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2012 Elem Magnet and Lottery Letters – Post News Here!

Well, wonders will never cease today.  I trashed talked them all week in term of the mail date, but CPS says that they started mailing elementary Gifted/Classical and Magnet letters today.  I’m trying to find out if this include Academic Centers.

Post your news here, along with your Tier and child’s score so we can figure out the cut-offs, as these are not posed the way the cutoffs are for the Academic Centers and High Schools.

March 23, 2012 at 6:35 pm 1,357 comments

High School Principal Discretion Period Now Open 2011

CPS has opened the principal discretion process so parents can make one final push to get their child into the school of their choice.
There is an application and even a handbook on how to complete the process:
Applications are due March 18.

The Magnet and Selective Enrollment Schools and Programs Admissions Policy allows principals of Selective Enrollment High Schools to exercise a five percent discretion in the selection of incoming freshmen students through a centralized process. The Principal Discretion process allows principals of Selective Enrollment High Schools to select these students through an application process that takes into consideration such areas as student awards and honors, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement written by the student.

I was surprise this year to see parents discussing making an appeal to their child’s top choice school (over the 2nd or 3rd choice where they gained admission.) I used to assume that the appeal was geared to kids who didn’t get in anywhere, but I suppose it makes sense to vie for the school you really want. I assume there are two types of appeal: A child who is otherwise academically successful but blew one of the tests, and a child who may not be an academic superstar but has shown commitment in some other area (sports, music, etc.)

Feel free to share stories/questions/updates here.

I know this link was included in a comment in another post, but it’s pretty interesting to see that some of the principals are trying to keep the SE high schools more “elite” in terms of admission scores. I have to wonder if they’re concerned about having to teach a broader range of student skill sets and/or if they’re worried about seeing a decline in their test scores (which seems more important now than ever.)

Sun Times story:
The window to apply for “principal picks’’ at the city’s nine elite public high schools opens Friday amid a new agreement that principals weigh in on any overhaul of admissions at their schools.

Whitney Young Principal Joyce Kenner last week led a contingent of principals who convinced Interim Schools CEO Terry Mazany to include them early on in any talk of altering a new selection process tied to census tracts and socio-economic factors, rather than race. As a result, principals have been asked to give Mazany recommendations on better ways to admit kids to the city’s most selective high schools by mid-May.

Under the current system, now in its second year, Kenner said, “Our African-American numbers are way down, but they are way down across all schools. It has drastically affected diversity….

“It’s a flawed system. We have to come up with a different way to do things.’’

So far this season, Kenner also said, Young applicants in the richest census tracts have been “penalized’’ while “students with much lower scores are getting in.’’

All nine elite college preps saw lower first-round test scores accepted from kids in the poorest census tracts this year, with Northside College Prep seeing the biggest drop among that group — from a mimimum 850 test score accepted last year to 792 this year. A perfect score is 900. Meanwhile, overall, the highest first-round scores accepted increased at eight of nine college preps.

That led to huge score variations. Lane, Lindblom and King saw more than 200-point differences among the lowest and highest scores accepted. The spread at Brooks was 350 points.

However, CPS officials cautioned that several tweaks to this year’s processs — including 1,000 more first-round offers — could have produced wider score disparities in the first round. The real test, they said, will be how scores and diversity shake out at the conclusion of all rounds of offers. Some schools had four rounds last year.

Even if more lower-scoring students are admitted, “We have complete confidence in these schools’ ability to help these kids succeed,’’ said Katie Ellis, the system’s elite-admission pointperson.

At King College Prep, fewer African Americans were offered first-round seats this year, but in the 95-percent black school, that means diversity should increase, said Principal Jeff Wright.

However, principals want to see how test scores, race and socio-economic factors shake out at all nine college preps — not just their schools. Said Wright: “Just going ahead with a policy because we have a policy is not something we endorse.”

Friday is the deadline for students to act on first-round offers as well as the first day rejected students can apply to college preps as “principal picks,’’ based on artistic talent, civic work or other factors. “Principal pick” applications are due March 18.

March 5, 2011 at 9:27 am 49 comments

New Options for Knowledge Programs opening in Fall (apply by April 15)

I happened upon some info on about 3 new options for this Fall with the application period running from March 1 – April 15th.

Fine Arts Magnet Program at Senn High SchoolRequires an audition and portfolio submission which is kind of cool for pulling together kids with talent. Of course you’ve still got your academics with the rest of Senn, a neighborhood high school, which may or may not offer academic challenge. I haven’t looked at any info yet. But it seems like a cool opportunity.

South Shore International College Preparatory High SchoolNew facility? Cool. This school will be half IB and half career prep in the fields of computers and health care. It doesn’t say how admission is determined.

STEM Magnet Academy (Elementary)STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. I believe this is the program that is going to be added at Lakeview HS too. 1522 W. Fillmore Street, in the building formerly occupied by Jefferson Elementary School. Admission is lottery-based.

Here’s the info:

So it’s clear that CPS is open to adding new schools (or was under Huberman — I assume these are the fruits of his labor.)

In other news, I’ve gotten in touch with the woman who will lead the team opening the Quest charter school (aka video game school) so I hope to learn more about their plans. She said her husband had found my blog last year when they were researching Kindergarten in the city. She has experience with both regular public and charter schools, so it should be an interesting conversation.

Again, info on that school is here (or a place to sign up for more info.)

March 3, 2011 at 3:25 pm 12 comments



I know there are readers who are going to be getting information soon about high school admissions.

Feel free to share your news/information here in the comments section.

Information is power, as they say… so let’s get empowered.  (Actually, maybe they don’t say that in the city of Chicago, but I still like to keep the dream alive.)


February 18, 2011 at 12:41 pm 566 comments




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