Posts tagged ‘whitney young academic centers’

Fall 2016: Applying to Academic Centers and Intl Gifted Program


As a quick review, Academic Centers are for 7-8th grade (apply in 6th grade.)  Entry into an AC guarantees you a high school spot in that school (and you can still apply to other schools for high school if you wish.) Students can earn up to 8 HS credits while in an AC.

International Gifted Programs are for grades 6-8 (apply in 5th grade.)  The program includes intensive study of English, French, social studies, laboratory science, mathematics, technology, arts, physical education, library science, and advanced research. The International Gifted Program is designed to allow intellectually able students to be schooled in their least restrictive environment and to mature at an accelerated pace.  Lincoln Elem has the only program right now.

Admission for ACs is based on 5th grade test scores and grades + an admission test taken during 6th grade.

2016 Open House Dates

Brooks Academic Center 250 E. 111th St.
November 12, 2016 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Kenwood Academic Center 5015 S. Blackstone Ave.
November 6, 2016 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m.

Lane Tech Academic Center 2501 W. Addison St.
October 30, 2016 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Lincoln International Gifted Program 615 W. Kemper Pl.
November 9, 2016 9:00 a.m.

Lindblom Academic Center 6130 S. Wolcott St.
November 5, 2016 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Morgan Park Academic Center 1744 W. Pryor Ave.
November 5, 2016 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

Taft Academic Center 6530 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
November 5, 2016 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Whitney Young Academic Center 211 S. Laflin St.
October 16, 2016 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

October 2, 2016 at 10:15 pm 55 comments

Learn to obsess about Academic Centers

A reader contacted me recently about CPS’ Academic Centers, thinking readers might be interested in learning more about them.  I’d heard about the Whitney Young program briefly when I toured Decatur.  Since that school only goes up to 6th grade, they do their best to try to get their students placed in these centers. Besides that, I knew nothing about them, but was thrilled (ha ha) to learn that there is yet another step I can obsesses about before High School application time arrives.

Academic Centers: Hidden Gems

What’s an Academic Center? And why might you care?

One of Chicago Public Schools’ best kept secrets are its Academic Centers. These are middle schools that offer accelerated programs for 7th and 8th graders and a guaranteed path into their associated high schools.

Four of Chicago’s six Academic Centers rank among the top 50 middle schools in the State of Illinois.  On average, students from all six Academic Centers scored 35% above national norms on the EXPLORE test, a predictor of ACT performance.  These Academic Centers are: Harlan Community Academy, Kenwood Academy, Lindblom Math & Science Academy, Morgan Park High School, Taft High School, and Whitney Young.

Two of these Academic Centers (Whitney Young and Lindblom) are associated with a Selective Enrollment High School. So if your child is admitted to the Whitney Young or Lindblom Academic Center, he or she automatically gets a spot in the High School. Nice…

Many parents are relatively unaware of Academic Centers. Since most elementary schools run through 8th grade, school administrators often do not proactively provide parents with information about these schools. Surprisingly, in some cases information generated by these schools themselves is sparse.

Admission to these programs is based on 5th grade ISATs and grades and a special entrance exam that is given in 6th grade.  Some schools (those that only go up to 6th grade) give the entrance exam at the school whereas other families need to apply and go to a central testing location.

For more information about Academic Centers and the Academic Center admissions process, check out:

(Selective Prep is a company who can help kids study for the entrance exam they take in 6th grade.)

From me: So is it worth the stress of trying to get a 5th grader concentrating on their grades and having them take an entrance exam in 6th grade?  Well, if you’re looking to get into Whitney Young (and who isn’t) it probably makes sense to have your child take the test and give it a try.  You always have another (probably more competitive) chance going into high school.

If your child is in a school that you feel isn’t academically challenging but they haven’t tested into a gifted program, this could also be a chance for more accelerated classwork and better preparation for high school.

The tough part, of course, would be deciding whether to move your child in 7th grade if you’re happy with your current school (and possibly facing the wrath of an angry pre-teen.)

September 15, 2009 at 10:45 am 93 comments




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