$15 for the whole family, and fee waivers are available upon request.
Knowing how to cast your net wide and increase your options is KEY to a successful Chicago high school search. Join Chicago School GPS as we bring together over 35 participating schools, each with unique qualities that you may not have known about prior to coming to our Hidden Gems Fair. PLUS, you can meet helpful resource vendors and partake in informative breakout sessions that will give you clarity on the high school process. Join us for an afternoon designed to make your high school journey a successful one!
Program begins at 1pm with high schools showcasing what makes them unique, and breakout sessions begin at 2:00pm. Fair ends at 4pm.
Our invaluable breakout sessions offer insights for Middle School Parents and Students on topics such as:
Navigating the private & public high school admissions process
High School Entrance Exam Insights (includes SEHS, HSPT & ISEE)
Private school scholarship opportunities & resources
International Baccalaureate Programs Demystified
Executive Functioning Strategies
Thank You to our generous 2021 Presenting Sponsor:
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.
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!
“CPS is now administering the NWEA MAP exam to non-CPS students in the spring in order to align with the NWEA MAP testing schedule offered to students enrolled in the Chicago Public Schools system. CPS is now acceptingNWEAMAPregistration forms fornon–CPSstudents who plan to apply to grades 5-9 for the 2021-2022 school year to Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools and high schools with academic requirements including, but not limited to, CTE-College and Career Academies, IB High Schools, Magnet High Schools, Service Leadership Academies, and Selective Enrollment High Schools.
For students who do not currently attend a CPS school, will not be enrolled at a CPS school for the 2020-2021 school year, and will be applying to any of the aforementioned schools for grades 5-9 for the 2021-2022 school year, the NWEA MAP will be offered free of charge at multiple locations around the city. Click the links below to access the NWEA MAP registration form and additional information. The test will be offered on two weekends in May 2020 and one weekend in June 2020. In order for students to be scheduled to take the test in May or June, completed registration forms must be received by the Office of Access and Enrollment no later than April 3, 2020. Submission instructions are on the registration form.
Frequently Asked QuestionsPlease note that the NWEA MAP test is used by the Chicago Public Schools system to determine student eligibility to apply to schools and programs with academic criteria. The NWEA MAP is NOT the admissions exam for Selective Enrollment schools. If you are interested in Selective Enrollment schools, the NWEA MAP scores will be used to determine whether their children are eligible to take the Selective Enrollment admissions exam. If your child is eligible to take the Selective Enrollment admissions exam, you will submit a GoCPS application and schedule the Selective Enrollment admissions exam during the regular application period this fall. More information on this process will be provided when you receive your child’s NWEA MAP test notification letter, approximately 1-2 weeks before your child’s NWEA MAP test date. In addition, note that NWEA MAP scores will only be reported in reading and math percentiles. You will not receive an NWEA MAP score report or RIT scores. Further, it is important for your to be aware that this test is only offered for students who are planning to apply to Chicago public schools for enrollment in the 2021-2022 school year. It is NOT designed for parents to use as a practice exam for enrollment in subsequent school years.”
Live in the city and have middle school aged (6th-8th grade) children? Come to the 7th Annual “Hidden Gems” Chicago High School Fair THIS Sunday, September 30th from 1-4pm to meet representatives from over 35 public and private high schools (and several resource vendors) that have terrific programs and more holistic or realistic admissions standards. 7th and 8th grade can be a stressful year for you and your students – take the pressure off by realizing all of the great options in the Chicagoland area. See our frequently updated list of participating schools online.
With the retirement of the indispensable and incomparable CPSObsessed blog that helped Chicago families for almost a decade, a sudden panic seized Chicago parents on where they would turn to soothe their obsession of tracking scores, tiers and offers for CPS admissions or learn about changing application processes or hear about new or up and coming schools, etc. While CPSObsessed was the place to visit for all things CPS, many parents were also weighing private school options or wondering about special need supports and a myriad of other school related topics.
Out of this gaping void came the genesis for ChicagoSchoolOptions. This new website aims to be a crowdsourced destination for the next crop of anxious Chicago parents looking for answers. It will only be as useful as those who contribute to the site make it, so please feel free to login and post to the School Forum or email us if you would like to help improve the site, be an editor or contributor (this uses a WordPress platform) or have any advice on increasing the user-friendliness. Currently it is maintained by someone with more passion for the topics than technical savvy about the platform.
We welcome your help to make ChicagoSchoolOptions the “go-to” site for sharing Chicago area school knowledge. From preschool to high school, public and private, general, gifted and special ed, this site is meant to help fellow parents gain a better understanding of all their school related questions. Contact us if you have anything to share and help us grow our community!
The annual ritual of applying to Chicago schools for the following fall admissions is almost done. While CPS applications for the 2018-2019 school year closed on Dec. 22, 2017, there are some private schools with applications still open or rolling admissions. CPS is in the thick of their supplemental admissions process, such as administering NWEA MAP and Selective Enrollment testing, info sessions, and auditions, while private schools may still allow for additional screenings (interviews, playdates, shadow days, etc) into the first few months of 2018.
Good luck to everyone on their school search, and please do visit our School Forum pages to learn or post about various Chicago schools. This website thrives on parents helping fellow parents, so the more information provided, the better. Thank you and best wishes for a successful 2018!