, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Does anyone know anything about Hayt’s comprehensive gifted program? I never heard of it before, till today, and I grew up in the same neighborhood. I heard about it from a park district parent. It’s listed on the school website.

  • 236. Jen  |  April 7, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Sorry I haven’t been able to find this in people’s posts, but it’s probably in here somewhere. Does there exist a list that actually ranks the RGC programs anywhere, and what they base the ranking on? I have found articles ranking the schools in general, but not comparing the RGCs. Just curious. Thanks!

  • 237. Kristine  |  September 22, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Hi! I am a mother of a preschooler who’s currently 3. She will turn 4 on march 2018z What is the name of the test for gifted program here in Chicago? When’s the earliest time to apply for gifted? Thank you!

  • 238. cpsobsessed  |  September 22, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Hi Kristine – the name of the test isn’t revealed like it is in some other cities. It is kind of a standard intelligence test with logic, patterns, etc. There is also a Classical school test that includes questions to measure early reading and math skills (but doesn’t assume the child is reading yet…just knows some early reading skills.)

    You can get information here as soon as they post the new 2017 info. It’ll be around Oct 1.

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