CPS 2021-2022 Applications are Now Open!

From now until Dec. 11, 2020 at 11:59pm you can apply to Chicago Public School (CPS) programs for Fall 2021 entry. Using the www.go.cps.edu platform, you can apply for 3 CPS Magnet Preschools (Suder, Drummond & Inter-American) and up to 20 out of hundreds of non-test based elementary and high school options, as well as up to 6 test based selective enrollment options. Online applications require a CPS ID number, which can be requested by non-CPS families until Nov. 23. Families can apply to both Choice (no entrance test) or Selective Enrollment (entrance test required) programs. Test based programs also require scheduling entrance testing. High schools may also require additional screening requirements. Check out www.go.cps.edu for more info.

2020 VIRTUAL Hidden Gems High School Fair on 10/25/20 @ 1-4pm

For 6th-8th grade Middle School Families looking to VIRTUALLY meet over 35 Hidden Gems High Schools on Sunday, October 25, 2020 from 1-4pm CT and learn about how to navigate admissions and testing for Chicago area high schools and beyond. (Early bird tickets until 10/11/20 and fee waivers available).

Representatives from public, private and boarding schools will be on hand to chat about their schools and let you know of other admissions events. Register HERE.

Thanks to presenting sponsor, Bennett Day School; Major Sponsors, Daystar Academy, Test Prep Chicago and GEMS World Chicago; and Supporting Sponsor, Wayland Academy.

CPS 2021-2022 Admissions Changes Ahead

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) have released some changes to the 2021-2022 Application process and are listed at https://go.cps.edu/about-gocps/2020-process-changes

REVISED CRITERIA FOR HIGH

SCHOOL ADMISSIONS

Because assessment and grading policies were impacted last year due to COVID-19, we are updating our criteria for admission to high schools.

NWEA scores
Seventh grade spring NWEA scores are used in the application and selection processes to determine students’ eligibility in the high school selective enrollment process, in addition to the enrollment process of over 100 academic programs, including International Baccalaureate (IB).

Typically, students must score a minimum percentile of 24 on both their spring reading and math NWEA exams in the year prior to applying (i.e., seventh grade spring scores for high school programs). Students with IEPs and English learners must have a combined percentile of 48, but do not need to achieve the 24th percentile on each exam.

To determine eligibility for students applying for high school admission for the fall of 2021, CPS will consider students’ highest NWEA scores from any of the following prior administrations:

  • Winter 2019
  • Fall 2019
  • Spring 2019

 

If students do not have any valid NWEA scores from these administration windows, or have not taken the NWEA with CPS, the district will be administering the exam in October, on select weekends, for interested families. More information on signing up for the Fall NWEA is available at go.cps.edu under “NWEA MAP”.

To determine selections, CPS will consider students’ highest NWEA scores from any of the prior administrations listed above and the Winter 2020 administration of NWEA.

Grades
Many programs consider students’ grades and GPA as a component of the selection process. During remote learning last spring, most students received final grades that accurately reflected their learning and work. However, we know some students were not able to participate in virtual remote learning. For the 2020–21 high school admission process , the district will use the highest scores of either their final grades or the average of their first and second quarter grades.

Selective Enrollment Exam
The selective enrollment exam is administered during the winter of eighth grade as a component of the selection process for selective enrollment high schools. CPS plans to administer this exam in person as scheduled during the winter of SY2020–21 with proper health and safety protocols in place. The dates of the selective enrollment exam will be announced in the fall.

Attendance
Some high schools consider attendance during the application and selection process. Because attendance was not tracked during remote learning in the spring, attendance will not be used as an admissions criteria for the fall of 2021.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Information Sessions
IB programs required students to attend an information session; however, students’ abilities to attend these information sessions has varied leading to inequitable outcomes for applicants to IB programs. In light of the transition to remote learning, these information sessions will not be required or the SY2020–21 application process.

Auditions
Auditions for students applying to fine and performing arts programs will be conducted remotely. Auditions vary depending upon the program; school staff will have additional information about auditions and how they will be conducted in the fall.

SELECTIVE ENROLLMENT

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ADMISSIONS

(INCLUDING ACADEMIC CENTERS)

Testing for selective enrollment elementary school programs including gifted and classical programs will also be administered in person during the winter of SY2020-21 with proper health and safety protocols in place. The dates of these exams will be announced in the fall.

Students applying to fifth through eighth grade must achieve a minimum NWEA score to apply to gifted, classical programs and academic centers. For these students, CPS will consider students’ highest NWEA scores from any of the following prior administrations:

  • Winter 2019
  • Fall 2019
  • Spring 2019

 

To determine selections, CPS will consider students’ highest NWEA scores from any of the prior administrations listed above and the Winter 2020 administration of NWEA.

INCREASED ACCESS FOR STUDENTS

WITH DISABILITIES IN HIGH SCHOOL

CLUSTER PROGRAMS

Cluster programs are designed for students requiring a significantly modified curriculum with moderate to intensive supports in a separate classroom from general education peers for the majority of the day. Prior to the upcoming application cycle, cluster students could not participate in the GoCPS high school application process. This fall, eighth grade cluster students will be able to apply to cluster programs (and other high school programs, as appropriate) through GoCPS, similar to the application process for their general education peers.

REMOTE TOURS, INFORMATION

SESSIONS, OPEN HOUSES AND

OTHER EVENTS

Learning about school options by attending tours, open houses, and other events is an important part of choosing the right fit for your child. With students starting the school year learning at home and the continued need for social distancing, schools will conduct events and tours remotely. Event details will be posted on go.cps.edu as we receive information from schools, as well as individual school websites.

Although the school year will look different this year, families will still have ample time to research their options and apply to their preferred high schools. Key dates are as follows:

  • September 14, 2020: The GoCPS website, with refreshed content for the upcoming admissions cycle, will be available for families to start researching their options.
  • October 12, 2020: The application opens for families to begin to apply.
  • December 11: Deadline for families to submit their applications.

For more information, please visit go.cps.edu or contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at gocps@cps.edu or 773-553-2060.

 

CPS Released Final Reopening Framework for Fall 2020

While parents are still waiting to hear from #CPS about their student’s schedules before the first day of school on 9/8/20, CPS did release their Final #Reopening Framework last week. https://www.cps.edu/school-reopening-2020/

Some highlights:

  • 6 hr school day including combination of live instruction and independent learning
  • Pre-K students have 60 mins live class, elementary has over 3 hours daily and high school students up to 80% live instruction
  • Small group work and peer to peer interactions via Google Education Suite
  • Virtual attendance to be taken daily
  • Letter grades to be given
  • IEPs and 504 plans plan to be followed
  • Social emotional needs are to be addressed

It remains to be seen how plans and reality play out, but we advise all parents to encourage their students to engage as much as possible while understanding the limitations at hand. For both home and school environments, conditions are FAR from ideal and the global crisis is still evolving, unfortunately.

CPS Announces Preliminary Fall 2020 Reopening Plans

After much anticipation, CPS has announced their hybrid remote learning model tentatively scheduled to roll out this Fall 2020. With the pandemic still changing each day, the plan thus far is:

  • Preschoolers return as close to full time as possible
  • K-10th graders will attend 2 days in person, 2 days with at home lessons, and one day remotely
  • In person sessions will be conducted in pods of approx. 15 people with teachers regularly assigned to each pod
  • HS juniors and seniors will most likely be fully remote

There are many impacts to this plan that CPS is seeking feedback on via their Survey. They are asking all stakeholders, including parents, students, staff and community members, to weigh in. Survey HERE.

Community meetings are being scheduled for July 27-31 to solicit input and feedback. The final plan will be announced in late August.

No plan will suit all families, but let your voice be heard by weighing in.  Helpful video explaining the plan can be found HERE.

2020-2021 Chicago Early Learning Preschool Applications

Chicago Early Learning’s school and community based preschool programs for 4 and 3 year olds (by Sept. 1st birthday) opens its 2020-2021 application on 5/21/20. If parents are interested in these sliding scale tuition programs that prioritize low income and 4 year old students, then visit www.chicagoearlylearning.org or call 312.229.1690 to apply.

Families can choose up to 2 Chicago Public School (CPS) or community based sites. Families should choose programs based on location, hours (most are 7 hours, some are half day) and ages served (most prioritize 4 year olds).

Helpful FAQs can be found HERE.  The application is linked HERE.

Note: CPS based sites do NOT guarantee students can attend that school’s kindergarten program if that is not their neighborhood school.

Spring 2020 CPS Elementary Notifications

CPS released first round elementary notifications on May 8, 2020 for families applying to Choice (Open Enrollment, Magnet, Magnet Cluster) and/or Selective Enrollment (Gifted, Classical and Academic Centers) programs for PK to 8th grade.  Families learned if they were offered a spot or if they would have to wait until further rounds to hear about offers. The first round decision deadline is May 22, and waitlists open on May 29.

Academic Centers (7th grade entry) are the only selective enrollment elementary programs that release cutoff scores.

More info at https://go.cps.edu/elementary-school or check out the ES Choice Forum or ES SEES Forum for crowdsourced information on selective enrollment scores and Choice offers.

CPS 2020-2021 SEHS Principal’s Discretion

From https://go.cps.edu/high-school/principal-discretion

The Principal Discretion application period for the 2020-2021 school year opens at 9 am on April 27th and ends at 6 pm on May 8th. Click the links below to access the Principal Discretion Handbook and Frequently Asked Questions. The handbook provides step-by-step instructions for submitting a Principal Discretion Application Package and contains the guidelines and requirements for the process.

In light of the transition of the Chicago Public Schools to remote learning, Application Packages will be accepted online, and detailed instructions will be provided to help you with the submission process. Starting at 9 am on April 27th, the online submission portal will be accessible on this page. If you are unable to submit your package online, please call the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060, weekdays between 8 am and 6 pm, for alternate submission options.

If you have questions after you review the documents below, contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060, weekdays between 8 am and 6 pm, or GOCPS@CPS.EDU.

Principal’s Discretion Handbook 2020-2021

Principal’s Discretion FAQs 2020-2021

“Touring” Schools in a Time of Social Distancing

School Notifications for 2020-2021 entry continue to come in despite our unique time of social distancing and quarantining. Rest assured, we will return to a “new normal” and when that time comes, we will need to have a school choice in place. In order to help determine school fit, we are providing a platform to crowdsource information on various schools. If you have any helpful information for prospective families to learn more about a school remotely, please share your experiences, or create a new string if you do not see a particular school below. If you are a family seeking information, please feel free to pose your question under a particular school. In each school’s entry should be a link to the CPS page with more info.

Besides this forum, we encourage everyone to check out the websites or social media streams for each school, along with any parent groups such as “Friends of” groups that typically have contact information.

We are all in this together, and in this time of need, our collective experiences can help others become better informed. Thank you!

Agassiz ElementaryAlcott Elementary
Audubon ElementaryBell Elementary
Blaine ElementaryBurley Elementary
Chappell ElementaryCoonley Elementary
Burr ElementaryBrentano Elementary
Hawthorne ElementaryGoethe Elementary
Disney ElementaryDisney II Elementary
LaSalle ElementaryLaSalle II Elementary
Nettelhorst ElementaryJahn Elementary
McPherson ElementaryRavenswood Elementary
Waters ElementaryOgden Elementary
Lincoln ElementaryMayer Elementary
Drummond MontessoriSuder Montessori
Inter-AmericanJackson Language
STEM MagnetEdison Elementary
Beaubien ElementaryGalileo Elementary
Mitchell ElementaryTalcott Elementary
Bateman ElementaryMurphy Elementary
Amundsen High SchoolChiArts
Disney II HSJones College Prep
Lake View HSLane Tech
Lincoln Park HSLindblom HS
Northside PrepOgden HS
Payton College PrepSenn HS
Von Steuben HSWhitney Young HS
Westinghouse College Prep

Spring 2020 CPS High School Notification Links

The first round of CPS High School Notifications for 2020-2021 were released on March 27, 2020. Depending on whether an 8th grade student applied to test based Selective Enrollment High Schools (SEHS) and/or non-test based Choice High Schools (including IB, Magnet, CTE, Military, Charter, etc), a student can have up to 3 public high school choices: up to one offer for SEHS, one for Choice, and their neighborhood high school.

Any offers must be accepted or declined by April 22, 2020. Waitlists will open on April 27, but families should understand that not all high schools go to a waitlist, including at least half of the SEHS.

1st Round Cutoff scores for 2020-2021 SEHS: https://cps.edu/SiteCollectionDocuments/gocps/GoCPS_Cutoff_SEHS_2020-21.pdf

1st Round Cutoff scores for 2020-2021 Choice HS (note- not all programs have cutoff scores): https://cps.edu/SiteCollectionDocuments/gocps/GoCPS_Cutoff_Choice_2020-21.pdf

SEHS Principal’s Discretion is only for students who applied to Selective Enrollment High Schools (SEHS) but would like to enter a holistic appeal process that allows an SEHS Principal to select 5% of the freshman class for another SEHS on their list. A packet of information will be released shortly to detail the steps and timing.