Classical/ Gifted programs vs. Private Schools in Chicago Downtown

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    • #10367 Reply
      Kids need to have fun

      Selective CPS Programs vs.   Private Schools in Chicago

      Asking for kindergarten level.

      Would love to hear parent’s thoughts on which option provides a more holistic education and prepares the kids for the future?  Which schools serve as feeders into good Chicago area high schools (both public and private)?

       

       

    • #10369 Reply
      jazzman

      I have had the pleasure of sending my children to both and Its up to you to decide how you define well rounded ( holistic ). Both offer plus and minus Classical/Gifted vs Private.

      The crazy competitive nature of getting your child into the classical/gifted programs is borderline insanity ? No it is pure insanity what do you know about the “Tier system” ??!!  The private public (selective enrollment) one is the cost vs private ( 12k plus) whatever the public doesn’t offer academically you can pay for private tutoring. However most of the private schools parents are also  additionally paying for private tutoring.  The private public is going to have a more hardcore approach to academics and focus more on academics vs the essential skills( soft skills) of private. The private school early approach will usually be more play based and essential skills building which is very import.  And private school students do catch  up in the academic areas.

      Dealing with the administration at public vs private is different and requires a different approach for dealing with issues. There seems to be more resources for children with different need at public vs the private. The private schools seem to have stronger sense of community and parental involvement public this may have more to do with economics ? Although the private public school feel like private with fund raising and community outings.

      The Classical/Gifted schools usually place their students into the top selective high schools (public private) Whitney Young, Jones, Payton, Northside College Prep, Lane, Lindblom, Kenwood, Brooks, Lincoln Park double honors and IB and etc.,  The privates include University of Chicago Lab, Parker, Latin, DePaul, DeLa Salle, Ignatius, Loyola and etc..,

      I think both are great options at least that has been my experience. I hope this helped?

       

       

    • #10396 Reply
      lincolnparkmom

      cannot agree more with an earlier post. both options have their pros and cons.

    • #10439 Reply
      Kids need to have fun

      Jazzman — thanks for the insights – very helpful.  Tier 4 parent here, so hoping something works out. if not, my kid goes to a good private school, so no concerns.   just feel, private schools tend to offer similar experiences (limited customization) to all kids regardless of the kids potential and interest.   I have heard otherwise for classical and gifted programs, where teachers are almost expected to push kids on elements/ interests they are doing well on.

       

      Few questions I am still left to ponder:

      – what makes us believe that classical/ gifted programs are somewhat lagging in terms of social (all round soft skills) development. is that a function of higher focus on academics or just a function of school / teacher?   is that gap significant or within ranges that can be balanced with other out of school activities?

      – Do CPS gifted/ classical programs feed students into top private high schools (lab, Latin, parker, etc.)?  OR is it very difficult to break in compared to students that were in private school since elementary?

      – how do top selective public high schools (Whitney Young, Jones, Payton, Lanetech) compare to private high schools for placements in universities?   do private schools have been admissions rates into top universities (northwestern, Michigan, Ivy Leagues, etc.)?  assuming selective private high schools are comparable if not better? are there stats available any where?

      I am sure end goal is to raise a confident and intellectually curious student who does well in what ever they choose to pursue.  but school has a 50% if not more of a bearing on it, so hoping to get inputs from the community here.

    • #10440 Reply
      jazzman

      – what makes us believe that classical/ gifted programs are somewhat lagging in terms of social (all round soft skills) development. is that a function of higher focus on academics or just a function of school / teacher?   is that gap significant or within ranges that can be balanced with other out of school activities?

      From my experience at Private vs Selective ( so very similar with the educational focus) at the Private school my daughter attended K thru 3 was more played based and working on essential skills ( soft skills) with academics but not a hardcore approach at first that came later and ” wow they came with the funk” .  The parents also seemed to form a stronger network at the private school setting we had more social mixers and interactions. Also my daughter seemed to look at her teachers as partners vs just authority figures in her educational advancement. Also she developed alot of confidence when talking and having conversations  with adults ( combination of home and school I think?)

      – Do CPS gifted/ classical programs feed students into top private high schools (lab, Latin, parker, etc.)?  OR is it very difficult to break in compared to students that were in private school since elementary?

      Those that go that route do very well academical the adjustment is the socioeconomic dynamics and seeing their teacher as a partner vs just a authority figure.

      – how do top selective public high schools (Whitney Young, Jones, Payton, Lanetech) compare to private high schools for placements in universities?   do private schools have been admissions rates into top universities (northwestern, Michigan, Ivy Leagues, etc.)?  assuming selective private high schools are comparable if not better? are there stats available any where?

      Those top universities for certain look for those students from the selective high schools in Chicago because of the pressured competitive environments ( double edged sword). The selective schools do well on the ACT/SAT test and post their numbers and show stats on Illinois Report Card.

      The Private schools dont post their stats however those students do very well in those university settings again for academic and essential skills that they have built also the money factor, tutoring ,tradition, legacy, parents are active alum. Again not knocking those private students they work hard as well but these are also strong factors that are considered during the admission process. A good book to read on that is called ” the privileged poor”

      I am sure end goal is to raise a confident and intellectually curious student who does well in what ever they choose to pursue.  but school has a 50% if not more of a bearing on it, so hoping to get inputs from the community here.

      You are correct whatever route you take from selective to very high priced private you still will have to get involved and advocate for your child. As a parent you have to partner with your teachers because when your child attends school x you also attend school x.

      Again these are my experiences and  not ” etched in stone” for everybody.

    • #10444 Reply
      CPS parent

      As far as a holistic education, I believe there is something to be said about going to school with a diverse group of learners.  My kids are both in a classical school  and the diversity within those programs are something that I hope will make my kid stand apart from others:  the ability to get along with, respect and communicate with others from different cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds.  That alone is worth the public school route for me.  I’m not sure if private schools can provide the kind of diversity you see in public schools.  But besides that, the academic rigor found in the top Chicago public schools is unmatched.  My friends who have moved from our school to outlying suburbs that are supposedly “the best” all report that the academics are at least 1 year behind.  Socially, the one thing I miss is the dynamic of going to a neighborhood school where everyone lives, plays  and goes to school together.  That is definitely lacking in a classical setting because kids are from all over the city and it is harder to form friendships.  However, it doesn’t mean they are socially behind.  Just that there school experience will be different from a traditional neighborhood school, which may also be the case in sending your child to private anyways-as the students there probably do not all come from the same neighborhood.

      • #10446 Reply
        Hopefullmom

        What school do your kids go to? I don’t see much diversity at the classical schools either. I’m looking at skinner north and its 37% asian and 34% white, 7.8% low income. Decatur 44 % white, 30 % asian, 14% low income. McDade 92% Black, 27 % low income. Poe 88% black, 29 % low income. Bronzeville 69% black, 15% low income.  I mean there is much diversity from school to school. Most of these schools are predominantly one race. The number of low income students is significant low when compared to CPS as a whole, 78%. Additional CPS as a whole is 46% hispanic and I simply do not see this population being represented in these selective enrollment schools.

    • #10447 Reply
      lincolnparkmom

      sees is a merit based test with an attempt to diversify using tier system. as much as i am in favor of diversity, i would like to add that one cant force diversity beyond a  certain point. if you do that, people with start complaining about the standards not being maintained at classical/gifted programs. it is difficult to get the best of both worlds.

    • #10449 Reply
      hparker

      Another way to think about diversity in schools is to look at the top universities.  Most of them have Blacks+Hispanics at about 20-25%, Asians also at about 20-25%, and Whites slightly less than half.  Those ratios seem to make the best (or least bad?) combination in a diverse education setting.

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