Elementary Enrollment: Fall 2017

This page will be dedicated to ongoing updates about the application process for Fall 2017 (which is for the 2018/2019 school year.)

If your child will be 5 by Sept 1, 2018 you are eligible to apply for Kindergarten for the next school year.

If you child will be 3 by Sept 1, 2018 you are eligible to apply for pre-school for the next school year.

You can request a Personal Identification Number (PIN) starting in October 2017 at the application site, CPS OAE.

The enrollment period runs from October – mid December (exact date TBD.)  You need to submit your application during that time or you will not have a chance to be selected (via testing or lottery) for those schools.   The new OAE site is very well organized and will have all the information you need for applying.

Once the enrollment process starts, you can request your PIN which will be mailed to you within a few days.


From the Parent Dashboard after you have entered your PIN:

If you are applying to Selective Enrollment Elementary or High Schools, or any other high schools with admissions screenings, you will use a TWO-STEP process: (1) Schedule, THEN (2) Apply. BOTH of these steps must be completed by the December deadline or your child will not be considered for the Selective Enrollment schools of your choice.


318 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mayfair Dad  |  September 17, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    As we ponder what new “enhancements” will be announced re: the selective enrollment process, I found this chestnut from December 1978. Joseph P. Hannon – remember him? – is the father of the magnet school movement in Chicago.


  • 2. cps mom  |  September 17, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Wow, thanks. Having grown up in Chicago this makes me reflect upon how far we’ve come. We really take it for granted and to the credit of Chicagoans, continue to strive to move forward. Nothing wrong with having one or two (or more?) schools with top students putting our name on the map and lifting up all the other schools that benefit from the bright students that didn’t quite score at the top. It really boils down to what can we offer to those students at many levels who want and will benefit from a college prep program offered by CPS. Our biggest obstacle is not the minority parents that want their children included in the mix or even the lack of funding but the necessary policing needed due to the utterly horrific crime going on in and around neighborhood schools. The answer is not to get everyone into Northside Prep but to continue all the progress that has been made to the CPS schools and programs. We need more “selective enrollment” schools period. Convert schools if building is not viable. Why not offer tiff incentives to communities that can turn an entire school (not just one gifted section) into a college bound program? I don’t think that we are that far away – it’s already being done – but we do need to agree to keep what we’ve already built in tact.

  • 3. Mayfair Dad  |  September 20, 2010 at 10:29 am

    The agenda for the September 22, 2002 Board of Ed Meeting can be found here:


    No mention of ratifying the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Committee (at least I don’t see it.) Which means:

    – Committee recommendations are still being refined and not ready for public consumption, even though SE application season opens October 1, 2010.

    – Whatever CPS decides to do re: the selective enrollment process is not the purview of the Board of Ed. Can this be possible?

    More CPS secrecy. Drives me nuts.

  • 4. cps mom  |  September 20, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    MF Dad and others

    I spoke to OAE as suggested in the post and recieved info that I just finished typing under the selective enrollment post back further.

    According to OAE
    – Proposal is being made public 9/22 to be voted on in October
    – no “overhaul” just “tweaking”
    – The public will have a chance to comment and impact

    Please take a peak at my other post that has more detailed info. I will be responding here so that all can see.

  • 5. Grace  |  September 23, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I’m really impressed with this solution, a new, bigger Jones paid for by the TIF money. More room for many more students to flourish.

    It’s a great idea to add an academic center there as well, if that is the ultimate decision. Wonderful gift to the city, from Mayor Daley.


  • 6. Maureen  |  September 24, 2010 at 1:08 am

    Just wanted to give you all the heads up that you are able to register on the CPS Application Portal for a PIN number that you’ll need to go through the online enrollment. They send the PIN to you in the mail so it is good to do it now so that you’ll have it by the time the application process opens on Oct. 1.

    Just go to this website to get started: https://apply.cps.edu/default.aspx

  • 7. cps mom  |  September 24, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Grace – I’m not sure if I’m doing this right but I don’t get anything under your link. I would love to see what you have on Jones.

  • 8. went to jones open house last year  |  September 24, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I can’t remember where I read it, but a portion of the seats will be assigned to neighborhood students. When I went to the open house last year, the principal commented that those students would be absorbed into the classes and he couldn’t imagine that they would be on a different track. So, for those of you freaking out about your little darlings at LPHS, you may want to check out the demographics around Jones.

  • 9. cps mom  |  September 24, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    That rumor is completely false. My son goes to Jones and there are no plans for a neighborhood program. They have plans to expand the selective enrollment school waiting on $$$.

  • 10. Grace  |  September 25, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    I found this on PURE’s site, and then got the story at the Sun Times.

    CPS budgets 111 million bucks for new selective HS

    Jones College PrepToday, the Sun-Times reports on CPS’s plan to spend $111 million on a new school building for the South Loop selective enrollment high school, Jones College Prep. Jones already has a building, which CPS has already spent millions to upgrade.

  • 11. cps mom  |  September 27, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Grace – thanks for the clarification. The article is interesting also the first that talks about new building. There has been an ongoing promise of an addition that has been put on hold due to funding. A second building – interesting – I will find out more about this at the next LSC meeting.

  • 12. cps mom  |  September 27, 2010 at 8:00 am

    And now for a little comic relief while we keep waiting to hear from the CPS Gurus


  • 13. from suntimes  |  September 27, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    “CPS spokeswoman Monique Bond said current plans call for the new Jones to house 900 “selected enrollment” students and 300 “neighborhood” ones, although she could not explain how local kids would be admitted.”

  • 14. Mayfair Dad  |  September 27, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    # 13 sounds plausible to me.

    Edison Regional Gifted Center shares the current Albany Park campus with Albany Park Multicultural Academy, a junior high school for neighborhood 6 – 8 graders from Hibbard Elementary(across the street).

    When Ogden International took over the Carpenter Elementary building as the site of the new junior high + high school, special arrangements were made to enroll Carpenter 6 – 8 graders into the Ogden program. Can’t tell you how many, but I know this was done to “keep the peace” in the neighborhood. So far it has worked.

    These neighborhood concessions are probably more prevalent than we think. And if neighborhood TIF money is building the facility, you better believe the alderman is twisting somebody’s arm to get sweeteners for the local kids. Makes sense.

  • 15. cps mom  |  September 27, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Maybe a concession was made in order to get the money that they’ve been promised since 2004. I like the idea of an academic center feeding into Jones. This should be interesting.

  • 16. cpsobsessed  |  September 27, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    @9 CPS mom, how is the homework at Jones? I just emailed with a friend who’s daughter started there and is reporting 5 hours of homework a night! (She is dyslexic and strives for straight A’s – man that is a motived child.) But heck, even if it is 3 hours a night, that seems like a lot!

  • 17. cpsobsessed  |  September 27, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    That Huffington Post article is funny. And sad!
    I might post it later. It raises some good points.
    I just found out recently on NPN that Huberman and his partner have a 1 year old child. I didn’t realize he had kids!

  • 18. from suntimes  |  September 27, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    I would think that if TIF money is being used to help build the school, seats will be available from the neighborhood. The principal did not say they would share space–rather, the neighborhood students would be absorbed into Jones.

  • 19. cps mom  |  September 28, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Regarding homework at Jones. There is a minimum 3 hours and it takes my son longer to do it also. Basically an all night deal. 7 classes (1 is PE and 1 is a fine art). We’re used to it because our grammar school had a tough homework load. I think, however, that it’s pretty manageable so far although the projects have not kicked in yet and we have been warned. The interesting thing is that the kids are very serious and hang out at the Harold Washington library. They have their own study group going and get it done. My son popped in on a Saturday and there were a number of students that he knew at the library. At this point I thought – Wow, this is the place for us. I also checked for a pod that might have been placed under his bed when I wasn’t looking.

  • 20. cpsobsessed  |  September 28, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Wow, 3 hours a night still seems like a lot. Especially when there is Facebook to look at. lol.
    I love the pod idea. I would be freaking out as well.

  • 21. Grace  |  October 4, 2010 at 9:28 am

    There was an earlier post on another but related topic that said the “word on the street” regarding SE HS admissions requirements will reduce the share of students admitted on merit to 30% from 40%.

    At WP, the current freshman class is 164 students; 40% of whom (about 66) were accepted on merit, and those kids had scores of between 894 and 900, with a median of 898. (First round, I believe.)

    If the merit students’ share is reduced to 30%, only 49 students out of 164 would be admitted, and I would guess the range will shrink to 898-900.

    If you shrink the share of merit students and at the same time lower the cut-off score, you can create a big shift in student population.

    A more reasoned approach would be for CPS to lower the cut-off score but leave the merit percentage at 40%, getting more tier 1 and 2 students at the top schools without squeezing the merit portion of admissions into the stratosphere.

    Or they could use real income data for those students who are eligible, not every applicant, to eliminate the unfairness of some neighborhood addresses. Just wondering what others think.

  • 22. Mayfair Dad  |  October 4, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Hi Grace:

    A few of us have been following the anticipated Blue Ribbon Commission announcement closely, and your post raises a few interesting questions.

    Assuming CPS was disappointed with the composition of last year’s incoming freshmen at top SE high schools, wouldn’t lowering the pure merit component release more seats to be divvied up across the four tiers, yielding more minority students from the lower tiers?

    Frankly, I prefer this method of social engineering over what we saw with the Fortunate 100.

    Re: pure merit seats, I thought the “bar” was set by the actual point totals of the kids applying to the school, and not arbitrarily set by school administrators. Am I misinformed?

    Lastly, the lack of a harmonized grading scale is becoming a larger and larger issue as people wake up to the fact certain schools have been gaming the system (new and old) for years. Given the stakes involved, CPS must determine a consistent numeric scale and stick with it.

    If the Blue Ribbon Commission decides to tinker, in my mind this is an easy – and necessary – fix.

  • 23. cpsobsessed  |  October 4, 2010 at 10:34 am

    @MFD – how can we follow the Blue Ribbon Committee’s work, other than seeing what transpires in the board meetings? I’ve never been to a board meeting, but I’m assuming they’re not going to stand up and read through the list? I imagine it will be given to someone on the board to review?

    I feel like we won’t know the final determination until the new criteria is announced – and we may not even know what they recommend.

    What do you think?

  • 24. Mayfair Dad  |  October 4, 2010 at 11:06 am

    My fear is the list of recommendations will be introduced and confirmed at the next Board of Ed meeting without public comment. The poorly attended public hearings, held with little fanfare during the height of summer vacation, will serve to satisfy the public input requirement of the Open Meetings Act.

    I’ve already asked Alexander Russo at District299 to work his network of sources inside CPS to obtain and publish an advance copy. If anyone else has concrete knowledge – and not a conspiracy theory – please post what you have. Even minor fine-tunings of the current process will have far reaching implications for thousands of CPS families.

  • 25. cps mom  |  October 4, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    MD – according to the CPS forums last year, the schools were going to have the ability to set their own individual cut off point allowing them to select students scoring above that level regardless of tier. Initially they said that unused seats from any given tier would be divided up equally to the remaining tiers. It was apparent from the little data that was released that NSP and Lindblum stopped admissions at a given level. The reasoning given by CPS was that the schools needed to maintain their scholastic level. Of course that was directly contradicted by their move of assigning 100 seats.

  • 26. cps Mom  |  October 7, 2010 at 8:12 am

    As an update to an earlier comment, Jones is now the closest that they have been to getting their money with city approval but have still not received it. Since they were getting TIFF money, it was subject to alderman approval resulting in neighborhood seats which will not be open enrollment. The hope is for the existing building to become a 7th/8th grade. What an opportunity for the school and the neighborhood.

  • 27. Heather  |  October 16, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    My 5 year son and I are moving back to Chicago in June 2011. Do I have a ability to apply for CPS magnet/lottery school? Please note that my son’s father owns an apartment in the city of Chicago. Also, I just started a new job in city of chicago. Does any of that help me. Please advise. Thank you

  • 28. cps Mom  |  October 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Yes you can apply as long as you are a resident of Chicago by the time your son starts school. I assume you will need a Chicago address for the application. At a magnet school you would have better odds if you live within 1.5 miles of the school – so in a list of say 10 magnet schools your odds would change from school to school depending on location. An area such as Lincoln Park would have more magnet schools than other areas North or South. A gifted or classical school would accept applicants based upon test scores. And then some neighborhood schools have special programs and take students outside of their neighborhood if there are openings. On this site at the top there is some very useful info on gifted/classical schools. Also, check out the OAE website for information on magnets and selective enrollment schools. There is an online application that everyone is talking about in another thread on this site. And the last thing I’ll say is visit and research schools and apply to many. I have also heard that many neighborhood schools are worth investigating and attending (this is really the last thing)

  • 29. Bevdad  |  October 20, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Any idea what the scores were for those sixth graders who took academic center exams? I can only find the scores for the high schools … We see WY at about 970, NSP at 982, etc. What about seventh grade academic centers?

  • 30. Steve Jones  |  October 21, 2010 at 9:49 am

    I don’t know if folks saw this, but OAE recently posted a point calculation tool on its web site. You put in your kid’s 7th grade standardized test scores, 7th grade grades, and your census tract Tier, and then the tool purports to tell you the range you child will need on the the 8th grade SE test to get into the various SE high schools. It’s all based on last year’s data.

    Here’s last year’s data:


    And here’s the point calculation tool:


    All of this further suggests to me that CPS will only be tweaking last year’s admission system, not overhauling it in a significant way.

  • 31. cps Mom  |  October 21, 2010 at 10:11 am

    I tried it using all our actual results and it worked perfectly for 1st round offers.

  • 32. cpsobsessed  |  October 21, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Thanks Steve Jones!

    Am I doing something wrong or am I just in denial?
    If I enter 99% for Reading and Math tests + 4 A’s + Tier 3….
    I just get 600 points, which is well below and minimum cutoffs.


  • 33. cpsobsessed  |  October 21, 2010 at 10:32 am

    OK, I get it.. that doesn’t include the Admissions Test score, right? So it tells me what my child would need to score on the admissions test. Phew, I can close the real estate listings for Evanston……

  • 34. adad  |  October 22, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    I get email updates from my alderman and this quote below was part of the latest update. Schulter is looking for thoughts and ideas, I say let’s give them to him! Granted my child is in 1st grade but maybe if we start now Amundsen, Mather, etc. might improve by 2018!

    “Dear Neighbors,

    Yesterday, I was pleased to join a few of my colleagues in the City Council along with community leaders for the “Principal for a Day” program at Lakeview High School. As an alumni of Lakeview High School, it is always fun to visit the school and to interact with the students.

    As infrastructure and program improvements continue with many of our elementary schools, I feel that it is equally important to work on improving our high schools to ensure that a quality education can be provided for all ages of 47th Ward students. I am currently working with the Chicago Public Schools to look toward expanded opportunities for improving our local high schools. I would love to hear your thoughts on ways we can make our local public high schools better. If you are interested in sharing your thoughts or concerns, please email me at ward47@cityofchicago.org.

    Alderman Schulter

  • 35. Grace  |  October 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Has anyone seen the new admissions policy for magnet and selective schools?

    OAE’s Ms. Hansberry said they would be released in early October, allowing the public to review and comment at http://www.cpsoae.org. before the Oct 27 Board of Ed meeting.

    OAE also said once the Board adopts the policy, it will be posted at http://www.cps.edu. Then the CEO will issue implementation guidelines. A draft of the guidelines will be posted on http://www.cpsoae.org for public comment, and a final version of the guidelines will be posted upon adoption.

  • 36. cps Mom  |  October 24, 2010 at 11:36 am

    #34 dad – I like this and have responded. Attached below are my comments

    Hello Mr. Schulter

    Your interest in Lake View High is well founded so I am responding to your challenge to fix CPS high schools. There are an abundance of Chicago residents yearning for good rigorous programs at the high school level that will challenge their children and prepare them for college and tech schools. Having grown up in the city and attended public school in the 60’s during a time a racial tension and lower standards of education the classic solution has always been to leave for the suburbs or seek private education. Many factors now attribute to a trend of people choosing to remain in the city. The economy and housing values is only one aspect. Many free thinking families now long for the lifestyle and diversity offered in an urban setting and in particular in Chicago. You have a captive audience that CPS and the city of Chicago can either embrace or turn away with political games and patronization of certain individuals or groups.

    As a parent of a child who attended a wonderful magnet program and is now in an excellent selective enrollment school, we consider ourselves very lucky indeed. We have been fortunate enough to see the best of CPS and there is nothing that I’d like better than to see this working formula spread throughout the system for all. At a recent CPS fundraiser I was strongly impacted by a short speech by the alderman indicating that other high schools are watching the success of schools such as Jones, Lane and others and know that these possibilities exist for them as well. This made me reconsider my probably outdated thinking that a large percentage of children do not want to be in school or have the desire to learn. As you mentioned, the elementary grades now carry vast options for everyone and this now amazingly even includes the regular neighborhood school. The elementary schools have raised the bar and the development of the high school is now past due. Lake View is probably the closest neighborhood school to achieving success at the neighborhood level. The rest are in critical condition. Where are all the kids who worked so hard to bring up the elementary schools going to go?

    As I see it, the elements that make up a successful school are safety, curriculum and school life – in that order.

    First and foremost any parent that has a choice will not send their child to a school where they will be either victimized or influenced by gangs, violence, bullying, or drugs. By the age of 14, children are well able to choose their path. They need to make the right choice. There needs to be zero tolerance for this behavior (as I know there is already) but it needs to be enforced by separating this destructive element from the rest of the student population. I would even say separated from the physical building. Along these lines, a student consistently requiring discipline needs to be separated from the class. An interesting observation that my son had about his class was that all the teacher had to do was say “stop talking” to the class only once. The focus was immediately turned to learning because they know they are lucky to be in the program and that there is a waiting list a mile long of students that would gladly take their place. If we instill this type of pride in the school and the program, I believe that serious discipline problems will begin to vanish on their own,

    The curriculum needs to be rich and appropriate for many levels. I think that Lane Tech is a prime example of a large school with many tracks ranging from Honors level to technical trade. There are schools within the school encouraging kids to find their niche. A photocopy of their plan would work well at any neighborhood school.

    School life – Is there enough clubs, sports and activities to interest and occupy everyone? Is there a library or culture club available after school for studies and meetings? Can we count on the school to keep kids occupied between 3 and 6 – keeping them off the street corners and hanging at the park or elsewhere. Do the kids have fun and enjoy their high school years or are they just doing their time?

    I could really go on and on about rethinking teacher compensation and eliminating busing and putting those resources into shuttling students in difficult neighborhoods. How about rerouting some CTA buses so that they pick up and drop off right in front of the schools?

  • 37. Mayfair Dad  |  October 28, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Hey Everybody:

    Go to http://www.cpsoae.org, and using the “contact us” app, demand that CPS make the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Committee public – this was promised to us. If enough parents raise a stink, we might actually get to review them before we make ill-informed decisions about our kids’ education.

    Let’s raise a stink!

  • 38. Mayfair Dad  |  November 4, 2010 at 12:42 pm


    From the CPS website:

    Blue Ribbon Commission recommendations incorporated into revisions to one-year policy

    November 4, 2010

    Chicago Public Schools today released the Blue Ribbon Commission report on the Selective Enrollment and Magnet School Admission policy which includes several key changes in the one-year policy adopted by the District last year.

    Key changes in the new proposed policy include:

    Sibling preference for non-entry grades for magnet schools.

    Twins/triplets/multiples applications linked together for magnet schools.

    Increasing the number of Selective Enrollment High School (SEHS) choices to six.

    Including a sixth variable in socioeconomic tier score calculation — average attendance area school performance

    Modifying the selection process for selective schools (both SEHS and Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools) to 30 percent rank order, and 70 percent tier.

    The Blue Ribbon Commission was charged with reviewing the one-year policy and making recommendations for any revisions to the policy. In July and August, the BRC convened three public forums to take public comment in addition to evaluating the effect of different policy changes on the system.

    “When we implemented the one-year policy, we said we would review the results and ask the Blue Ribbon Commission to recommend any revisions they felt would make it more effective and representative of the diversity of the District,” said CPS Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman. “We appreciate the time, effort and expertise shown by members of the commission and look forward to presenting these changes to our Board.”

    Members of the Blue Ribbon Commission include:

    Alderman Latasha Thomas,17th Ward, and Education Committee chairman
    Alderman Freddrenna Lyle, 6th Ward
    Miguel Del Valle, city clerk
    Anna Alvarado, principal of Hawthorne Elementary
    Alan Mather, principal of Lindblom Math & Science Academy
    Cynthia Flowers, Black Star Community PTA
    Lisa Scruggs Esq. Jenner &Block
    Bertha Magana, JD, Latino Education Alliance
    Dr. Mary Davidson, PhD, retired

    The one-year policy under evaluation, which used socio-economic variables instead of race as a factor in admissions, was established after a federal court judge vacated a longstanding desegregation consent decree last fall.

    Under the one-year policy, approximately 40 percent of those admitted to Selective Enrollment High Schools are drawn from applicants based on their point ranking drawn from such criteria as test scores and grades; the remaining admissions are based on point ranking within four socio-economic groups drawn from updated U.S. Census tract data.

    SEHS principals also were given the latitude to admit up to 5 percent of their incoming classes through discretion, with those picks subject to a review process.

    Magnet school students were classified into one of three groups: sibling, proximity or general. If space was available, all siblings at the entry level were admitted. Up to 40 percent of the remaining seats were set aside for students within the proximity of each school, and the remaining seats were divided into four equal socio-economic diversity groups. Lotteries were then held for each group of seats.

    Huberman is to present the BRC’s findings and the new proposed policy to the Chicago Board of Education at its monthly meeting tomorrow. In all areas where the BRC presented a consensus recommendation, CPS incorporated that recommendation into the new policy.

    The Board will be asked to vote on this proposed policy at the November 17th Board meeting. The full BRC report and the proposed new policy can be found on the Office of Academic Enhancement’s website.

  • 39. Grace  |  November 4, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    They cut the number of seats given to s.e. high school students based on rank to 30% — this is a big drop.

  • 40. Grace  |  November 4, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    There are about 3,500 seats. Why would CPS take 10% of the top kids — 300 to 350 — and eliminate them from the district?

  • 41. Jeanine  |  January 3, 2011 at 11:30 am

    I am very new to this process and started to look on line at schools for my 4 year old pre-schooler but I’m seeing that the deadline for applications for the fall 2011-2012 school year happned on Dec 17, 2010. What am I am to do???? I am looking for schools in Hyde Park area since it is close to home. The other concern I have, friends tell me to have my daughter tested for the “gifted” programs but I do not even know where to being. I was raised in a suburb and this whole process is very overwhleming and confusing. Please any assistance would be great.

    At a loss and nervous, Jeanine

  • 42. Grace  |  January 3, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Hi Jeanine,
    I hope you won’t be too worried. If your child will be 5 by Sept 1, 2011, it seems that you may have missed the deadline for kindergarten for this coming fall at a selective school. But there is always first grade.

    Have you checked out the CPS web site, office of academic enhancement (oae)? It can’t hurt to call and ask. Your local public school will also have the Options for Knowledge book, if you don’t have one.

    Carnegie and Lenart gifted schools are nearest to you in Hyde Park and you might want to visit them. Both have kindergartens. It’s a little farther, but you might consider the South Loop gifted school and Keller gifted, too. Keller’s entry grade is first grade.

    Have you visited your neighborhood school to see its kindergarten? I hear Lenart gifted, for example, emphasizes academics in its full-day kindergarten, which is essentially a first-grade curriculum. Also, I’ve heard great things about CPS’ virtual home school program, which you might want to look into. A neighbor of mine raves about it for her 4th grader.
    And there are classical schools to consider, too.
    Alll the best.


  • 43. Jeanine  |  January 3, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Hello Grace,
    I miss spoke in my beginning statement possibly my daughter is going to be 4 years old at the end of October so I am looking for a pre-school right now. Are the option you mentioned above still possible? I have gone to the CPS website and to be honest I find it a bit hard to navigate and find applications. I also go direct to school sites for applications and again it is quite difficult to find applications. I do not feel that South Loop is very far and would be quite happy for that location as well since i work right in the loop. As far as kindergarden is concerned I am interested in full-day establishment and later looking for a year-round school.

    Thank you for for the quick feedback. This site was highlly recommended to me by a close freind.


  • 44. grace  |  January 4, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    The web site is confusing at times. You can always call CPS and ask to speak with someone in early childhood education, and ask for a list of preschools near you. They can no doubt direct you to the right part of the web site, if that information is online.

    Also, I heard that you can get the options for knowledge book from any public library and from any alderman’s office, if there are none at your local school left.
    Good luck.

  • 45. Christian  |  February 1, 2011 at 5:43 am

    I live in the South Loop area and will be considering South Loop School (SLS), in the near future. I love what I have read and heard about the school; Gifted Progam, Neighborhood Component, After School Program, Summer Day Camp Program (perfect for working parents) and a Fine Arts Program. Plus the school has excellent test scores and I love the diversity! However, I am wondering about their issue with overcrowding, as with most CPS schools. Recently, I read that Jones College Prep will be getting a new facility in the South Loop area. Which would leave the old Jones empty. Do anyone know if SLS would consider, moving its upper grades (5-8) into the old Jones? That would leave the lower grades in the current SLS main building, solving the school overcrowding issue.

  • 46. Grace  |  February 1, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Imho, Christian, you could go to Jones College Prep web site and find out when the next LSC meeting will be. You can attend and ask your question there. Would be a good place to find out any details. Alternatively, you can call up your alderman, who is also working with CPS on the new Jones, and ask him to keep you informed. It’s always a good thing to observe classroooms, too.

  • 47. Christian  |  February 1, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Additionally, since Jones College Prep will be adding a neighborhood component to their college prep program, will they start offering regular courses, as well as, honors and advanced placement?

  • 48. LIsa  |  May 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Does anyone have info about twins getting into the same school for preK or Kindergarten (not our neighborhood school but a magnet one hopefully) ? If one gets in does the other one get in? Do I have to send in applications for both of them separately and see what happens? How does that work for twins?

  • 49. Hilda  |  August 22, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    I have a son who will start 8th grade this year and I am searching for a good HS for him to attend next year. He is currently in the Catholic system, but I would like to send him to a public HS. It really anger me that the public schools are so disappointing and I have to find schools that are miles away. I know he has to take a entrance test fof the SEC schools. I need a bit of help about the process. Can anyone give me some advice where I begin.

  • 50. Grace  |  August 22, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Hi HIlda,
    Lots of folks will chime in with advice. You might go to the Home Page here, and read up on an upcoming seminar on this very topic!

  • 51. Selina  |  August 27, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    Hi! Both my kids were accepted to Franklin Fine Arts for 2011-12. Perfect! Until, yesterday, I received a call from Pritzker. They accepted my 10yr old into their gifted program. It seems Franklin is an amazing school, but it doesn’t offer a gifted program. Not sure which is the best choice now. Wondering if the gifted program at Pritzker (which seems to be a lower rated CPS school based on Chicago Magazine report) is a better choice for my son than Franklin. There aren’t many gifted programs and if Pritzker’s gifted program is in fact different than a standard program, like Franklin’s, then can I really compare them in rankings? Franklin ranks 17 and Pritzker doesn’t even show up on their top 30 in Chicago. Not sure if this has to do with them also being a magnet cluster school and that washing out the gifted programs information. If anyone can shed any light on this , I sure would appreciate it.

  • 52. grace  |  August 28, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Selina,
    You may have already done this, but I would do a compare and contrast.

    –Start with the test scores for the 3rd, 5th and 8th grades.
    –Find the schools’ SIPAAA and compare them.
    –Check out their web sites. Look for strong parent involvement.
    Look for parent groups, nice-to-haves likes clubs and sports for the kids and after-school programs.
    –If you have time, check out an LSC meeting.
    –Check out the Great Schools site to look for parent comments, which might help somewhat.

    Then I would feel I was prepared to go to speak with the principals at each school, look around, ask your questions and jot down the answers.

    General impression?
    Science lab?
    Foreign Language lab?
    How often do they have PE?
    Recess? Daily, rain or shine?
    After-school program?
    Music / Art?
    ***Teacher qualifications, degrees, experience and National Board Certified?
    Include specific curriculum issues, such as is Pritzker accelerated and by how many years?
    Homework policy?
    What textbooks do they use for math, reading, social studies, science?
    What is the primary focus of the school, sometimes it’s language arts, sometimes it’s math.

    Hopefully, someone on this blog has direct experience with these 2 schools and could be a really big help.
    Best of luck

  • 53. cpsobsessed  |  August 28, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Great input on evaluating schools, grace. I think I’ll add that to the main abc’s of cps page if you don’t mind!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 54. Hawthorne mom  |  August 28, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Also, how far is the commute for you from both and are you eligible for the bus? A 20 minute commute versus a 45 minute commute makes a difference.

  • 55. Lorie Lovingood  |  September 26, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    What is gonna happen when this extended day creates more smart kids with no place to go for highschool? There are children being turned away from college prep schools because they don’t have enough seats. I have five children the pressure is way up there. I can’t afford private schools for all of them. My oldest is at Jones this year but next yr I will have an eighth grader and the year after that and the year after that. Hubbie works for the city so I can’t just move like others do when high school comes around.

  • 56. mom2  |  September 27, 2011 at 10:16 am

    We all agree with your concerns about not having enough seats at the SE high schools (or at least the ones in locations considered either safe or not too far from home to be a ridiculous commute. At this point, it seems CPS wants parents to focus on improving their neighborhood high schools by adding programs, options such as IB or STEM or double honors rather than them adding any more SE schools. I know they are trying to do this with Lakeview. We have talked at length about the need for a “Sky High” somewhere central such as downtown but near facilities for sports (maybe combined with UIC or something) where they could have another large high school like Lane. I haven’t heard anyone from CPS or the office of academic enhancement agree that this is needed. They are trying to convince parents to send their kids to SE high schools that would require 2 hours of commuting each day. No thank you.

  • 57. Grace  |  September 27, 2011 at 10:28 am

    It’s a problem throughout the city. But take a look at the new Eric Solorio Academy h.s. at 5400 S. St. Louis. It is so beautiful! Could give us hope?

    From the Chicago Public Building Commission web site.

    “It is part of a “linear” campus along St. Louis Avenue that includes the K through 5 Sandoval School across 55th Street and the 6th through 8th grade Hernandez School for the Advancement of the Sciences.

    “Solorio contains more than 200,000 square feet and includes science, computer, visual and performing arts classrooms, as well as a library, a gymnasium, a swimming pool and playing fields and tennis courts. It is designed for community use on evenings and weekends, with independent entrances for both the library and the athletic wing.

    The building, which cost about $97 million, is targeted to achieve “Silver” level certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design schools’ rating system, and includes a green roof covering 40 percent of the building.

    “Most important, it’s a neighborhood school. In addition to the improved learning environment, it provides a new anchor for the Gage Park community,” Daley said.”

  • 58. RL Julia  |  September 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Since word has it that the office of academic enhancement is being reorganized or some such, I think the most feasible model is to create high performing high schools out of the exisiting high school – a la Lakeview and probably any number of other schools that I haven’t heard about. I daresay, there are schools with the space and probably with plenty talented teachers, its really just organizing a band of parents, community members etc… to fight the good fight – and commit to sending their kids to the school.

    As someone who is going through the high school application process this fall, I am fully prepared to send my son to our local neighbnorhood high school (Schurz) if he doesn’t get in elsewhere – he may be disappointed but he will be just fine. I am pretty sure he’ll learn something/enough to get him to college where ever he lands. You know – the old Casey Kasem adage of keeping your feet on the ground while reaching for the stars…

  • 59. CPSDepressed  |  September 27, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I wish I shared your optimism, RL. Every time I think make peace with the idea of Lake View, something comes along to change it. For example, a lot of the parents of graduating 8th graders at my son’s school spent the summer scrambling to get their kids into charter high schools rather than send them to Lake View. If that’s the case, where’s this vanguard of parents who are going to raise money and turn it around?

    I’m off to order high school admissions test prep books.

  • 60. mom2  |  September 27, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    I think many parents would be willing to have your approach if they could feel certain that their child would be safe, challenged, with quality friends and prepared for college. Hard to convince them of this with the issue some schools have with gangs, poor ACT scores, etc. Sort of a chicken and egg thing.

  • 61. RL Julia  |  September 28, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    As a graduate of a supremely mediocre high school (which I found out just disbanded their student council over some such – check this out if you are into reading about educational dysfunction in other states-http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/cross_student_council_disbanded/ ) – a high school which I will add, I actively had to petition pretty much my entire extended family (and write an essay to my mom) in order to attend -allowing me to leave the second or third oldest private school in the country (preppy-day school galore), I can assure you that there are great and terrible people in every school. The kids at the private school(s) were really no better or worse than the ones at the public school(s) – if anything the real creeps might have been more dangerous because they had access to so much more (power, money) and were more likely to feel entitled in whatever horrific opinion had taken their fancy at the moment. For the record in both of the private schools I attended as a kid there were TONS more drugs than in any public school (A trend I have noticed holds true for the SEHS’s as well).

    I graduated before gangs were a huge issue in my town but out of a class of 252 kids (1/7th of whom had children themselves -making our prom theme of “we’re going all the way” seem a little redundant to me) I was one of about 20 who actually went to a four year college. On the other hand, I had a kick ass high school rank…. I ended up at college because my parents had that expectation and as a statistical anomoly at school, I got plenty of attention and recognition for my efforts. This experience has only been replicated for my kids at their neighborhood school – where my son at least would say that he received a higher level of instruction and attention than at the AC he currently attends – where pretty much everyone is exactly like him.

  • 62. mom2  |  September 28, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Now that I have a child in a SE high school, I can agree with you about drugs. We know kids at several SE high schools and suburban high schools. The smarter and more affluent the child, the more drugs seem to be around.
    I also agree that bad or mean kids can be found anywhere.
    However, what doesn’t seem to be around the SE high schools are kids with huge behavior issues – kids that believe it is fine not to do their homework, or to totally disrupt class, kids that carry guns or participate in gang activity or think it is just the best thing when they have a baby while in high school. Kids at these schools are so busy with sports, clubs and tons of homework, there just isn’t time for outside trouble. I’m sure there are exceptions at every school, but that is not the trend for the majority of students or at least not that we have seen (and hope never to see).

  • 63. Grace  |  September 29, 2011 at 10:20 am

    RLJ — sounds like you had an interesting high school experience.

    Wanting to know something about the minds of high schoolers, I hope you don’t mind if I ask … why, did your 14- or 15-year-old self want so badly to leave a private New England prep school?

    At that age, I was sitting and staring out of the window, bored out of my mind in a seriously mediocre Catholic high school. I dreamed of the leafy campus of a private prep school, like I dreamed of a nice neighborhood with pretty homes.

  • 64. Grace  |  September 29, 2011 at 10:22 am

    mom2 — wondering if you have heard of risky behavior at any SE school dances, and if you have shared your concerns with the admin?

  • 65. mom2  |  September 29, 2011 at 10:43 am

    No, I haven’t heard of any risky behavior within the schools at all (SE or suburban) – dances or otherwise. Only things I have heard have been at parties or elsewhere outside of school. I think the schools do a pretty good job within their walls of keeping things safe.

  • 66. cpsobsessed  |  September 29, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Hm, I better start an SE 2011 thread, huh?
    I did have my talk recently with the SE principal (which of course I still need to write up) and at their particular school there is virtually no “risky” behavior. The occasional kid smoking pot behind the school, but nothing major.

  • 67. RL Julia  |  September 29, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Why would the administration of any school admit to anyone that there might be drug in the school? Also they might not know about them.

  • 68. mom2  |  September 29, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Grace and RL Julia, just to clarify my comments – my family has seen NO evidence what so ever of any drug issues at/in any SE school or any other “risky behavior” issues that would make me want to share “concerns” with the admin. I was referring to some knowledge of pot at some parties or other places away from the school (but brought by or used by smart/affluent SE students). That’s it. That is actually why I still feel so strongly in these SE schools – because while there are always exceptions everywhere, they do appear to be better than other CPS high schools in terms of the behavior, morals and attitudes of the kids – especially while they are in school.

  • 69. CPSDepressed  |  September 29, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    The administration may not know about drugs (although I agree, every school has them. Probably even the Opus Dei high schools have them.) My safety questions are more basic: Will my kid get jumped in the hallway? Is it safe to use the bathrooms? Are there doors on the bathroom stalls? Is there a visible gang presence inside the school?

    I know that weird stuff happens everywhere, but I’m trying to play the percentages. Where is my child most likely to be safe and get prepared to do college-level work? That doesn’t seem like much to ask, but in CPS, it is.

  • 70. RL Julia  |  September 29, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Grace – good question as to why did I want to leave the hallowed grounds of prep-dom. I can’t say that my answers were super convincing or valid but they are what they are. I didn’t like the private prep school because I found it to be exclusive. There were kids from all over the greater urban area at the school but they were all same (in my mind) in that they were (mostly) all upper middle class, white and extraordinarily entitled. It drove me nuts to take the bus through some awful neighborhood where I knew there were kids who were just as smart but who couldn’t afford the school or whose families were not hooked into the system that gets one admitted to private schools or whose families were simply not organized enough.

    Additionally, I really didn’t feel like I fit the mold – my family wasn’t rich enough, organized enough, hooked in enough either. It was a major undertaking for my mom get the tuition money for this school something that also drove me nuts (given my family’s dynamics, my getting financial aid was pretty much out of the question – it really would have only made things worse anyway). The school also was really rule-centric and heavy on the athletics (everyone played three sports a year and we had gym 2-2.5 hours a day)- if you were on a team you practiced after school (which ended at 4:30) which was problematic since I lived across town and had no way of getting home since my mom worked. So I guess in the end, I left for mostly social reasons – I didn’t feel like I was like the other kids, I didn’t feel like I had any friends there and I did feel a lot like I was wasting my family’s money and my teacher’s time by taking up space there.

    The education was excellent (and so was all that gym – it turns out) and the teachers were really kind and generally really good. A lot of kids there were miserable -but most of them had the maturity to value the education they were getting over the social misery of the place (not me). In the end, I was much better at charting my own path and doing things the hard way. I was really lucky that my mom understood all this and let me leave. Then again, as the relative of a lot of really smart people who thought/think school was a complete waste of their time she probably didn’t find my rhetoric too surprising.

  • 71. RL Julia  |  September 29, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    I am happy to hear that drugs don’t seem to be a problem.

    One thing to note is that the less connected the child or family, the more likely the public safety net is used to solve a problem and the more public the problem then becomes and hence awareness is heightened.

    Case Study: A friend of mine (white, financially comfortable, northsider) had a child going to an SEHS (now happily successful in college btw) who was a major pot smoker and from what I could tell a bit of a dealer. If said child was caught with pot you had better believe that his lawyer mother/neighbors etc… would have been all over it, kept it below the radar, out of the school etc… and had the wherewithal to plead and get community service/the least/most appropriate punishment (I am not a lawyer so I don’t know what the penalties etc…) and to get the record expunged blah, blah, blah. Ditto ANY other youthful high jinxs these kids get into. OK – so now everyone play that scenario again except for this time use a lower income kid at a neighborhood high school. Does it play out the same way in your mind? Maybe I am stereotyping here (please someone prove me wrong!) but it doesn’t in mine. OK now do it again except this time instead of drugs its a kid who is impulsive and has anger management issues, and now do it for a girl who gets pregnant.

    So how does it look? Are the kids really fundamentally that different or is it just that in one school the parents can take care of the issue in a satisfactory (and private!) manner and in the other…not so much. So now you have one school with all these problems (because the school is the case manager and there is less privacy) and one school where these problems don’t exist because… they just don’t.

  • 72. Grace  |  September 29, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Fascinating story, and perfectly understandable, thanks for sharing it. There is a biographical novel by a young woman from Indiana who went to Exeter (I think) and who talks of her misery there. Title is “Prep.” Parts of it are too much for a youngster, I think, but I found it interesting to see the social and academic pressures.On the same theme, have you read “I am Charlotte Simmons” by Tom Wolfe? How tough things are for kids now.

  • 73. Grace  |  September 29, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    RLJ — you are right about how some get their mistakes forgiven and others bear harsh consequences. Money is a great insulator from life’s difficulties. And the classes will be more widely separated b/c of our economic and educational policies.

  • 74. James  |  October 3, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Has anyone else noticed that the admission process for high school IB Programs has changed this year? There is now a standard IB application you get from OAE, which lists all the IB Programs (including the flagship one at Lincoln Park High School). You then select which IB programs you want to apply to and return your application to OAE, not to the individual schools as in years past. The application says that some schools “may require an additional scored assessment,” but it contains no further details. It also says that some schools may need an interview and that OAE, not the school, will contact you about that.

    Interesting change. This had been a sort of parallel admissions process that was independent of OAE. In prior years, for example, LPHS IB had its own test and its own interview process, both of which were administered by the high school, not by OAE. Now all IB applications and all SE applications are being run through downtown. One wonders if this is the first step toward the Tier system being used for IB admissions.

  • 75. cps Mom  |  October 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    James, that’s interesting. A complaint of the SEHS’s about the IB, STEM, and other honors programs has been the difficulty in getting committed acceptances due to many different admissions processes. It is problematic when seats are vacated (all through the summer) after offers are accepted and the school is forced to turn down high scoring applicants that want to attend. This sounds like a positive change that will streamline the process. Choose and rank wisely. Good luck everyone.

    RLJ – students are penalized equally for offenses such as drug use. Dealing, needless to say has a harsher penalty – there is a trial that could result in expulsion from the SE program unless the student themselves can show that they make a positive contribution, good grades (this may not even help) etc. Beyond the pot issue, not much of any other crime. I know of none – not even a fight (and I am involved). Mom2 is right – they are just way too busy to get in trouble. This is a good thing that I know is true of other schools as well especially those that have a “school within a school” special programs.

  • 76. please consider  |  November 13, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Re: “students are penalized equally for offenses such as drug use.” (CPS Mom)

    Please read Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.” (The New Press, 2010)

    “Studies show that people of all colors use and sell illegal drugs at remarkably similar rates. If there are significant differences in the surveys to be found, they frequently suggest that whites, particularly white youth, are more likely to engage in drug crime than people of color. That is not what one would guess, however, when entering our nation’s prisons and jails, which are overflowing with black and brown drug offenders.” (p. 7)

    Also please ask any attorney who practices in this field and is honest about how private representation plays out at schools and in the criminal justice system.

    The fact that RLJulia “gets it” with regard to power, money, and race may well be connected to her enlightened (and non-exclusive) high school educational experience. You can’t necessarily teach to that level of understanding in an AP class, regardless of well-selected critical reading/thinking/writing exercises and a highly qualified teacher (particularly if the administration/teachers/parents do not understand or address the racial and economic disparities and exclusiveness that exist in their own educational systems which the students are bserving/experiencing on a daily basis).

  • 77. Anonymous  |  November 13, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Our CPS schools should implement policies against drug dealing inside and outside of high schools for all students.

  • 78. cps Mom  |  November 22, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    @76 – Pretty general statement. At our school punishment is equal and drug use is not predominate in any one race it is pretty much across the board. I don’t want to talk about specific cases and punishments but suffice it to say that white kids do get in trouble with equal ramifications.

    @77 these policies do exist.

  • 79. LPHS Mom  |  February 20, 2012 at 1:18 am

    I have been reading this post for a year and I rarely ever see anything about the LPHS DH Program or IB Program. I don’t know where to post this so I am putting it in this section on SE Schools. It seems to be such an overlooked gem and a lost opportunity that so many of you look at the SE Schools but not at the magnet programs at LPHS. My son is a freshman there this year and it is an excellent school. He is in the IB Program, but the other magnet programs at the school, DH and Performing Arts, are also excellent programs. The new principal, 2nd year, is really on track to get CORE Curriculum going and other really positive changes. He is a great principal and the parent community is really nice.

  • 80. Waiting...  |  February 20, 2012 at 7:46 am

    @79 – I’m so glad to hear this. We are seriously considering the DH program for the fall. LP is his backup if he doesn’t get into Whitney. I love that LP offers classes at every level.

  • 81. lawmom  |  September 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    An interesting op-ed in NYT about why we need more “top flight” schools.


  • 82. Brandi  |  October 4, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Hi, has anyone heard anything more about where the south loop gifted program will move to?

  • 83. anonymous  |  October 4, 2012 at 5:30 am

    Does anyone know what the requirements are for a home schooled child to get into a 7th & 8th grade Academic Center?
    What do they use for grades?

  • 84. cpsobsessed  |  October 4, 2012 at 7:20 am

    I emailed cps about the south loop replacement but haven’t heard back yet. I’ll post if they respond.

    I don’t know about homeschool grades. I’d ask at cpsmagnet.org. You’ll def need test scores though. I think there is a make up test session soon.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 85. RL Julia  |  October 4, 2012 at 8:38 am

    I’d imagine you’d need to provide the same information as everyone else does – a copy of the child’s grades and standardized test scores. http://cpsoae.org/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=250181&id=0 -CPS is giving the ISAT on October 9th for kids who didn’t take it last year for whatever reason – I’d give them a call if you think you are interested in applying.

  • 86. anonymous  |  October 4, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Thanks, you are right so my question is if she is homeschooled, how do we get grades?

  • 87. Christine Whitley  |  October 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    @82 Brandi: There is talk that the gifted seats will open up at National Teachers Academy but nothing has been decided yet.

    Regarding home schooled applicants, here is some info from cpsmagnet.org about how you can have your child tested:

    Selective Enrollment High Schools require applicants to pre-qualify for testing, based on their previous year’s reading comprehension and total mathematics scores from the ISAT or, if the student did not take the ISAT, scores from another nationally normed standardized test.

    If a student did not take the ISAT, test scores may be provided from a test that is accepted by our eligibility process. TThe list of acceptable tests is below:

    Terra Nova (normed 2007 or 2011)
    Stanford Achievement Test 10
    Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS)
    Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement 2
    Woodcock Johnson Achievement Test 3
    Wechsler Individual Achievement Test 3

    Tests that do not appear on this list are not accepted for the application process. If your child does not have ISAT scores or scores from an accepted test; s/he may take one of the accepted tests through one of the following testing options:

    Students may obtain private testing by approved test by a certified school psychologist or a clinical licensed psychologist.
    The Chicago School Forensic Center offers testing services at low to no cost. The center is located in the downtown Chicago area. For information and to schedule testing, call 312-467-2535 and ask to speak with reception or the project coordinator. Also, please see the website for additional information at http://www.forensiccenter.org.

  • 88. anonymous  |  October 4, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Thanks so much for the testing information. I understand there are three parts to the s.e. admission process — 7th grade ISAT, 7th grade grades, and entrance exam in 8th.

    Would you happen to know who to talk with about the other component — grades?

    Also I am looking at both the 7th & 8th Academic Center. Do they require 5th grad grades, 5th grade ISATs and 6th grade entrance exam?

    And what do I do about grades when the kids are homeschooled?

  • 89. RL Julia  |  October 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Academic Centers require the 5th grade grades and ISATs (plue the entrance exam taken in 6th grade) for 7th grade admission. I would call the OAE office – they usually answer their phones and are really helpful. In terms of grades -as a homeschooler don’t you have to provide the state something every year that discusses what your children learned and the degree to which they learned it? I guess I’d start with that but ultimately the people you want to talk to are the OAE folks. They will know what the equivalents for grades are.

  • 90. Jfc  |  October 7, 2012 at 4:38 pm


    “Though its empty space has been discussed as a possible relief for overcrowding at South Loop Elementary for years, Chicago Public Schools officials announced a solution for the under-populated school in August: giving NTA a new regional gifted center in 2013 to replace the one being phased out at South Loop.

    Castelaz hit the ground running and is hoping to use the gifted center’s resources to help improve the rest of the school. They will get an extra resource teacher for the whole school for every two gifted grade levels they offer, and he’s planning to bring in a Mandarin Chinese instructor.”

    This makes it sound it’s done deal as far as RGC going to NTA.

  • 91. CPS mom  |  October 8, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Parents with children starting kindergarten in fall 2013:

    I’ve talked with several of you over the past couple of weeks. You seem to be putting a lot of weight on the experience of some “unlucky” souls – people who loudly complain to anyone who will listen that their kindergarten children “got in no where” and you better move to the suburbs right now, right this minute.

    This may be true for a few people, but if you have flexibility, YOU DO YOUR RESEARCH – meaning applying to neighborhood schools as well as magnets – and prep in a minimal yet effective way for the gifted test (I personally don’t believe you can prep for the classical test except for basic test taking skills) — you WILL have choices. Most people do. They just don’t say anything out loud in public in order not to fire up the ones that are complaining. I’ve notice those people usually haven’t applied to schools in a logical way and then bemoan their awful luck.

    I wouldn’t stress yourself and your job schedule by trying to attend open houses. You most likely won’t get into one of the ones you’ve busted your butt to get visit.

    Best of luck to you all, it will be okay in the end!

  • 92. anonymous  |  October 8, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Also, check out CPS’ over testing of kindergarteners.

  • 93. avondalemom  |  October 15, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    hi there! my son will be 4 yrs old in the 2013/2014 season. maybe i misread (entirely possible since this is all greek to me) but am i correct that most schools, (including most magnets and gifted) don’t feed the pre k into kindergarten? does that mean i bust my hump (pardon the very old expression but it’s the cleanest i can come up with right now) for nothing? will i have to do this all over again the following year for kindergarten? should he just go to my awful neighborhood school for pre k (reilly elementary) and i worry about this stuff next year? currently he is enrolled at wonder montessori and although i think it’s fine, i would love to not drive a long distance or pay if i don’t have to. HELP. thank you.

  • 94. cpsobsessed  |  October 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    @avondale, yes, you will bust your hump twice. No, three times. High school too.
    There are no schools that can guarantee you a K spot unless it’s your neighborhood school or one of the CPS Montessori schools (or Inter American.)

    It’s worth checking our your neighborhood preK. Some not-so-great schools have a gem of a preschool. It really comes down to the specific teachers and possibly principal. Keep in mind that if the program draws a lot of kids, you might not even have a guaranteed spot there if they get more kids than spaces, so ask about that soon.

    If you feel that the Montessori preK would give you and edge for gifted/classical testing, that is worth considering as well. That was my thinking way back when. Although in retrospect if I could do it over I’d have saved the $16K we blew on 2 years of preK. Hindsight….

  • 95. avondalemom  |  October 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    thanks for the info! i just got my PIN and started to apply to schools. only 4 magnet schools popped up, is that normal? i thought i could apply to up to 20? i also wanted to apply to other neighborhood schools that were regular public schools but better than my local one. i am so confused, help! and you are awesome by the way for doing this for newbies like myself, thank you thank you thank you.

  • 96. cpsobsessed  |  October 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Yes, you should be able to select 20. What 4 schools do you see?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 97. avondalemom  |  October 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    suder, mayer, drummond, and inter american. i wanted drummond and inter american but also other schools which i can’t seem to find in the options.

  • 98. cpsobsessed  |  October 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    How old is your child? Those are the few options for a child who will be 4 years old on sept 1 2013 so those are the only ones you can apply to via the central application. Unless you entered the wrong year of birth?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 99. twin mom  |  October 18, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    avondalemom – you are only getting those 4 schools because your child will only be 4 years old in the fall of 2013 – is that correct? You have to be 5 to start kindergarten. Those 4 schools all have PK3/PK4 and are the only ones that offer programs prior to being 5 years old in the fall of the school year.

  • 100. avondalemom  |  October 18, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    what comes up as my choices are “selective enrollment” and “magnet, magnet cluster, open enrollment”. are the regular schools i am thinking of open enrollment but they aren’t accepting anyone outside their area?

  • 101. avondalemom  |  October 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    oh okay. i could have sworn other schools like waters and audobon had pre k?

  • 102. avondalemom  |  October 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    i just looked up the schools i had on my list from previous research and they all offer pre k programs as i suspected. what am i missing here? is he not allowed to go to pre k somewhere else other than my neighborhood school or a private? can you only apply to other schools for kindergarten and up?

  • 103. cpsobsessed  |  October 18, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    This application isn’t for prek. You have to still do that at the school level. Your neighborhood school (if it has prek) may give preference to the neighborhood but not all prek programs have room for everyone in the zone so you have to check. For other schools, you’d likely go on a waiting list.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 104. avondalemom  |  October 18, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    okay thanks again! i just called and bugged a school and i have to do this all manually and could have done it already! jeez. this is insane. BUT at least i know what to do for next year, it was good practice!

  • 105. Christine Whitley  |  October 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    @Avondale mom I have a couple or workshops coming up for preschool if you’re interested. I will tell you all about how to apply to CPS preschools.

    Christine Whitley

  • 106. avondalemom  |  October 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    great! i would definitely be interested, thanks.

  • 107. Teacher4321  |  October 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    There will be many many changes coming to the PreK programs soon. I’d wait awhile on applying.

  • 108. Teacher4321  |  October 18, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I would apply to the ones you want that are available through the options for PreK.

  • 109. cpsobsessed  |  October 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Yeah, don’t wait. Get them in asap. If it changes, it changes but at least you’ve done your due diligence.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 110. Teacher4321  |  October 18, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    I would honestly only apply to the magnet options in the book. The entire PreK process is changing otherwise.

  • 111. Teacher4321  |  October 18, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    The process that is changing is for the state PreK/ preschool for all and head start classrooms.

  • 112. avondalemom  |  October 18, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    oka,y now i am super confused after i just thought i had it figured out! the school i called said the deadline for pre k apps is dec 1st. how long until these changes come? i don’t want to miss out, my local school stinks big time.

  • 113. TEACHER4321  |  October 18, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    If you are looking for what is currently the state funded Preschool For All program or Head Start, I would call the Office Of Early Childhood. They are supposed to be working on a memo about the changes ahead.

    If it was a tuition based program, then they may have a right to tell you the deadline is December 1, 2012. If you are looking for tuition based then I would disregard the process for the above two mentioned programs. The above two mentioned programs are the largest two programs in the district. They should not have a deadline as applications should be accepted year round. However the entire application process is changing.

    Do what you want. However, you might find that you have to reapply to everywhere you submitted an application come spring when the new process/program structure is announced.

  • 114. Uber Dad  |  October 30, 2012 at 3:19 am

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave 82 Chicago Public Schools principals merit pay bonuses, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000.
    ———————————————————————————————————Who is kidding whom?
    The principals of two of CPS’s most elite selective enrollment high school were among those rewarded with cash prizes by Mayor Rahm “Crony” Emanuel. Barry Rodgers of Northside College Prep, and Joyce Kenner of Whitney Young Magnet High School were among those receiving merit pay bonuses.
    It is criminal for the principals of two of the best performing high schools in the city to receive monetary gifts for doing their jobs! Both Mr. Rodgers and Ms. Kenner are already paid salaries well into the six figures for doing their jobs. Rodgers and Kenner should donate their money to other less educationally affluent schools in order to bring all schools to the level of their respective schools.
    Mayor Rahm “Crony” Emanuel ought to get his CEO buddies to give him tens of millions of dollars to provide 10,000 more seats in selective enrollment high schools in order to end the educational apartheid that now exists for a majority of the city’s eighth graders. CPS admits that 16,500 students applied for just 2,800 selective enrollment slots. A paltry 17% were given the opportunity in Mayor Crony’s Chicago to get a world class high school education at one of the ten SEHS’s. (That leaves 83% of our children left behind)
    Our seventh and eighth graders are staying up until midnight and in some cases giving themselves ulcers in order to assure earning high grades and high test scores just to have the chance to qualify for the chance to snag one of the highly coveted selective enrollment seats. We are turning our adolescent children into neurotic overachievers before they reach the age of 12.
    The solution isn’t to provide economic incentives to educators; the solution is to eliminate the inequities in the education system, both the economic inequities, as well as the educational inequities. Good education should be treated as a civil right!

  • 115. LindblomPrincipal  |  October 31, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Just a reminder to all of you. Lindblom is hosting an open house for prospective students (and their parents!) this Saturday. For incoming 9th graders, the Open House runs from 10:00 am – 12:00; for Academic Center students, we run from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.
    Hope to see you there!
    Alan Mather, Principal

  • 116. HS Mom  |  October 31, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Mr Mather
    Congratulations on making the top 50 again!

  • 117. katherine  |  October 31, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Uber Dad- You are dead on. Its rather ironic that the principals of Northside and Young received bonus pay for the excellence of their schools considering the nearly perfect scores the kids at those schools come in with. Those kids could practically teach themselves.

  • 118. RL Julia  |  October 31, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Rather than criticize the principals who got these bonuses (who are great principals in their right), I would much rather see someone do a more in depth report on how fundraising additional money for CPS is crucial to that school’s ability to succeed in the mission of turning out well educated students. While I don’t necessarily agree with the idea that just “throwing money” at a problem makes the problem go away, I do find it somewhat distressing that academically successful schools in the CPS system are generally raising a considerable amount of money over and above the base CPS allocation (Title I or not). Kudos to all the principals who got these bonuses and recognition and to the many who didn’t but are still doing a remarkable job. Thank you

  • 119. SoxSideIrish4  |  October 31, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    #118~RL Julia~I totally agree with you on the fundraising. That being said, I know that our school wouldn’t have what it has or be a high performing school if we didn’t fundraise.

  • 120. RL Julia  |  October 31, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Ditto the school’s my kids have attended. It’s what pays for copier paper, toner, computer maintenance and extra counselors/social workers…. How could a school possibly have a chance at being successful without those basic supports – and if a school is paying for those things -what other basic support did they decide was unnecessary and didn’t get?

  • 121. southsidemom  |  November 9, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Hi, I am new to this process with kids in private school — one will be applying to the academic centers for 7th grade; the other is currently in 7th and will apply for high school next year. Can anyone tell me whether **all** 7th grades are counted (my wimpy kid is not great at PE but has As in core subjects) or only some? Does language count? Drama? Music?

    Also, has anyone ever tried to “skip” into an academic center (i.e. apply in fifth grade for seventh)? I have heard that some academic center kids have graduated early (e.g. when they were 16) and wondered where the skip happened.

  • 122. RL Julia  |  November 9, 2012 at 10:02 am

    If your child has not already skipped a grade, I think it might be hard to skip them into an academic center (especially given the competition to get into many of the academic centers) but you really should call OAE on that. One thing that would be difficult/problematic is that 5th grade test score and grades in math, social science, science and language arts/English are used to determine the number of points for the academic center entrance rubric. Ditto these subjects and test scores in 7th grade for 9th grade (high school admission).

    Whitney Young requires that the student be 11 by September 1 of their 7th grade year and that they must currently be in grade 6 or 7 – I guess you could try to skip a 6th grader into 8th grade (but probably not). One thing about the academic centers is that since they are part of high schools there is an ability to differentiate curricula depending on your child’s academic needs. My daughter is at the WYAC and a few of her fellow 7th grade classmates are taking Geometry having tested out of Algebra. On another note – WYAC at least requires a certain amount of emotional and organizational maturity to be successful. It is not a school set up to accomodating kids who are academically advanced but would not be able to basically handle high school type of organizational responsibilities/changing classes, self advocating, keeping track of multiple assignments without a lot of prompting etc…

    In terms of when the “skip” could happen – well you are basically enrolling your child into high school about a year to a year and half early so in theory they can graduate early if they so choose.

  • 123. Matt Kelley  |  November 18, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    CPS RGC electronic workbook available at http://www.cpsmagnet.com/#!__cps-gifted-test-sample-question-book. It might help. 25.00

  • 124. ES Mom  |  December 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Can anyone please tell me how to research average class sizes for kindergarten at various CPS elementary schools (RGC, classical, magnet, neighborhood).

  • 125. anonymous  |  December 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    You could go to the Raise Your Hand facebook page and talk to Jeanne Marie Olsen there. She is doing great work checking this kind of CPS data.

  • 126. cpsobsessed  |  December 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    For magnet, gifted, and classical Kindergartens, I believe they cap the classes at 28 per class (since enrollment is controlled centrally.) For neighborhood schools, you can try to determine the previous year’s enrollment but that may not predict the upcoming year’s since neighborhood kids # may vary year to year. As schools grow, that number can grow, plus there can be natural fluctuation year to year.

  • 127. Christine Whitley  |  December 2, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    This 2012 Chicago Tribune App gives you average class size for schools: http://schools.chicagotribune.com/

  • 128. anonymouse teacher  |  December 2, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Averages probably aren’t going to tell you a whole lot. My school has grade levels with about 25 in them, some with 33 and some with 37(per classroom,per grade). So our average isn’t going to give anyone the information they are looking for. A good indicator would be to get the grade level with the highest class size, the lowest and maybe the mean class size.
    Magnets do not cap at 28. My children used to attend a magnet in the city and class sizes hovered between 32-33. The school used the extra large class sizes to pay for additional resource teachers. Of course, 32 is nothing compared to the upper grade rooms in the school I teach in with 37 per class nor in the rooms of my many friends with 35-40 in blatant violation of fire code, but it is still too big. I am always amazed at how the CFD looks the other way in order to protect the city’s financial interests. I hope to god no child dies if there is ever a real fire trying to escape in a room they cannot even form a line in.

  • 129. southie  |  December 2, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    I wonder how to see what school were cited by CFD inspectors for violations of the fire code for # of students in a room as well as for lack of aides to help autistic (who might freeze in place) or immobile handicapped students during a fire or other evacuation. Sometimes I wonder why we don’t see media coverage of this kind of issue.

  • 130. seen it all...  |  December 2, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    #128 You are right about the CFD not being proactive about the usage of rooms without windows. I have seen self-contained special education, pull-out programs and ELL housed in windowless rooms. The desks are in the rooms, coats are on the hooks and the children and teacher are exiting from the room yet CFD “plays see no evil.”

  • 131. helenkeller  |  December 2, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    How about when the one to one aide leaves the child with severe physical impairments in your room of 33 and goes on lunch duty and you are praying the fire alarm does not get pulled?

  • 132. IBobsessed  |  December 3, 2012 at 10:15 am

    “Sometimes I wonder why we don’t see media coverage of this kind of issue.”

    Not to be rude, but wake up and smell the coffee.

  • 133. DontMissIt  |  December 3, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    i though we had discussed this before but here goes…..CPS counts the total number of “usable” rooms in the school and divides by the total no of students. This is how CPS gets numbers that no one else does. This way you can have many overcrowded classrooms but once you count the closets, etc. the numbers go down fast.
    When my child was in 3rd grade “good” CPS school, small modular unit with 37 students (3 in wheelchairs), 2 teachers, 2 aides, and exit door permanently locked was fine. The parents were upset enough to call the fire department, but after applying CPS fuzzy math all was fine.

  • 134. helenkeller  |  December 3, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    It shouldn’t matter how CPS does the Fuzzy Math. I thought there had to be two egresses. It is illegal to have an apartment with only one exit so why is it OK in anyone’s peabrain to allow children to be in a windowless room/closet with one door?

  • 135. Bookworm  |  December 3, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    @Cpso- Magnets do not cap. My child has over 33 kids in his magnet school classroom, one of five rooms with over 32 students.

  • 136. cpsobsessed  |  December 3, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    @bookworm – I think people have mentioned this before and I always forget it. Is that in lower grades? I thought it starts at 28 in K and then goes to 31 (?) in about 3rd so the school can add a spot each year or wait to expand in 3-4th.
    I guess now it varies because of siblings a bit since they are guaranteed a spot.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 137. cpsemployee  |  December 4, 2012 at 7:32 am

    The class size “limits” (28 in K-3, 31 in 4-8) are a CTU contract agreement. If it goes over, it’s up to the teacher to file a grievance but grievances go nowhere. It is also the numbers used to allot teaching positions to a school; if a school wants smaller classes then they must buy extra positions out of their limited discretionary funds. My school boys 3 positions just to avoid having split classes but even with those extra bought positions our class size is not low. Unfortunately some of the classes are at 33, 34…

  • 139. Peter  |  December 4, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Thanks anon, interesting. I would like to see the details behind that.

  • 140. anonymous  |  December 4, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Good idea, Peter. Go to the ryh facebook page and engage with the author, jeanne marie olsen, an ed researcher.

  • 141. ms4ever24  |  December 8, 2012 at 8:27 am

    I have a question regarding testing. I just realize that my son has a Sunday test date. Is it possible that this is a typo or is CPS really testing kids on Sunday’s???

  • 142. anonymouse teacher  |  December 8, 2012 at 8:51 am

    I doubt it is a typo. There are thousands and thousands of kids to test systemwide and weekend dates are highly coveted.

  • 143. test  |  December 8, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    my daughter had a Sunday test last year.

  • 144. anonymous  |  December 8, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    14,000+ take the test.

  • 145. West Side Mom  |  December 12, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Just curious if this has happened to anyone else before: my daughter took the selective enrollment test in November and it took her 45 minutes after which she told me she didn’t do too well because she didn’t answer several questions. I told her that it was just fine and that she tried her best. Well, the next morning I get a call from OAE asking me if I would bring her back in since she didn’t answer several of the questions and that they would really like to get answers from her for them. I took her back in and she was out in 10 minutes. Has anyone ever heard of this happening before?

  • 146. West Side Mom  |  December 12, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    sorry — forgot to mention that this was for entrance into Kindergarten.

  • 147. cpsobsessed  |  December 12, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    @westsidemom: I have NEVER heard of that. I’d venture to guess that they flubbed up somehow (ie gave only the gifted and not classical) and needed to rectify it.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 148. anonymous  |  December 12, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    When is the testing? I haven’t even recieved a letter yet telling me when but I have already applied to Select schools.

  • 149. cpsobsessed  |  December 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    @anon, for what grade?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 150. Lala  |  February 13, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    When do they send out the high school se results

  • 151. Chicago School GPS  |  February 13, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    SEHS and most other CPS High School programs that have centralized applications (IB, CTE, Magnet) from CPSOAE are expected to send notification letters by Friday, Feb. 22. A separate letter will be sent for each of the centralized programs (one for IB, one for SEHS, one for CTE, etc). The SEHS & Military Academy letters will indicate 0 or 1 offer. The Magnet, CTE & IB programs will indicate 0, 1 or multiple offers. Schools that have their own application system (Lake View, Lincoln Park tracks previously known as “Double Honors” & “Fine Arts”) are expected to send their notifications by that date as well. First round confirmation (acceptance) forms are due by March 12, after which subsequent rounds may begin.

    Join us for a “What’s Next? Decisions After Notifications: High School Edition” seminar on Thursday, Feb. 28 @ 7PM at Alcott HS. We will talk about what to do now that letters have come out, especially if you have no offers yet or multiple offers but don’t know how to choose. We will discuss Principal’s Discretion for SEHS, which begins the first week of March. We will also touch on how to make the most of your HS course selections. Details at http://www.chischoolgps.com/CSG_HS_What_s_Next_.html

  • 152. sandra  |  March 6, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Do we need to scan and email our confirmation forms for selective enrollment schools?

  • 153. MayfairMama  |  March 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Can anyone tell me how many students apply for non entry level spots? My daughter applied for 2nd grade SEES, but I’m not hopeful considering the limited number of spots open. I’ve heard from a couple of the schools we applied to that there will about 2 spots open for the 2nd grade. I can’t believe how frustrating this whole thing is!!

  • 154. Scan it!  |  March 7, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    I scanned and emailed my son’s high school confirmation letter to OAE. The next day i received an email confirming receipt of the letter!

  • 155. westsidemom  |  March 16, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    MayfairMama, I wouldn’t be surprised if more than expected 2nd grade slots open up as people with children in an SEES have younger siblings who don’t get into the SEES — many of those people move their kids to the suburbs or private school so their kids can attend the same school. If our daughter doesn’t get into our son’s SEES, we are considering moving him. I have a friend at his school who is moving to the burbs for that exact reason, she doesn’t think her younger daughter will get a slot.

  • 156. MayfairMama  |  March 16, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Westsidemom, Thanks for offering me a ray of hope. We only applied for 4 different schools, so we’re still only talking about maybe a dozen spots. I realize my daughter’s score will have to be pretty high. I have no idea what to expect. She scored very well on the K test and not as well on the 1st grade. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

  • 157. Claudia  |  August 26, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Help! Just moved to chicago and a little overwhelmed. My daughter is 2 1/2. I’m gathering I need to apply to pre-schools this fall? Does anyone know anything about Ogden International? That’s my neighborhood school and have seen mixed things about it. And am I right, they don’t transport kids to public school?

  • 158. cpsobsessed  |  August 26, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Ogden is generally well-regarded but as a neighborhood school they don’t do transportation for the neighborhood programs.

    And yep, apply this year!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 159. Chicago School GPS  |  August 26, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Ogden International’s PreK is tuition based and open to families citywide. If a child is 3 or 4 by Sept. 1, 2014, they can apply to next year’s TBPK program starting today on a first come, first serve basis and a school like Ogden typically fills up quickly for their spots. They require a deposit of $610 to apply with a tuition of $12,220 for 10 hours/day during the CPS calendar year.

    With the exception of Drummond, Suder, Mayer & Inter-American, no CPS preK program feeds directly into the elementary program. You need to apply this fall if your child will be 3 by Sept. 1, 2014 for Drummond, Suder & Mayer, and 4 by Sept. 1, 2014 for Inter-American.

    Odgen’s elementary program is well-regarded and is an accredited IB program starting in the primary years. It is only open to those residing in their neighborhood boundaries. Their east campus is gorgeous and goes up to 5th grade. You can stay at Ogden until 12th grade (on their west campus) with an IB curriculum the whole time. They accept non-neighborhood kids at 6th grade and 9th grade via applications. No bussing for neighborhood schools, but there is a shuttle bus to transport between the campuses as needed and bussing for the 6th-8th grade International Gifted Program (entrance exam required).

    If you are interested in learning more about preschool programs in Chicago, we invite you to come join us on Sat, 9/7/13: http://www.chischoolgps.com/CSG_Preschool_Primer.html

    Chicago school choices may seem overwhelming but it’s exactly because you really do have choices for all types of kids and families in Chicago. It’s definitely not “one size fits all”. Good luck!

  • 160. ChicagoMomofBoys  |  September 28, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    For the veterans on here, did any of you purchase prep materials from Testing Mom? I’m trying to decide if it’s worth becoming a Top 1% member…

  • 161. kelly  |  September 28, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    @160 I’ve been trying to decide the same thing. Did you become a top1% member?

  • 162. cpsobsessed  |  September 28, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    What is the cost?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 163. ChicagoMomofBoys  |  September 29, 2013 at 9:18 am

    CPSO — It’s presently “on sale” for $39.99/1 month, $25.99/3 months or $10.99/12 months. I’m willing to bet that it’s always “on sale” 😉 Truthfully, though, you need to be gifted to surf their site. They make it ridiculously complicated to get the info you need.

  • 164. Chicago School GPS  |  September 29, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    The TestingMom.com folks will be at the NPN Northside Fair on Oct. 19 and at our “What’s on the Test?” Gifted & Classical Admissions & Testing seminar on Oct. 20.

    Karen Quinn is really nice and approachable, so feel free to ask your questions then if you are able to make either of those.

    As for test prep or not for 4 year olds (or 14 year olds), it’s a very individual decision. Some kids do well with a little, others need nothing beyond their everyday conversations with mom/dad (or everyday schoolwork for older kids).

  • 165. momof3boys  |  September 29, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    well, while i dont think its a bad idea to prepare your child for the test, i think to spend all that $ is crazy. idk what exactly is on the test but i do recall that the gifted test didnt require reading for the k test. i think its logic and thinking outside the box kind of stuff. i spent $ for the hs test for the older ones and looking back i probably should have saved my money and bought a test prep book. remember those places are there to make money. i kind of compare them to sports camps, band camps, etc. the kids dont actually learn anything new. my kids have been to those camps and didnt get anything new out of them. same thing for those test prep centers. my kids didnt learn anything that they couldnt have done on their own. with that said, if you dont have the patience to administer and go over things with your child, then maybe those centers maybe useful to you. btw, for my youngest, i didnt do anything. it was a last minute decision and we were somehow scheduled right away. so whatever he learned up to 1st grade was all he had. last year, same thing, i was going to prep him because i wanted to if he could score high enough for this year but i kept putting it off. so whatever he learn up to 5th grade. he was offered a spot at skinner but we declined.

    also, if you prep, prep, prep for the test and your kids makes it how can you really gauge his/her success? i know there are kids at my boys’ schools who struggle and i wonder why they’re still there? i would rather have my kids at a school where they are thriving and doing well rather than a gifted/classical school where they are struggling and then when it comes to 7th grade, they’re screwed. like i have told my boys, its a numbers game, if you have to rearrange to up your odds, then do it. i’d pull my ds from his rgc in a heart beat if i felt that he wasnt going to get those numbers in 7th grade. i did it for my second and he’s at a sehs. same thing for college. i was ready to pull my oldest but he turned it around junior year.

    just my personal opinion. you dont have to agree with it but it worked for our family and all my kids ended up a se school. sorry for the long reply…

  • 166. ChicagoMomofBoys  |  September 29, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    @164 & 165: Very helpful, thanks! I’m now leaning toward the 3-month membership to TestingMom.com. $80 isn’t a lot to spend in the long run and I think that my son will enjoy answering questions on the computer. I *try* to keep learning fun. Based on advice I received last year, I opted not to do any formal test prep for K admissions and he scored well below his potential. It could’ve just been an “off” day; who knows. So, even though he’s excelling in (and, equally as important, loving) our neighborhood school, I’d like to keep his educational options open for the future. I’ll be sure to post my opinion of the Top 1% membership once we get started.

  • 167. Kartik  |  September 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Does it matter when during Oct 1-Dec 13th you apply? Does earlier give a better chance in any way?

  • 168. HS Mom  |  September 30, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    @165- ” if you prep, prep, prep for the test and your kids makes it how can you really gauge his/her success?”

    I think you answered your own question with the observation that test prep does not teach you anything new. Test prep, whether its a class, book or practice tests helps kids make the most of the knowledge they already have. It helps build confidence and gives an idea of what to expect. If practice increases speed then there is a benefit in finishing the test. A kid will never reach the really high scores without finishing. If kids are just learning the material in a prep class they will likely not know the test material. So, no worries about “prepping” a kid so that they are in over their head.

  • 169. LSmom  |  September 30, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    @167, no particular advantage to applying earlier or later. The earlier you apply, the earlier the test date for selective enrollment schools but that’s the only difference.

  • 170. cpsobsessed  |  September 30, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    And the scores are normed to age, by month so there isn’t a true advantage to waiting. Although if you test early then you have to wait like 4-5 months for results

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 171. JLM  |  September 30, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    We applied fairly early (end of October?) and had a test date in December (and lucked out with a weekend date!) I don’t think it’s a big deal to push it back a little, but it was nice for us to have it over with. And some people wait until the last minute and get a test date that doesn’t work for their family, and have a hard time changing it because they’re running up against the final testing dates. I felt it was best to have it over and done with and to have some leeway for rescheduling in case the initial test date was a “no go” from a scheduling perspective.

  • 172. Jami  |  October 1, 2013 at 5:20 am

    Is it better to apply online for selective enrollment programs or fill out a paper application?

  • 173. LSmom  |  October 1, 2013 at 8:16 am

    I’m sure either way of applying is fine, but I feel like the online application has a smaller chance of somehow going awry (lost in the mail, data entry errors).

  • 174. Christine Whitley  |  October 1, 2013 at 9:24 am

    I have a workshop coming up that will answer all these questions!

    Register here: http://www.eventbrite.com/org/4529122473

  • 175. Kris Anderson  |  October 4, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    These guys run a great program for test prep as well. They will also come to your home if you get a group together:


  • 176. Sarah Levine  |  November 7, 2013 at 12:04 am

    Hi everyone – I am an avid reader of this site. Thank you so much. I have a question: my daughter will be applying to academic centers and RGCs – we’re trying to lateral her out of her current elementary school. If she were lucky enough to get an offer, would it be from only one category of school or the other? That is, if she got an offer from, say, Bell, would that eliminate the possibility of getting an offer from, say, Lane?

  • 177. WRP Mom  |  November 7, 2013 at 7:12 am

    No, Sarah, she could potentially get an offer from each category. It happened to my daughter 2 years ago. She got an AC offer and an RGC offer in the same acceptance letter. I think this is fairly rare, though. Usually 7th grade RGC offers do not come in the March acceptance letter, but in later rounds.

  • 178. Sarah  |  November 7, 2013 at 8:11 am

    Thank you so much for responding, WRP Mom. I assume that the RGC offers come in later rounds because there are so few slots in the RGCs that if something opens up, it’s not until later? Or maybe I have that all wrong. And can I also ask: does that mean RGC offers for other non-entry grades (like 5th, for instance, for our other kid) also come later? yeah. Trying to coordinate all this – in the hypothetical — is, uh, challenging.

  • 179. cpsobsessed  |  November 7, 2013 at 10:18 am

    @sarah, the entry grade RGC/classical offers move fairly swiftly througha few rounds in late feb- maybe…april. Then yes, they can definitely come later, up through school starting.
    And you’re correct about older grades typically coming later. During the spring process the year before entry, most schools don’t know yet who isn’t coming back.

    Schools can expand their class size in 3rd grade so schools might have some extra entry spots earlier for that grade.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 180. Sarah  |  November 7, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Thank you again, so much. I am currently on hold with OAE, but not getting any response yet. Can I ask one more question: How much time does a person have to accept an offer (again, if lucky enough to get one). We are trying to apply , perhaps way too optimistically, so that our two kids might end up at schools close to one another. Will we be able to wait until we have all information about all schools? ANy advice really appreciated, and then I won’t bother you all anymore. Thank you!

  • 181. cpsobsessed  |  November 7, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    The RGC and Classicals give a fair amount of time at the beginning of the process but it seems to narrow as we get near the end of the process, so if it’s say the first week of school, could be a day or 2. In the first round you have a couple weeks.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 182. sarahbell  |  November 17, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Please help! My son just got his scores from the selective enrollment test. Although 7th grade report card and ISAT scores were very good, he didn’t do well on his selective enrollment test. He absolutely fell for Jones, but because of our Tier being recently changed to level 3, I think he will be lucky to get into Lane. His score is below Lane’s minimum from last year, but not by much.
    My question is this, my son is athletic, musical, volunteers, a leader in his school and very well liked by his teachers. He really wanted to do the principal discretion option for Jones and I think it could get him in. If you exercise the principal discretion, do his points matter as much? Also, should he put Lane first and Jones second and if he doesn’t get into Lane, he can still try for the principal discretion at Jones? I guess I am asking, does Jones have to be first for him to apply for PD?
    This process has really emotionally knocked him out. I want to encourage him to follow his heart, but don’t want to miss any chance of securing a spot in a SEHS.
    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  • 183. SoxSideIrish4  |  November 17, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    182. sarahbell | November 17, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Put Jones first, they are adding more kids, so of course he has a shot. If his points on high enough for Jones, they will go to your next pick, Lane. Usually, principals only accept students on their discretion by the students who put their school down as a first choice~so put Jones first. And remember you are looking at cut off scores from last year as a guide~it’s a whole new crop of numbers for this year. Good luck.

  • 184. SoxSideIrish4  |  November 17, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    ^^ if his points AREN’T high enough for Jones

  • 185. sarahbell  |  November 17, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Thanks, Soxside. As if this decision weren’t hard enough for a 13 year old, my husband insists he would be better off at Lane, because his chances are “better”. It is just so big. I feel like he would be a number. I will pass along your advice and let him decide.

  • 186. HS Mom  |  November 17, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Sarabell – also apply for the CTE program at Jones. Last year they took kids from outside the neighborhood and scores are based upon grades and ISAT only. Yes, apply for PD and don’t worry about the ranking. Definitely rank your schools in order of preference NOT score. It won’t hurt to have Jones first whether he gets in or not. Take him to check out some IB programs. This helped us take the pressure off. You never know when something might click. I really wonder if this early testing is beneficial or not if kids are going to have more time to stress.

  • 187. WRP Mom  |  November 18, 2013 at 12:52 am

    HS Mom, I think this situation illustrates why the early testing is beneficial. This family now knows going in what their child’s score is and can plan accordingly by applying to extra programs, instead of finding out in February and having to scramble.

  • 188. HS Mom  |  November 18, 2013 at 9:47 am

    I suppose unless testing earlier lowers scores for kids who didn’t get to study as much. I think everyone should have the same test time and maybe it would be better and more fair for everyone to test early.

  • 189. HS Mom  |  November 18, 2013 at 9:56 am

    forgot to add that this situation also illustrates the misconception people have that by testing early you will be able to better rank your schools. No matter when the student tests, early or later, you should always rank schools in order of preference.

  • 190. Sarabell  |  November 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    He did test early for the reason that we would have more information as he chose his ranking order. In retrospect, it is making it hard to just put down his first choice. It seemed helpful in one way, but really made it hard for him to study much. He was also feeling confident from his ISAT scores. Another factor, when he took the vocabulary section, the proctors didn’t give the kids a 5 minute warning and the test was very short. Much shorter than any of the other tests (which he did get a verbal warning for the test coming to an end) He didn’t even come close to finishing the vocab section which I can tell greatly hurt his score. With a warning, he could have at least filled in bubbles or better managed his time. Such stress.
    We are looking into many other schools (including IBs and schools like Lakeview with the STEM program.) I think that is helping him feel better about the situation. Of course, we spent most of our time visiting selective enrollment open houses and now we have missed other open houses (like Von Steuban, Lakeview, etc.) Maybe their open houses should be later in the year. Regardless, I am leaving the ranking order up to him. At least he is feeling like he has more options. This is such a great blog for parents, thank you!!

  • 191. cpsobsessed  |  November 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    @sarabell – thanks for sharing your thought process. It’s definitely helpful for those of us with the HS process down the road.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 192. Ktouraholic  |  November 19, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    I’m sure this has been discussed before, but some of the magnets seem to have truly interesting and rigorous curricula, on par with the selective enrollment schools. Does CPS let you remain in the magnet lottery if you’ve been offered a slot at one of the selective enrollment schools? I can’t imagine they would but it would be nice to know what other options might have been available…

  • 193. Chicago School GPS  |  November 19, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    @192- while the SEES process is one offer only, the magnet schools are all separate and you can get an offer to all you applied to, some, one or none. With a child being eligible for multiple offers from several types of schools, there is much movement after that first letter in March so don’t worry if you don’t get an offer right then.

  • 194. Ktouraholic  |  November 20, 2013 at 11:41 am

    That makes sense. I am just thinking that if you get an offer at a selective enrollment school, they probably will want an answer before you hear back about magnets (I’ve been told these notifications may not go out until May this year).

  • 195. LSmom  |  November 20, 2013 at 11:53 am

    You can accept a selective enrollment offer and still get calls from magnets. This year, people got calls from magnets for weeks after the school year began.

  • 196. Ktouraholic  |  November 20, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Oh, wow! That’s kind of silly but really good to know! Thanks!

  • 197. Sarah  |  November 20, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Hi everyone – more questions. Does anyone know how long it should take to get a test date for selective enrollment schools (Academic Centers and RGCs) after you have submitted the online application? Thanks.

  • 198. Jeanine  |  November 20, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Is it too late to apply for testing for Selective schools? Do I need a new pin # or can i use the same one from last year?

  • 199. hello all  |  November 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    i need the same answers as #198 and what is the website to go to to sign up?

  • 200. cpsobsessed  |  November 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm


    Go here. You will need a new PIN this year. App dealing is 12/13 and it can take a week to get your PIN, so I’d suggest requesting the PIN asap.

  • 201. hello all  |  November 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    ok just requested it thanks

  • 202. Chicago School GPS  |  November 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    @197- CPSOAE says that their intent is to send test scheduling letters approximately 2 weeks prior to the assigned test date. I have not yet heard of anyone who received an AC test date, even those who applied in early October. Some younger RGC applicants have started to test, but middle schoolers seem to be pushed to probably Dec/Jan, as overall there may be fewer applicants in that pool so they need to wait for a “critical mass” before scheduling. The not knowing is frustrating, for sure.

  • 203. Sarah  |  November 20, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks for the information. I do think it’s kind of odd that you only have two weeks’ notice before such an important event. Why engineer an inability to plan in that way? Oh well.

  • 204. BiotechMom  |  November 20, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Did anyone else attend the Senn High School IB info session last night? I was fairly skeptical going in, but came away pleasantly surprised.

    The kids that are accepted into the IB Diploma Prep program at Senn take classes only with other IB Diploma Prep students (“Prep” indicates the program for 9th and 10th grade, preparing them to move onto the IB Diploma program in 11th and 12th).

    They also said that the average ACT score for an IB Diploma student at Senn is 22. And that is for the kids that entered the program back in 2009, when the program was much less selective than it is now, so those kids have come a long way. In three or four years I suspect those ACT scores will be even higher? I’m seriously considering this for my daughter now.

  • 205. anonymouse teacher  |  November 20, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    @203,haha, that’s funny. 2 weeks notice for anything in CPS is like 6 months anywhere else. I can’t tell you the number of times I get notices for super important meetings/events/deadlines the day of, or even the day after said event/meeting/deadline from CPS as an employee.

  • 206. WestloopMama  |  November 24, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Hi everyone,

    This is my first posting to this forum…lots of great info, so thank you.
    For all of those who are applying to Skinner West Classical.
    I am in the neighborhood for Skinner West and I have spoken with lots of parents,
    they all love Skinner, but there is a serious overcrowding problem at the school which houses the neighborhood and Classical programs. There were 5 Kindy classes this year (2 classical and 3 neighborhood). They are adding a grade each year for the Neighborhood program. At the last PTO meeting the principal Ms Clark indicated that ALL the Kindy classes (neighborhood and Classical) would need to be housed in the pre-K building. This will entail parents dropping off kids at the Skinner West building on Adams…then they will bus them to the preschool building then back to Skinner for Recess and Lunch then back to preschool building then finally back to Skinner West for Dismissal and Parent pick up.
    The organization of the school is not great so many parents are upset by this.
    This will only effect the incoming Kindy Class for next year but both Classical and Neighborhood classes will be effected.
    Many parents are concerned about safety etc.
    Just an FYI if you are considering Skinner West Classical.

  • 207. In Bridgeport  |  November 24, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Does anyone have information about Mark Sheridan? I left my contact information weeks ago to attend an open house, but no call back. Any thoughts on pros/cons of this school would be greatly appreciated!

  • 208. InTheSystem  |  December 12, 2013 at 12:23 am

    We just applied for our son and daughter. Have to say the website was a breeze and we’re glad it’s done. Now we wait for the testing date!

  • 209. On the fence  |  December 12, 2013 at 1:13 am

    For Kindergarten admission into Classic and Gifted programs are there 2 separate tests kids take.. it sounds like that from the CPS site. The RGCs valuie thinking. reasoning, problem solving and creativity and classical value reading, language arts and math abilities… sounds like 2 separate tests,.. do they take them the same day>?

  • 210. WRP Mom  |  December 12, 2013 at 6:56 am

    For kindergarten, yes, they take both tests the same day. But for older grades, they typically do not.

  • 211. cpsobsessed  |  December 13, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I don’t know if this was quite clear to everyone, but for current 6th graders who will need their grades/test scores to apply to Academic Centers next year, CPS is still currently deciding what test to use for the point calculation, just as they are still deciding about the high school 7th grade scores. Just confirmed that with OAE.

  • 212. AE  |  December 13, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    @cpsobsessed — did you mean current 5th graders? I assume current 6th graders (currently applying to academic centers) will use last year’s grades and ISAT (SAT-10) percentiles, right?

  • 213. Sarah  |  December 13, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    It looks like people were wondering about testing dates. Just for people’s information, our kid has an AC test date this Saturday.

  • 214. curiousnwmom  |  December 14, 2013 at 9:40 am

    I am following up on comment 211/212- for clarification-do you mean that current 6th applying into 7th ac center may have a test score other than ISAT used? Would that likely be MAP/NWEA? Thanks!

  • 215. Chicago School GPS  |  December 15, 2013 at 8:32 am

    @213- did your child receive the AC test this past Saturday, or just the Classical test? Many 6th grade parents who thought their child was going to be tested for AC & Classical schools on 12/14 were only administered the Classical school test and are required to come back for the AC test, with no date set yet.

    In year’s past, 4th to 7th graders would receive testing on the same day if they chose a Classical school as well as an AC, RGC or IG school to test into (the AC, RGC and IG schools use the same test). This past Saturday, however, parents were told they would need to come back for the AC test, despite their testing notification letter stating that there were multiple programs their child was eligible to test for.

    Perhaps there was a change in policy without notice (always possible with CPS), a snafu with not sending the AC test to the IIT testing site, or another possible scenario: all those only require the Classical test now? (Unlikely, but not outside the realm of CPS possibility).

  • 216. Sarah  |  December 15, 2013 at 9:54 am

    @215 – You are correct. When we showed up, we were told that the kids were only testing for classical schools that day. I called OAE when we received the letter to confirm that the kids would be testing for ACs, RGCs, and classical schools that day, and was told yes. But – nope.

  • 217. TimeForADoOver  |  December 16, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Obsessors, I need your help. After submitting our SEES application for 1st grade last week without hesitation, I had a change of heart about our ranking today and plan to submit a modification form. While I had put geography into high consideration, I naively didn’t give much thought to school start times. (Like many kids, mine isn’t an early riser and getting to school across town by 7:45 daily seems stressful.) This brings me to my current dilemma: would you rank the more desirable school with a 7:45 start higher or lower than the less desirable school that’s right down the street with an 8:30 start? FWIW, neither of these schools are top choices of ours (#5 and #6), but I’m trying to play our cards right.

  • 218. TimeForADoOver  |  December 16, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Oh, and by the way, both programs in question are RGCs that reside within neighborhood schools…….

  • 219. Sarah  |  December 16, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    We had – and I’m sure many others have had – similar dilemmas. Our two cents: the amount of time spent in the car/train/bus commute is not high quality time. If driving, and traffic is bad, it can be absolutely soul sucking. Proximity is worth a lot.

  • 220. anonymouse teacher  |  December 16, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    @217, I’d take the 8:30 a.m. start time with the close proximity in a heart beat. Especially if the earlier start time school is one your child would take a school bus to. If the start time is 7:45 a.m., the school bus could be there as early as 6:30/6:45 a.m. If you have a child who loves mornings that’d be great. If not, that would be terrible. Plus, jr. high kids change physiologically, so while it might be okay now, it probably won’t be okay once your kid hits 6th grade. Jr. high kids’ clocks are set later than most.

  • 221. cpsobsessed  |  December 16, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Location, location, location.

    I’m also not a morning person. Kids have to stay up later when activities and homework set in, so earlier times get more difficult.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 222. TimeForADoOver  |  December 16, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Much appreciated, everybody! You validated what I already knew in my heart. My child currently goes to our neighborhood school and, although I think a gifted/classical program might open up some doors for him, I LOVE our present 5 minute commute… which I often do in my jammies 🙂 It’s not so much the drive that worries me, but the early rise time sounds like a killer. He’s an athlete, so I can only imagine the late nights that will be in his future. Thank goodness for modification forms!!

  • 223. M  |  December 24, 2013 at 1:26 am

    Hi there. Our family is considering a move to Chicago from Iowa but it seems we have just missed the enrollment/application deadline for CPS classical/gifted programs. Our Kindergartener has just been accepted into the district gifted program here in Iowa and we want to make sure he’s in a strong program if we decide to make the move. Does anyone have experience with late enrollment for non-neighborhood schools? We would finish the school year here and make the move in early summer.

  • 224. Chicago School GPS  |  December 24, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Unfortunately the deadlines are pretty strict for CPS’s application programs (Magnet, RGC, Classical, Open Enrollment) and anyone coming into the system after missing the annual mid-December application deadline is left with targeting higher performing neighborhood schools. There are some which have “comprehensive gifted programs”, whereby a class is set aside for accelerated learners. There is also the “End of the Year Citywide Options” application that comes in late May and allows families to apply for magnet, magnet cluster or open enrollment schools that still have seats available for various grades. There are definitely options, but test-in schools are not available until you hit the enrollment period so you may have to wait one year to target those. Check out http://www.cpsoae.org for info or feel free to reach out if you need any help.

  • 225. anonymouse teacher  |  December 24, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    @223, There are many terrific and affordable suburbs with excellent gifted programs within them,too. Given that you’ve just missed the cut off for next year and have no guarantee of admission the following, if you do move to the city, DON’T buy a home. Rent. Then you have the option of moving if you wish (or you can stay if you love it).

  • 226. local  |  December 24, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    I second that. ^

  • 227. Y  |  December 25, 2013 at 1:33 am

    Our daughter is currently in 3rd grade and recently took the Selective Enrollment exams for CPS for next year. While she is not currently in the CPS system, we intend to enroll her next year as we recently relocated to the West Loop. Our new home is in the neighborhood program boundary for Skinner West and also in the 1.5 mile lottery radius for Andrew Jackson Language Academy.

    We applied for the classical programs at Skinner North and Skinner West, as well as Andrew Jackson Language Academy. We did not apply to more, as she already qualifies for the neighborhood program at Skinner West and these were the schools we were most interested in. Our daughter scores very high on standardized tests; so our expectation is that she will do the same on this test.

    My questions are whether there are, for practical purposes, any openings in these types of programs for 4th grade entry, particularly for a Tier 4 applicant, regardless of score and also if anyone has input on these schools. If she did test into Skinner West Classical, would it be better to go into the neighborhood program because it would be easier for her make friends (being the “new kid”) nearby in the neighborhood? Does the neighborhood program at Skinner West accelerate the kids who test high like the classical program? Does anyone have an opinion on whether Skinner North or Andrew Jackson Language Academy would be a better choice for any reason?

    Any input would be appreciated.

  • 228. WRP Mom  |  December 25, 2013 at 7:56 am

    I believe 4th grade is when they increase the class sizes for the classicals so there should be a few openings at both Skinner W and Skinner N. It doesn’t matter what tier you are this year since that is only used for entry level grades (K, 7th grade for academic centers, 9th grade for SEHS). They will be selected purely on how they did on the test.

    As for making friends, I don’t have first hand knowledge of either school, but my child used to go to one of the other classical schools. There were a couple new kids every school year and they were welcomed by the students.

  • 229. Y  |  December 25, 2013 at 11:36 am

    That’s great information! I didn’t know that the Tiers were not used for 4th grade entry. Do you have an opinion about the relative strengths and weaknesses of Skinner West, as compared to Skinner North and Andrew Jackson Language Academy? Skinner West is walking distance for us, but I have heard that Skinner North is ranked higher and people rave about Andrew Jackson Language Academy, even though it is solely based upon a lottery.


  • 230. LSmom  |  December 29, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Is there anyone else who has received a 1/3 date for RGC testing (1st grade entry) and no date for classical? I know it’s two letters but it’s been a few weeks so I’m starting to wonder if there was a mail delivery issue. I’ve called but haven’t heard back.

  • 231. sickofIITmom  |  January 10, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    We got a call from CPS that my daughter’s (applying for 2nd grade) Classical test had blank pages and they are retesting her this Saturday. Did this happen to anyone else or has anyone else heard of this before?

  • 232. momof3boys  |  January 10, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    @222 I’d opt for the closer 830 start. we’re lucky that my son’s school is really close and i could do the PJ drive myself, but for some reason we are never on time (8am start). he’s an athlete too and ironically, on the days he goes to early am practice, he is actually at school early. LOL wait until high school when the practices are @ 6am… doin’ that too! UGH!

  • 233. Jen k  |  January 10, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    @231 – several people have commented that their children were called back to complete the test. It happened to my daughter several years ago, also. No additional explanation was given.

  • 234. sickofIITmom  |  January 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    So we went down to IIT yesterday and there were tons of people. Apparently, CPS and IIT had a miscommunication and an entire section was omitted from the test for the first groups who took it. It’s over now, but I have not been very impressed with CPS’ selective enrollment testing process this year (we had issues with our other child as well).

  • 235. Dim Parent  |  January 18, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    My daughter (she is know in 7th grade) tested today at IIT and she tested there year ago too. She told me that the test questions were exactly the same as year ago and they did not included math. How is it possible? Is the test the same for 6 and 7 graders? Is this test assessing any school learned knowledge or (judging by what I was told about test questions) is it some kind of a lame IQ test?
    Anyone can shed any light on that?

  • 236. cpsobsessed  |  January 18, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    This was a test for an RGC?

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 237. Dim Parent  |  January 18, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    @236 cpsobsessed
    It was test for SEHS (I hope).

  • 238. Dim Parent  |  January 18, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    @ 237 amendment
    I guess it was test for the Academic Centers.
    It may look strange that I am not sure what test my kid took, but we are doing it now just for the training. CPS system is confusing nonetheless…

  • 239. curiousmom  |  January 19, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    My son took the AC test today (10AM slot) and said he was told to skip a section (quantitative/math)- which I thought was really strange. He is pretty good at following direction (if it had been my other kid I would have assumed he was confused). Sounds similar to #236. Not sure if this was an intentional change in the test or if my son misunderstood. Any thoughts on this?

  • 240. Skipping AC Test Sections  |  January 19, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Yes, my child was asked to skip a section, as well! Other parents were saying the same thing but it seems like they were asked to skip different sections. My child said he had to skip a verbal section but not math. He is better with verbal than math. Hmmmm…….

  • 241. curiousmom  |  January 19, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Glad to know it wasn’t just him! He is much stronger in math than verbal- so I was a little disappointed that was the section eliminated for him- but relieved he didn’t just accidentally skip a section. Thanks for confirming.

  • 242. TestVeteranNow  |  January 24, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Testing done today! We got rescheduled due to the polar vortex, so we’re glad the weather didn’t stop us today. Our son took the classical and gifted tests for Kindergarten. The folks at the testing were super nice and a faculty member even stopped by answer any questions we might have about the test while we were waiting. I thought the testing “teacher” was really great when she made sure to make eye contact with our son to introduce herself. Some other “teachers” were not as friendly. The entire process was easy–did I mention we checked in early and got to leave early? Our son was in there for maybe 20 minutes–what they said to expect (10 minutes for each type of test, they said–and short cause the kiddos are 4 year olds). Was that anyone else’s experience? Finally–and we can’t figure if this is just random–but the race/ethnicity of the kids “matched” the “teachers”. Is that by design? In any case, our little guy said it was easy and was not phased by the “test”. Looking forward to the letters coming out in March. 🙂

  • 243. Peter  |  January 28, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    @240 You are the first and only person saying that vocabulary sections were skipped for AC test. Until this post 100% of the people I know and asked about the skipped sections, everyone said math (numbers) were skipped.

  • 244. Scanpennett  |  February 5, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    I have a question for those with children that have received offers from classically gifted schools (kindergarten entry). I know nobody “knows” what the test is but, do you feel there is more of an emphasis on reading or math? Our test date is this Sunday and CPS already tested him for reading and math (during our IEP for ASD – formerly called/dx as aspergers) and his reading tested at 5th grade level (they also administered comprehension etc.). His math was only slightly above grade level – he can do basic addition and subtraction. We didn’t do any test prep and I’ve never taught him rote memorization of math. I was not sure what method CPS uses and I didn’t want to goof him up. Should we do some cramming over the next couple of days? Were your children stronger in math or reading? I’m just not sure what they are looking for. Shapes, multiplication, fractions etc. We are doing the RG testing to but, I don’t think I would accept any spots if offered – they are at the bottom of the list. They just don’t seem like a good fit.

  • 245. Skipping AC Test Scctions  |  February 5, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Thanks #243! Well then the AC test results ARE NOT standardized because different kids skipped different sections of the test!!! How can this be? Some skipped math & some skipped verbal???? Should we raise a stink with OAE? My kid doesn’t need very many points on the AC test to get into my first choice so maybe I should just wait for the results….

  • 246. TimeForADoOver  |  February 5, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    @245: Speaking as a parent of a child who took the kindergarten tests last year (but didn’t secure a spot), I’m of the mindset that you can’t really cram for them. And even if you could, I’d advise against it… although I’m all for test prep over an extended period of time. (My child, who recently took the 1st grade tests, had been formally preparing for them since early October.) Either your son knows the material and can successfully demonstrate that or he doesn’t. Also, the scoring system pretty much dictates whether he gets accepted into gifted or classical. If he scores higher in gifted and is within CPS’s determined range, he’ll get an offer to the gifted program that best aligns with your ranking. In this case, he wouldn’t get a classical offer. It’s difficult to explain; however, it’s not quite the way you’re envisioning it. Good luck!

  • 247. New to CPS  |  February 6, 2014 at 9:57 am

    @244 My child tested into a classical school for K last year, and her reading score was higher 6 percentiles higher then her math score, though both were strong. I remember from some of the comments on the acceptance thread last year that some kids tested in with under 90 in either math or reading because they had a high score in the other area and were in Tier 1 or 2, so it will depend both on scores and tier. As for the test itself, I would imagine that there is relatively equal focus on both since the classical test is really about math and reading aptitude. I do remember my daughter saying she wasn’t asked to do any “math” so whatever is on the test for math didn’t feel like math to her. I would also add that in her current classical K math class she is doing subtraction and addition, but not any fractions or multiplication so I highly doubt those concepts would be on the test in any formal way. I definitely wouldn’t try to cram some math prep in at this point, that might just add stress for your child . We didn’t do any formal prep at all. Good luck!

  • 248. H  |  February 6, 2014 at 11:50 am

    “Also, the scoring system pretty much dictates whether he gets accepted into gifted or classical. If he scores higher in gifted and is within CPS’s determined range, he’ll get an offer to the gifted program that best aligns with your ranking. In this case, he wouldn’t get a classical offer. It’s difficult to explain; however, it’s not quite the way you’re envisioning it.”

    I’m not sure how scoring higher in gifted v. classical would be defined, but the statement about how the system awards offers is not correct.. As I understand it, you get an offer from the highest ranked school (based on your application) for which you qualify. E.g., if you ranked a classical school highest and qualify for it, you will get offered that school even if you have the highest gifted score among all applicants.

  • 249. OTdad  |  February 6, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    @244. Scanpennett:
    ” …do you feel there is more of an emphasis on reading or math? “
    My child tested into classical last year. While both subject are important, from once talking with other parents at a party, I got a sense that classical schools (at least my child’s school) like to admit kids with at least one outstanding score (such as 99.x% percentile). For example, a child with 91% 99.5% probably will be admitted ahead of a child with 98% 98%. So, being really strong on one subject seems to help the chances as long as the other is not too weak.

    “rote memorization of math” is definitely not needed for the test, or ever needed. Math is learned, not memorized. With one-on-one testing, the tester will figure out what s/he has mastered. “cramming” is not likely helpful. We didn’t do much that can be considered prep. At this stage last year, what we did was:

    Playing down test: Actually, we never mentioned the word “test”, only a teacher would play games with you and ask some questions.
    Adjusting bio clock: the time slot we got was close to my child’s nap time. We made efforts to make sure that slot is not the time she would usually feel tired.
    A dry run to the IIT testing site so that we would not go there too early or late.

    Best of luck!

    ” As I understand it, you get an offer from the highest ranked school (based on your application) for which you qualify”
    That’s my understanding as well. Basically, 6 schools run admission independently. If a child qualifies for more than one schools, s/he will get an offer from the highest ranked school. Other schools will have to move down the list.

  • 250. Chris  |  February 6, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    ” As I understand it, you get an offer from the highest ranked school (based on your application) for which you qualify”
    That’s my understanding as well. Basically, 6 schools run admission independently. If a child qualifies for more than one schools, s/he will get an offer from the highest ranked school. Other schools will have to move down the list.”

    Yep, agreed. Think this has been pretty thoroughly picked over on here, and there’s little dispute, even tho a fair amount of continuing confusion (understandable, imo, bc it should be easy to make crystal clear, but CPS doesn’t).

  • 251. H  |  February 6, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    “While both subject are important, from once talking with other parents at a party, I got a sense that classical schools (at least my child’s school) like to admit kids with at least one outstanding score (such as 99.x% percentile).”

    I thought some people claimed that only the score for one of the subjects (maybe reading?) mattered for classical, which seems odd, but I thought that was the claim.

    ““rote memorization of math” is definitely not needed for the test, or ever needed. Math is learned, not memorized.”

    I think memorization of basic arithmetic, including the multiplication tables, is in fact useful. If you have good facility with the calculations, it’s a lot easier to understand some of the concepts. And it’s also really the only way to do arithmetic quickly. What’s 8×9? If you want to think about it conceptually, it helps a lot to have the arithmetic skills to factor it, or to express it in other ways. And if you just want to know the answer, well you kind of have to know it.

    “A dry run to the IIT testing site so that we would not go there too early or late.”

    That is pretty hardcore. I just looked at streetview a bit.

  • 252. Anonymous  |  February 6, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    @H, both scores matter, and if either is below a cutoff, you won’t get an offer (80 I believe). From looking at past years, I think it’s right that the selection metric gives preference to students who perform very well on one test versus pretty well on both.

  • 253. Chris  |  February 6, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    “I think memorization of basic arithmetic, including the multiplication tables, is in fact useful.”

    *Strongly* agreed.

    but: “if you just want to know the answer [to 8×9], well you kind of have to know it”

    Well, you can (partly or fully) factor it out and add it up, too. I watch my son do this (mentally, but sometimes with moving lips, or wiggling fingers) from time to time, and then often come up with 8×9=62 or something similar, bc he doesn’t carry the one, or stops part way thru the addition (ie, breaks it down to 3×8= 24, bc that one he remembers, then 24+24+24=60+(4+4+4), forget to carry the 1 = 62; or maybe gets 68, because he drops one of the 4s). He then usually remembers that 62 or 68 isn’t an answer on the 12×12 multiplication table, and figures it out. Dos a better job of it in school tho.

  • 254. cpsobsessed  |  February 6, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    IIT was pretty easy to navigate. Get there a bit early, but I’m someone who backtracks a lot and walks without reading signs and I had virtually no problem.

    But if it helps your stress level, do the dry run!

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 255. ChicagoMomofBoys  |  February 6, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    I found a dry run to be super helpful when my son tested last year. Then again, we live relatively close and I have a poor sense of direction. It helped put my mind at ease.

    Also, IMO…

    Memorization = good
    Cramming = bad

  • 256. Even One More CPS Mom  |  February 6, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    A couple years ago I did a dry run with my child and it was very helpful for a couple reasons. The first was that we live absolutely nowhere near the testing site and I had never driven around the area. For my own use and piece of mind, I wanted to know exactly how to get there and exactly where to park and then walk to on the day of the test. The second reason was that it was helpful for my child to see the area and building beforehand. We also peeked into the waiting room. I referred to it as a school that we would be coming back to, to play brain games with teachers. Then on the day of the test, my child was already familiar with the scenery and the waiting room and was pretty relaxed going into the test. I also brought a bag full of Magnatiles which was a favorite toy at the time and my kid just played while waiting to be called. No time to sit around looking at strangers and getting anxious about it. I read a book so as not to give off any nervous energy. I thought my child leaving with the adult who would administer the test might be an issue but it was fine. All in all it went very smoothly. The kid did very well but no offers. The testing day couldn’t have been easier though.

  • 257. Chris  |  February 6, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    “IIT was pretty easy to navigate. Get there a bit early, but I’m someone who backtracks a lot and walks without reading signs and I had virtually no problem.”

    Since you are probably going before any of the snow melts, scope out the ‘extra’ lot east of the el, as the snow makes the lot directly across State extra small. You can access the bigger lot from the closer lot. There isn’t a cleared sidewalk that goes directly from the big lot to where you are going, so wear your snow boots.

  • 258. Chris  |  February 6, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Oh, and if coming from the Ryan, beware of giant potholes *everywhere* on 31st. Maybe they’ll patch some by the time you go, but consider yourself warned.

  • 259. Scanpennett  |  February 9, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Thanks everyone for the feedback. My son took both tests today and was out 35 minutes later (not sure if that is good or bad). He was telling me all about the test and gave examples of at least 15 questions. He said there was “no math”. I’m not sure how they measure their math skills because all the questions and word problems he told me about had nothing to do with math. Hopefully that works in his favor.

  • 260. Curious Dad  |  March 11, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Does anyone know how many kids score = or <160 in RGC test? Does IIT or CPS publish this info?

  • 261. cpsobsessed  |  March 11, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    They don’t publish that info. I’ve only heard of a few kids over the past 5 plus years with a 160 or higher.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 262. Curious Dad  |  March 13, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Thanks, cpsobsessed. Did you hear it from any official source?

  • 263. cpsobsessed  |  March 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    I did not. That is anecdotal. You meant + or >160, correct? I believe we’ve concluded that there is no upper limit and 160 is about the highest anyone has known of a child getting (and only heard that mentioned a couple times in the past 8 years or so.) So there may be a few others out there but not many.

  • 264. Curious Dad  |  March 14, 2014 at 9:07 am

    It’s a standardized test and my guess is each score is weigh against the mean, generated from a large sample. A student’s score of 160 might mean she is possibly 3 or 4 standard deviation away from the mean. I can’t assume how they score 160 or above 160. If the student score perfectly she might be graded above 160 and one less correct answer may result in 160.

    I was curious how many kids score 160 and what their educational success stories (if any) are. It would be an interesting story to read.

  • 265. Waiting and nervous  |  March 16, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    When do the letters for the academic centers get mailed out?

  • 266. Scanpennett  |  March 17, 2014 at 9:35 am

    I called 3/14 and they told me letters are still scheduled to be mailed Friday, March 21st.

  • 267. Less Obsessed, I Guess  |  March 18, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    @264- Our child scored 160. In first grade now at a RGC. The MAP scores are 99% in both reading and math. As expected, I guess.

  • 268. Waiting and nervous  |  March 19, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Thank you!!!!!! @Scanpennett

  • 269. Jmom  |  March 20, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    When do letters for magnets and neighborhood schools go out? Thanks!

  • 270. lisa  |  March 20, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    They are supposed to be mailed tomorrow.

  • 271. cpsobsessed  |  March 20, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Letters will mail out tomorrow (friday march 21.)

    I’ll start new posts later today for magnet/neighborhood, gifted/classical, and academic centers.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 272. Barb S  |  March 24, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Just wondering what some of the scores were for kids that got offers to classical and rgc in tier 3 and 4?

  • 273. roscoe  |  March 26, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Could someone get me up to date on how the CPS 7th graders were prepared for CPS High School select enrollment (SE) applications this year?

    Specifically, when were CPS 7th graders informed that the MAP test would be the standardized exam for 7th graders seeking SE?

    Has the MAP test been administered to all CPS 7th graders at this time?

  • 274. Julie  |  August 17, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Anybody knows when the details for applying for the gifted preK 2015-2016 will be updated on the cps website?

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  • 276. Joanna  |  January 31, 2015 at 9:52 am

    I have twins who will be entering kdg in September, just finished testing yesterday. Hoping they will get into SN as their older brother is. My worst fear is I will have 3 kids at 3 separate schools. Had cps separated twins in the past? We are tier 3

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  • 278. Rudey's Room  |  February 15, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    It’s a tough process, but hang in there. Here’s my experience: http://rudeysroom.com/2013/04/24/make-the-pain-go-away/

  • 279. @klm  |  February 26, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    When do letters go out?

  • 280. The Quacks  |  March 2, 2015 at 11:07 am

    My sons tested for selective enrollment for kindergarten. I called the SEO and they indicated letters would be mailed on Saturday March 21st. I asked, “Saturday?” and she said, “Saturday.” Little skeptical but hopefully we will hear something this month!

  • 281. VJMO  |  March 2, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Hello – I am looking for some help and information for Slective enrollment for elementary schools. We are moving from Suburbs to the city and one of our sons got admitted to Payton thru selective enrollment high school test. However – for some reason – we did not pay attention to enroll or apply for our younger one – who will go to 1st grade in 2015. I know, all the applications and deadlines are way past but since we were not sure of our move – and have just decided – is there a way for us to have our younger one still get into selective enrollment elementary.
    One of the other reasons, we did not think of him while applying for our elder son was that we were ( and are still) unsure where we are going to be living – so, did not even know where we would want to send him to school.
    Any inputs are appreciated.

  • 282. ABear  |  March 15, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Is it possible that all applicants to SEES will be wait listed if you are applying for a non-entry year? Have schools asked parents if they plan to return next year? My child will be in third grade next year.

  • 283. Eg0210  |  March 16, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    The cps website says letters will be mailed “no later thanarch 20th”. Does that really mean they will be sent on that day?

    *waiting impatiently*

  • 284. M-patch v2 Price  |  March 25, 2015 at 11:39 pm

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  • 285. Stephanie  |  July 14, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    The Hope Institute Leaning Academy, located on Chicago’s Near West Side, is still accepting applications for Kindergarten for the 2015-16 school year. A contract school with CPS, it has small class sizes, tuition free, and focuses on social, emotional, as well as academic learning. Go to http://www.hilarecruitment.com to apply (they respond very quickly),

  • 286. KIndergarten Newbie  |  August 27, 2015 at 11:00 am

    As I’m beginning to dive into this Kindergarten application process, I’m wondering if there’s any information on how many available spots there are for the lottery applicants in each school. I would like to apply to schools like Coonley, Bell, etc…but since they’re not my neighborhood school, I’m wondering if they even accept any kids from the lottery. I appreciate any info!

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  • 288. cipelino  |  November 9, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Hi everyone I have two questions:
    1. Is tier system only for kindergarten entry or does it apply for other grades?
    2. Does tier system apply when they are considering applicants in the second/third round?
    Thank you all!

  • 289. southloopkiddo  |  November 24, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    has anyone received their child’s scores yet? we tested on nov. 20th (the very last day to get score pre-application) and am wondering how long it takes for cps to send them out…

  • 290. cipelino  |  November 24, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    My son took a test on November 1 but no test results yet..

  • 291. luthiersworkshop  |  November 30, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    No results in 60618 yet. We tested on the 15th

  • 292. Chicago School GPS  |  November 30, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Supposedly Selective Enrollment test results for those who tested in November will be mailed by CPSOAE by December 7th. This goes for ES & HS testers.

  • 293. Kindergarten newbie  |  December 7, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Is it worth applying to Blaine, beaubien, burley, Audubon, farnworth or wildwood? Are they just so full that you have no chance out of neighborhood for kindergarten (no sibling preference)?

  • 294. Albany Park Resident  |  December 7, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    We tested before November 20th and received our test scores today, December 7th. With three scores listed. One Regional Gifted Center score, One classical schools reading score, and one classical schools math score.

  • 295. DK Hayes  |  December 22, 2015 at 11:46 am

    When will test results be available for kids tested in early December 2015? Will we have to wait until March 2016? Our son tested on December 4th.

  • 296. Kinder newbie  |  March 16, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Assuming that the kindergarten general lottery and SEES letters are mailed out March 28, we will be on Spring break, so I won’t be stalking the mailbox. How long will I have to review our options and make a choice?

  • 297. Imelda Munoz  |  March 16, 2016 at 9:01 am

    will they be mailed out on march 28 or the week before? so stressful! 🙂

  • 298. anxious mom  |  March 16, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Ok, i just confirmed with the OAE, they will be mailed on march 28, as you had noted.

  • 299. anxious mom  |  March 29, 2016 at 9:12 am

    am hearing the letters will be mailed out on the 30th now because of furlough days…anyone else hearing same?

  • 300. Galileo Mom  |  March 29, 2016 at 10:08 am

    @299 you are correct!! I just checked their site and it says the 30th….this is the 2nd time they changed that date that I know of….smh!

  • 301. Cin  |  March 31, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Well no letter in the mail for us today, hopefully tomorrow! Has anyone received their letter?

  • 302. AKT  |  April 1, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Received our letters today. One for Gifted/Classical and one for magnet/neighborhood schools. Got one offer on each letter, Pritzger and Budlong. I’d be jumping for joy about Pritzger if it weren’t so far away, and Budlong I know almost nothing about. Dang. I guess I’ll have to do some research. :-!

  • 303. JenRN  |  April 1, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Does anyone mind sharing what they know how deep into the waitlist Disney II went last year? I am just curious! Thanks in advance!

  • 304. cat5  |  April 1, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    I have a friend that was proximity wait listed at Disney II last year. She was #2 on the wait list just before the school year started.

  • 305. NPhowery  |  April 1, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Accepted to Drummond. Waitlisted at Mayer on Tier 4, Number 249! Anyone have experience or opinions on Drummond? Thank you!

  • 306. JenRN  |  April 1, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    @cat5 – where did she start out on the proximity wait list this time last year? (Assuming she was higher up and was at #2 at the start of the school year – did I understand you correctly?)

  • 307. Happyhappy  |  April 1, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    #305 – Drummond feels warm and welcoming but my kid needs a tonne of structure and organization and it was not a good fit.

  • 308. 136  |  April 4, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    apparently, those lasalle numbers WERE off.

    Dear xxxxxxxx

    According to our records, your child applied to LaSalle Magnet School for the 2016-2017 school year. Unfortunately, due to an error in assigning transfer students to LaSalle, CPS discovered that LaSalle does not have enough available seats for the number of offers that were made. As a result of this error, your child’s position on the waitlist for LaSalle has changed.

    Your child’s updated status for LaSalle is: wait listed


    I am deeply sorry to have to inform you of this change. The application and enrollment process is an emotional time for many families, and I understand that this error may impact the plans your family has for next school year.

    If you already have an alternative plan identified for your child, or would prefer to remain on the wait list, there’s no additional action needed at this time.

    If you have questions about your options and which may best fit your child, please contact my office at (773) 553-2060 or oae@cps.edu. A member of my team will reach out to schedule time to discuss the possibilities available to you at this time.

    Additionally, you can always find more information on all CPS schools at cps.edu/schools.

    Again, we apologize for this error. While I understand that LaSalle might have been your family’s preferred option, we are committed to working with you to find the best option that fits the needs of your child.


  • 309. Scared Mom  |  June 15, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Disney II’s Kedvale campus (K-6) is great, but you’re best off finding something else before transferring to the Lawndale campus (7-12). We have been a DII family since they opened. They are extremely unorganized, they lack structure, and the police are at the school every other week at a minimum. There is so much violence happening there, they are doing nothing to protect the victims, and the repeat offenders are still walking the halls. There are kids going to school there who are afraid to use the bathrooms/locker rooms. No child should ever have to be afraid to go to school. They are so busy accepting their grants and funding, yet brushing issues like this under the rug. So extremely disappointed in them.

  • 310. Ans  |  October 3, 2016 at 9:48 am

    I got a pin number from last year. Can I use the number for this year, too, or do I need to get new numbers every year?

  • 311. Confused  |  October 16, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Is it me or the process and instructions regarding selective enrollment are getting more painfully convoluted with every passing year?

  • 312. Adam Triplett  |  December 10, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    I’m in need of some suggestions. My son did not do well on the kindergarten gifted test, so we are looking at moving to a good neighborhood school. We also did apply to several that have a lottery, but we are not pulled toward any one school. We are looking at Blaine, Agassiz, Coonley, Bell, Hamilton, Burley, Hawthorne, Alcott, Mayer, Franklin, Lincoln, and Nettlehorst. Any experiences or comments on these schools would be appreciated. If this helps, my son is coming from a very nurturing preschool where they focus on fine arts. We will also have a another child entering kindergarten the following year. Thanks for the help!

  • 313. Adam  |  December 10, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    I’m in need of some suggestions. My son did not do well on the kindergarten gifted test, so we are looking at moving to a good neighborhood school. We also did apply to several that have a lottery, but we are not pulled toward any one school. We are looking at Blaine, Agassiz, Coonley, Bell, Hamilton, Burley, Hawthorne, Alcott, Mayer, Franklin, Lincoln, and Nettlehorst. Any experiences or comments on these schools would be appreciated. If this helps, my son is coming from a very nurturing preschool where they focus on fine arts. We will also have a another child entering kindergarten the following year. Thanks for the help!

  • 314. Tanisha  |  December 12, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    So the neighborhood school where one of my daughter attends (and my second daughter will attend next year) is one of the best neighborhood schools in the City. However, I have a dilemma. I want to move to a different neighborhood that is more culturally affirming and that I believe will be better for my daughters. The neighborhood school that is assigned to the house that I am looking to purchase is a level 2 under intensive support. Is there any way to fight to stay in my current neighborhood school even though I am looking to move for the best interests of my family? (Telling me to not to move won’t be incredibly helpful as I am really trying to make the overall best decision for my family–)

  • 315. Ginni Cook  |  December 22, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Last year I received each posting in my emails, but somehow that process stopped and I didn’t immediately notice because of family pressures. When I try to subscribe to this list, the RSS Feed, it says that I am already subscribed, but I get nothing. How do I overcome this obstacle?

  • 316. Help seeker mom  |  August 4, 2017 at 4:24 am

    Hello parents. We got an offer Fromm skinner west for a middle school year. My kid already goes to a modicum ranked gifted school. Ironically someone from Skinner west moved to her school this past year. Not sure she transferred from slecwtednor nwighborhood group. But makes me wonder. Is there anyone and specifically Skinner west mom out there that can share good or bad experience.
    I am hoping someone will be able to help us out.

  • 317. Seeking help  |  August 6, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Please help us. Any feedback is appreciated
    We got an offer Fromm skinner west for a middle school year. My kid already goes to a cps gifted school. Is there anyone and specifically Skinner west mom out there that can share good or bad experience.
    I am hoping someone will be able to help us out.

  • 318. Kim Grabiner  |  September 17, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    My daughter was accepted into the Pre-K program at Columbus even though we are outside the traditional attendance boundary. Does that mean she is guaranteed a Kindergarten spot?

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