Posts tagged ‘cps neighborhood high schools’

Neighborhood / Magnet High School Information

Oneroom

As requested, please use this thread to ask questions, share, and learn about some of the non-SEHS offerings in the city.

Parents with kids at a neighborhood high school, please share your thoughts to help get the word out.

I’ll copy the comments from the other high school thread over here as soon as I have a chance.

February 26, 2015 at 10:26 am 195 comments

Figuring out the High School thing

Lake View HS 1957

Senn HS 1957

So as some of the north side High Schools (maybe other sides too… if so, please fill me in) are being considered by more Tier3-4 parents (Amundsen, Senn, Lake View) I’m finding parents with youngish kids wondering how to chart these waters.

I have sort of come to grips with the fact that if my son goes to a neighborhood high school he will likely be in school alongside some undesirable kids – namely gang members.  I think most other high school ills tend to be universal across suburbs and cities and small towns.  Drugs, sex, the usual.  And I think many of us feel prepared to help our kids deal with that stuff.  So I’m thinking I’d put “gang kids” on that same list.  As long as I can feel the school is safe and he isn’t likely to be shived or shot then I will probably be okay.

These schools have fairly impressive (though a bit dingy) facilities.  Most were build around the turn of the century, I’m guessing?  I would SO love to be able to see some of these schools when they were new.  They’re such impressive structures.   Having owned a giant house that was build in the 20’s, I can only imagine the cost of upkeeping these buildings.  But like my house was, you get a sense of “they don’t build ’em like they used to.”  They seem so solid and majestic

The schools all have an impressive amount of activities.  I know Lake View has several languages kids can take.  Amundsen has an awesome band and band leader.  All the clubs galore.  WAY more than I expected of neighborhood schools, given their reputation.

So for me, the final frontier is academics.  How do we determine whether our kids can truly get a good education in these schools?  The new principal at Amundsen is forthcoming about their data — they get kids coming in with lowish scores and they are making strides in raising these scores.  But it’s hard to take kids who may not have great reading and math skills and turn them out in 4 years with ACT scores of 25.    I sense the teachers at Amundsen and Lake View (the 2 I’ve visited, and obviously we know how Todd is at Senn) are certainly capable of teaching/engaging/challenging students.

But how can we as parents assess whether a high school can make our kids truly “college-ready” as they say.  Capable of holding their own against the New Trier kids.  Well, at least the New Trier kids who go to state schools.

Can we trust the schools to make it happen? Do we need to push them?  Do we need to request something (more AP classes?  something else?)

I’m hoping that as high schools gets closer in 4 years it’ll be more obvious, but I think parents realized that it could take a few years to convince parents that the neighborhood schools are viable options.  I think the IB programs are going to be an easy sell, as is the Senn Arts program (or any other selective program – God knows we parents eat that stuff up.)  But if my dream of having my son walk to high school is to come true, I think I’m going to need some kind of academic reassurance.  I just don’t know what that is yet.

Any thoughts?

(Photo credit: http://chuckmancollectionvolume15.blogspot.com/ )

October 21, 2012 at 9:21 pm 667 comments


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