Posts tagged ‘lake view high school’

High School Letters 2016

SEHS Cutoffs 2016_17

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

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


February 29, 2016 at 10:51 am 719 comments

High School Letters “Pre-Show” 2016

LVHS Music



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

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

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

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






February 12, 2016 at 1:23 am 520 comments

Neighborhood / Magnet High School Information


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

What Do Levels Mean?

Level 1

CPS just reassigned levels to each CPS school.  From what I’ve read, some have gone up (news for celebration, as Senn, Amunden, and Roosevelt have shown improvement) as well as Brentano elem, which parents are working together to support.

Lake View High School has been downgraded to Level 3, which comes as a surprise.

Matt Farmer, local grassroots pro education, anti-reformer, down-to-earthy kinda guy wrote a HuffingtonPost article noting what seems to be a lack of rhyme or reason to the method, as some schools that are relatively decent scoring are Level 3 while others that look pretty bad are not.  See his article here:

One of our favorite sometimes posters, Todd Pytel, teacher at Senn wrote this up last year about the Level caclulations, that could help make some sense out of it.  See below.

I commented on Facebook last night that Level should be just 1 measure that parents look at among others, but as a friend of mine pointed out, not everyone is going to dig into school data like I am and that 1 number can really sway parents.  I’d like to learn more about Lake View’s shift to see what’s driving the math behind it.  Also curious if anyone is aware of any other noteworthy shifts in Level?  If so, post them below.


For high schools, at least, the total points are split 50/50 between achievement and trend. Also, the trend benchmarks are themselves given as absolute changes, not relative ones. Consequently, there are roughly two kinds of schools that can score highly…

1) Highly selective schools. These schools should get nearly all of the achievement points on the basis of their student population, so they’re starting with 50%. If they can improve even a little bit on a few measures, they’ll hit Level 1. There are no trend points subtracted for losing ground.

2) Middle and lower-middle tier schools with rapidly “improving” student bodies. These schools can score a ton of trend points by improving on previously poor performance and probably pick up enough achievement points to score well.

Conversely, the system makes it extremely difficult for other kinds of schools to score well…

3) Upper middle tier schools with stable student populations. These schools are unlikely to score all of the achievement points without the super-competitive students of the top tier schools. At the same time, they have relatively decent scores already and will likely not see huge improvements that will net them many trend points. This kind of school will probably not go to Level 3, but would struggle to ever hit Level 1.

4) True neighborhood schools with highly disadvantaged students. These schools will struggle to score any achievement points at all. And without the benefit of special programs bringing in stronger students, even their trend points will be limited. Even with outstanding leadership, such a school could not improve its meets/exceeds number by 5% year after year, for example. This kind of school might hit Level 2 for a while with excellent leadership, but eventually will run out of realistic trend points to make and drop back to Level 3.

All that being said, I think the Level system is a reasonably accurate measure for parents of “where you want your kid”. I don’t, however, think it’s a very accurate measure of the quality of leadership and staff within a building. A highly selective school can basically tread water and score Level 1 (though I’m not claiming they do). And a really well-run neighborhood school serving a tough population will nearly always be stigmatized with a Level 3.

October 3, 2013 at 7:49 pm 148 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: )

October 21, 2012 at 9:21 pm 667 comments

Lake View High School to select a new principal

I heard about this a couple weeks ago – that LVHS will be choosing a new principal very soon.  Got this today from the North Side HS Initiative:

The Lake View High School Principal Forum is scheduled for the evening of Monday, June 6 at Lake View High School.  The three candidates for principal will attend the “meet and greet” from 6:00-7:00 and the forum will begin at 7:00.  Please share this information.  Hope to see you there.

I think this is really exciting. Nothing against the current admin, who I know absolutely nothing about, but since I suspect I am a bit of Reformer at heart, I like the idea of the school getting reinvigorated.  Or maybe it is the corporate drone in me who buys into the idea of “new management signals a change in strategy” as a way to build interest in the company (uh, or school.)

I’m trying to find out whether the current Asst Principal is on the short list, as well as who else might be.  I’ve heard there might be interest in getting some new blood in the place (from a current teacher) but it can be difficult for an LSC to NOT choose an existing staff member unless there is a real commitment to change.

I still haven’t gotten filled in on the last meeting (although I offered a friend a beer if he would write up some notes – the offer stands for any of you who attend a meeting!)  He did tell me that he feels the school may be at the tipping point.

The Trib also ran this article today.  That is some good PR for a neighborhood HS for a change.

‘Best kept secret on the North Side’

Lake View High seeks prestigious science, math program

(by Erin Calandriello, Special to the Tribune)

Mark Morgan, a junior at Lake View High School on Chicago’s North Side, does not come from a wealthy background. So his parents didn’t have the money to pay for private school.

Initially, Morgan, 17, didn’t think a neighborhood school would be challenging or rewarding. But after attending Lake View, he found otherwise. “After attending Lake View, I realized that neighborhood schools are just as good as private schools and magnet schools,” he said. Morgan cited extracurricular activities including band, mock trial, art club and sports teams along with the wide selection of Advanced Placement courses that Lake View offers students.

Now, administrators and teachers hope to enrich the 1,550-student school’s offerings by starting a STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — program. The advanced program, which is offered at other high schools in the Chicago area and across the nation, engages students in projects and independent research on a large scale, said Vyjayanti Joshi, who has been a biology teacher at Lake View for seven years and is the chairwoman of the science department.

Assistant Principal Carolyn Eggert and her colleagues said that if they could improve their science labs and add the STEM program to the curriculum, the school’s reputation would improve; mentors from the neighborhood would take students under their wings; companies would donate money and time to the school; the caliber of students would increase; and more neighborhood parents would view Lake View as a good choice for their children.

The school’s administration is asking Chicago Public Schools to match the $2 million raised with the help of a local alderman to pay for the STEM program and improve laboratories, Eggert said. “We need millions of dollars in capital improvement funds,” she said, noting that selective enrollment schools such as Walter Payton College Prep have received strong financial support for new facilities.

CPS has yet to release its budget to Lake View for the coming academic year.

Strengthening the offerings at Lake View High School would improve the quality of life in the neighborhood, Eggert said. “We are the best kept secret on the North Side of Chicago, but we are limited in what we can do,” she said.

Eight out of the nine science labs at Lake View are below CPS standards, Eggert said. The lab desks are nailed to the floor, and the school doesn’t have the money to provide necessary safety equipment like eye flushes and goggles.

Basic science supplies such as Bunsen burners, petri dishes, flasks and cylinders are in short supply, Eggert said.

Students said they are frustrated by the limited science options. They said they have had to skip labs because of a lack of equipment. The lack of resources also means they have had to share new pieces of equipment and computers, which means lessons that should take one day to finish are stretched over two days, the students said.

“There is such a limitation on what we can do,” Joshi said. “So many parents don’t want to send their kids to a magnet school, but we need to expand our rigor to keep them here. … We need the space and tools so we can better prepare them for postsecondary education.”

Eggert agreed. “We cannot advertise the STEM program if we don’t have a state-of-the-art science lab, where students can engage in expansive research. We cannot analyze data if we cannot collect it,” she said.

But despite these problems, students and teachers said they are proud of their school.  “There is no reason to pay too much money to get a good education because you can get a great education at a local neighborhood school,” said senior William Bazan, 18, who is from the Belmont Cragin neighborhood on the city’s Northwest Side and who has been enrolled in Lake View’s Math Science and Technology Academy throughout his high school career.

“Before I came here, I was just interested in mechanical work, and now I’m interested in mechanical and electrical engineering,” said Bazan, who plans to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “It opened up my mind to what I could do.”

The teachers work hard to help students, said Melissa Lara, 17, a junior who is interested in the arts.  “The teachers are great. They actually care — and that’s what matters the most,” Lara said.

The school opens its doors Saturdays to provide ACT tutoring, Eggert said. The average ACT score at Lake View is about a 20, which is “in line” with schools like Lane Tech College Prep High School, she said. About 41 percent of those who took an Advanced Placement test for college credit in 2010 passed it with a score of 3 or higher, Eggert said.

“It’s OK to go to your neighborhood school,” said Melissa Zagorski, a 15-year veteran physics teacher at Lake View. “I think magnet schools purposely put us down to build themselves up and make neighborhood schools seem like a last resort, but we’re not.”

Morgan agreed.  “When you’re in grade school, everyone says make sure you apply to magnet schools like Lane Tech because you don’t want to end up at schools like Lake View,” he said. “But the bad reputation they have — it’s not true. They might not have the best equipment or laptops for every student, but the kids care and the teachers want you to learn. If I could advertise, I would say, come here.”

June 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm 163 comments

Meeting at Lake View High School tonight

Just got word there is a meeting at Lake View High School tonight that could be interesting for anyone with young kids in that district.  Not sure that I can make it, but I’ll follow up to see if I can find out what transpires.  Good to see that people are meeting and talking.  I have also found out that the school will be selecting a new principal soon, which could be vital in the invigoration efforts there.

Tuesday, May 17 at 7pm at Lake View High School: Hear from a panel including Alderman Tom Tunney and Alderman Scott Waguespack as they address ongoing plans to improve the academic and physical structure of Lake View High School. This meeting is open to the public. Parents with grade school-aged children are encouraged to attend.

Also, there is an LSC meeting is May 18th @ 5:30. 

May 17, 2011 at 12:44 pm 11 comments




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