Posts tagged ‘senn high school’

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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February 12, 2016 at 1:23 am 520 comments

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

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:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-farmer/what-game-is-arne-playing_b_3785967.html

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.

FROM TODD:

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: http://chuckmancollectionvolume15.blogspot.com/ )

October 21, 2012 at 9:21 pm 667 comments

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

I happened upon some info on cpsmagnet.org 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:
http://cpsmagnet.org/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=176610&id=1

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.)
http://www.chicagoquest.org/

March 3, 2011 at 3:25 pm 12 comments


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