Kindergarten 2022-23 applicant chat

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    • #12814 Reply

      Last year’s cohort had a thread like this, so I thought I’d make one for us, too! I figure it could be helpful to have a dedicated thread for the parents of 2022-23 Kindergarten applicants.

      I’ve also spent way too much time familiarizing myself with the application process and SEES schools, so I thought I’d share a spreadsheet that I created to help organize my information (it’s set up to allow comments, so if you have anything to add, feel free to comment!):

    • #12815 Reply

      Thank you Petra! This is so organized! Hope you kiddo get into the program that you like!

      • #12820 Reply

        Aww, thank you! Best of luck to you if you’re applying this year as well!!

    • #12816 Reply

      This is all great info. Thanks Petra!

      • #12819 Reply

        You’re welcome!

    • #12817 Reply
      1st grade mom

      How/where did you get the data?  I am interested in the results for 1st grade.  Thanks

      • #12818 Reply

        I got most of the data from individual schools’ school profiles, which are linked in the “Other Notes/Details” column on the far right. The offers-to-applicants information came from the “Admissions” tab on the profiles. A couple items from last year seemed a little off (i.e. zero offers to Sor Juana’s classical program), and this year it’s only been updated for a few schools. There’s also some weird data from this year — particularly Orozco and Morton making more offers than they had applicants — but my guess is that in order to cobble together enough students to justify their program’s existence, they made offers to applicants who hadn’t initially ranked them and who didn’t stand a chance of getting into any of their original six choices.

        The self-reported acceptance and rejection scores mostly came from combing through the annual “post your SEES results” threads on this forum and on the NPN forum. I’ll probably dig a little deeper (there are definitely some scores/posts that I missed) and add more data from previous years when I get a chance.

        As far as 1st-grade-specific information, the best information you’ll find is for Beaubien and Keller, since 1st is their entry year. I updated my sheet with last years’ admissions data for Beaubien and Keller this morning. I’ll see if I can find any other helpful information for those schools (and/or if I can find 1st grade results for other schools, but generally speaking tiers are irrelevant once you’re past the entry year, and since there are fewer available seats, students’ scores have to be higher than Kindergarten applicants’ scores).

        Hope this helps!

    • #12821 Reply
      1st grade mom

      Thank you so much!!!  Its very helpful information.


    • #12824 Reply
      1st grade mom

      I don’t see an option to schedule the test.  We are testing for 1st grade. I am not sure if that’s the difference.

    • #12825 Reply

      Hi @1st grade mom, you have to create a whole new account and this will give you the ability to pick test dates.

    • #12839 Reply

      Hi all, I’ve got a couple of questions:

      1. Does anyone know if CPS has updated tiers for the 2022-23 school year?

      2. Now that they’ve updated the closing date for Round 1 applications, it looks like my daughter won’t be testing until after the application closes. All that really means is that I won’t be able to rearrange our rankings after she tests, right? Will I still be able to reschedule her test date through the online application if she happens to be sick on her test date?

      If anyone happens to know anything about either of these things, that would be awesome — thanks!

    • #12840 Reply

      They are still working on updating the Tiers and they will be posted around the time when the application closes.


      • #12844 Reply

        Thanks! We’re bordered by a higher tier to the north and east, so I’m curious to find out if we’ll stay the same this year.

    • #12841 Reply

      Oops I meant by the time the application closes

    • #12842 Reply

      In previous years if students testing for K entry took the SEES exam by a certain date, they received scores prior to the cut off to re-rank choices (or reconsider magnet/private options). Is this an option this year? Has anyone seen this on the gocps website? Please provide a link. thank you!

      • #12843 Reply

        It sounds like everyone will get results in the spring, though it’s hard to tell if they’re referring to just acceptance offers or both test results and offers here: “Results will be released in the spring. If you apply online, your results will be posted to your online account. Results cannot be given to parents via telephone.”

        Link: — first question under under “FAQs – Accepting & Declining Offers”

    • #12845 Reply

      Yes, you get your results and the school offer on the same day.

    • #12846 Reply

      Just FYI I called and spoke with OAE. This year there is no option to receive test results early for K entry (as there was in past years).  Bummer, as with my older kids this was really helpful in ranking classical vs. RGC.

      • #13125 Reply

        Oh no! We tested early so we could get the scores back early. Very sad if that is no longer the case.

        • #13175 Reply

          <p style=”text-align: left;”>Just rank in the order you desire these schools. CPS will not go past your child down to the one with lower scores until they offer you the choice you qualify for that you ranked higher.</p>

    • #12851 Reply


      My daughter is appearing for SEES for kindergarten. I have couple of questions:

      1. How is the selective enrollment test divided ? – Reading comprehension, Math, Language — etc

      2. Is there any other course work or website that I can refer to for the learning material?


      Thank you

      • #12852 Reply

        CPS is (deliberately, I think) vague about what exactly is on the exams. I know that Kindergarten applicants are given the test individually and they are given the Classical and gifted tests in the same sitting.

        Here’s some info on the Classical test from CPS: “The exam begins with pre-school mathematical concepts such as counting, one to one correspondence, sorting, measurement and recognizing visual similarities and differences between objects. Higher skills are tapped for students for those who are able to solve simple word problems and perform mathematical calculations. If your child does not possess those types of higher-level skills in reading or math, the examination is designed to reach a ceiling and exposure to problems that are too difficult for your child are minimal.”

        Here are the skills they list as being part of/relevant to the Classical exam:

        • Alphabet recitation (R)
        • Phonemic awareness (R)
        • Reading words (R)
        • Comprehending information (R)
        • Problem solving & reasoning (M)
        • Number concepts (M)
        • Geometry and spatial sense (M)
        • Measurement (M)
        • Patterns & relationships (M)

        Here’s the information they provide about the gifted exam: “The gifted exam taps into the child’s ability to form abstract concepts and solve problems using novel information. Items focus on the ability to form relations between objects (e.g., a fish lives inside a fish bowl), sequential reasoning where the child tells what is the missing number (1.2.3__5), or detecting patterns where the child is to figure out what comes next.”

        Testing Mom has some resources and information that is geared toward test prep (some of which is specific to CPS), though I haven’t found any real public information about what’s on either test, and I’m not interested in paying for it. CPS strongly discourages test prep and has a whole blurb on their site about how it’s not worth the money.

        Personally, I DID get a bunch of stuff that we started working on over the summer, but I try to make it low pressure for her (i.e. offer praise when she gets things right and no negativity when she doesn’t), and we do it together to make it a fun bonding thing. We got a couple of dry-erase gifted prep books that she LOVES (they’re basically just a bunch of critical/abstract thinking puzzles, plus they came with stickers) and we purchased a home subscription of IXL, but otherwise it’s mostly an assortment of stuff she likes but that also makes her think (i.e. mazes, color by addition & subtraction, Brain Quest, logic puzzles, etc.). Hope this helps!

    • #13026 Reply

      Any thoughts on Edison vs. Pritzker vs. Bell? Trying to rank the choices and beyond location, having a hard time.

      • #13027 Reply

        I would highly suggest setting up a tour for all three.  They are all virtual this year, but it makes it easy to attend. You don’t even need to turn on your camera. Bell and Edison require higher scores then Pritzker.

      • #13028 Reply

        My current rankings are (1) Edison, (2) Bell, (5) Pritzker. I have Skinner North at 3 and Skinner West at 4, but I’m considering dropping West because I’m not sure it’s any easier to get into than North (which I prefer) and might be a waste of a ranking. None of the other Classical schools will work for us due to location.

        Logistically, I think I like Edison’s 7:45 am start time best, especially if things return to a somewhat post-covid normal next year (which I feel like they SHOULD since vaccines are supposed to become available for ages 5+ like…next month) and they’re allowed to enter the building by 7:30. It’s close enough to where I work that I could actually drop my daughter off myself and not be late, and they offer after-school programs, so I don’t have to worry about pick-up. Bell should work fine as long as CPS doesn’t get rid of bussing next year, but it’ll be trickier if they do. I like a lot about Bell, though, so I’m still keeping it near the top. Pritzker is pretty close to us, and they offer before care beginning at 7am, but I don’t love the idea of sticking my kid at school a full 1.5-2 hours before the day actually begins. All that to say, logistics played a reasonably significant role in my rankings.

        Here are some other things I’ve taken into consideration:

        • Edison offers geometry in 8th grade (according to a recent-ish CWIP document); Bell and Pritzker don’t
        • Edison (and its neighboring schools, Albany Park Multicultural Academy and Hibbard Elementary) are in the final stages of a green space project that looks pretty cool
        • Bell’s campus looks even nicer than Edison’s, though (imo), plus they apparently have 2 gyms? The more space they have for kids to be active, the better. Pritzker’s grounds are really cute too, I just like Bell’s best.
        • Pritzker doesn’t appear to offer a world language. Bell offers Mandarin, but younger students only get quarterly lessons (older get 2 days a week), and they seem to be more focused on introducing them to the culture than the language. They also incorporate basic ASL instruction (since Bell also has a Deaf program), and there is some kind of an option to go more in-depth with it. Edison offers French, which isn’t my first world language pick (like it matters), but I think they teach it more extensively than just quarterly.
        • Edison’s Kindergarten teacher has a Golden Apple (I think maybe their 4th grade teacher too?) and everything I’ve heard about her has been great.
        • At Bell’s open house, when speaking about technology in the classrooms, said something like “we use technology to enhance the curriculum, not supplant it,” and went on to emphasize that they are NOT a personalized learning school. Which, fine, I agree that it’s not great to have kids sitting on devices doing i-Ready or whatever for 2 hours a day, but I think there is a way to use adaptive instructional technology in an intentional, effective, and meaningful way. Idk, it just seemed like a moment that revealed a blatant bias against “personalized learning” schools, and it kind of rubbed me the wrong way.
        • Bell’s philosophy re: homework seems to be one of moderation and intentionality. It seems to really matter to them that students have a home/school balance. I’ve heard that Edison tends to give a lot of homework, but I want to see what they have to say about homework at their open house before I make a judgment about it.
        • Bell’s and Pritzker’s programs are housed in neighborhood schools; Edison’s isn’t (though it shares a building with a middle school). I think I like the whole-school model better (no outside groups to “other”), but I’m not sure (more isolating? fewer extracurricular opportunities?).
        • On the most recent 5 Essentials survey, Bell’s ranking was better than Edison’s, which was better than Pritzker’s (which is honestly not great). Weirdly, I think one of the areas where Edison scored lowest was Ambitious Instruction, which doesn’t (for me) track with their Attainment and Growth percentiles (which are both higher than Bell’s and Pritzker’s).
        • Bell and Edison have consistently been Level 1+ schools for at least the past 7 years; Pritzker bounces back and forth between 1+ and 1.
        • #13031 Reply

          I have a kindergartener in Bell RGC (we call it options) and so far we love it. The kindergarten teacher is phenomenal, as well as the administration.

          A few points to add. Bell is just now opening up registration for before school care. (It was offered pre-covid as well) It starts at 7. I would be surprised if you had to be there exactly at 7.  In years past they have had had a drop off window for all kids  (I think starting at 7:45 but I would confirm with the principal) but this year it’s a strict 8:15 because of covid. It’s a CPS policy to not allow students in the school before their start time, so I would expect this to be temporary, and at every school. Just as an FYI.. bussing for any school is for regular school hours and is not an option for before/after school.

          As far as ASL, the kindergarten options class is getting instruction once a week. They offer a supplemental (free) ASL class once a week after school. One day has beginners and a second day has intermediate. And they actually have a class for adults as well.  Mandarin instruction does not start in kindergarten (can’t recall when it starts) but the goal is for kids to place out of entry level by graduation.

          I don’t know what a personalized learning school is, but there is differentiation in the classroom based on reading levels, etc. My child is working in a small group with other kids at her level in reading regularly. They are working through a grade one math book as a class, and I believe there will be differentiation in math, I just don’t know what that is yet.

          We have not had homework yet, but we were told explicitly there would be no homework in quarter one.

          One of the main perks of Bell is their clubs and sports. They normally mix kids from other classes  for lunch, field trips, extras but due to covid that is not happening. My child is playing with other kindergarteners during after school though.

          • #13034 Reply

            This is really awesome and helpful information — thanks so much for sharing it! Knowing that before care may actually be an option at Bell is really helpful. The reason I say bussing would be helpful for me is because I expect (from looking at bussing schedules from previous years) that I would need to drop my daughter off at her bus stop before I’d actually need to begin my own commute. This may not be the case for everyone. It’s also great to have a clearer idea of the amount of ASL instruction students receive/have available. The information I got on Mandarin instruction was communicated at an open house I attended (younger students — can’t remember the grade range — receive quarterly lessons that are focused on introducing students to the culture; older students receive instruction 2 days/week that are focused on teaching students the language).

            As for personalized learning…I work in education, and I’m extremely familiar with personalized learning. I would absolutely characterize it as a current educational trend, and educational trends tend to either be enthusiastically embraced or enthusiastically maligned. There is plenty of fair criticism of personalized learning out there, but I think that criticism tends to be targeted at personalized learning implementation attempts that have gone awry. The term “personalized learning” tends to be conflated with “blended learning,” and it’s with “blended learning” that the integration of technology/EdTech tools tends to come in. I would say that personalized learning is about creating a student-centered or student-led learning environment, and blended learning is often a component of it wherein technology is leveraged to directly target student interests and instructional needs.

            The thing about most EdTech tools that are utilized in a blended learning model, though, is that they are products, and companies will sometimes push them in ways that align more with their bottom line than best practices. So, for example, if you have i-Ready, they’re going to ask you to have students complete a Reading and Math diagnostic three times per year (each, so really students will end up taking six diagnostic tests), and then, according to them, using i-Ready “with fidelity” looks like 45 minutes per week of personalized Math instruction, and another 45 minutes per week of Reading instruction. If you’re using Lexia, too, then get ready for even MORE minutes of instructional time that the developer (or maybe your administrator) wants students to spend on their devices!

            ** message to be continued — the full thing got flagged as spam **

          • #13035 Reply

            It’s easier (or at least less time-consuming) to tell all students to sit at their devices individually for 30 minutes a day and work on i-Ready or whatever than it is to use the data i-Ready provides to create small groups, or to figure out how to use it in center rotations, etc. Maybe it’s fine if you’re using the time students are on devices to meet with students one-on-on or pull small groups, but it’s easy to try to implement personalized or blended learning, stick students on apps for huge chunks of the school day, and essentially replace what used to be face-to-face instruction with silent, individual time on devices. When personalized learning looks like that, it’s no good.

            That said, a lot of these EdTech tools are really useful if they’re used intentionally and in a way that provides enrichment. Stuff like i-Ready, IXL, and Lexia is adaptive, which I personally LOVE, because it’ll meet students exactly where they’re at. i-Ready will suggest instructional groups, and it will do so in a way that directly targets specific mathematical or ELA concepts. Some tools enable students to easily and anonymously provide peer feedback to one another; some provide structure for creating arguments related to a text. Plus, personalized learning is really about a lot more than just integrating technology. And honestly, it sounds like the way Bell is using technology and differentiating instruction is in line with the ideas that personalized learning is grounded in. I just got the impression that Bell’s principal has disdain for the LABEL of “personalized learning,” and while I get where she’s coming from (because personalized learning gone wrong is NOT ideal), it was her attitude about it that rubbed me the wrong way. Like, “we’re not a personalized learning school; we’re BETTER than that.” (Edison, by contrast, seems to be moving in a direction that embraces personalized learning — their CIWP mentions it & that they intend to roll out learner profiles for grades K-2, their language in how they’re branding themselves hints at it (i.e. their open house blurb references their “learner-driven program), etc.)

            Anyway, it sounds very much like what Bell is actually DOING in their classrooms is amazing, and I’ve clearly overthought this very minor point (and it is a minor point! I would be thrilled to have my daughter go to Bell!), but I have a lot to say about personalized learning, and once I got started I just couldn’t stop myself.



            • #13036 Reply

              I also expanded a little bit below on how the technology is used in the classroom for reading. Just making sure you saw that too.

              I am happy to answer any questions anyone has about our experience so far at Bell.

              • #13037 Reply

                I did see that, and it was helpful! That’s why I say it sounds like the way Bell is using technology and differentiating instruction is in line with the ideas in which personalized learning is grounded. It honestly sounds like Bell is a great school and students are receiving a lot of individualized instruction and attention, my (again, very small!!) quibble was with the way the principal expressed herself re: being labeled as a “personalized learning school”. Because personalized learning CAN and SHOULD be about using technology to enrich the curriculum, but she seemed to imply that a personalized learning approach results in replace/supplanting the curriculum with technology, which I disagree with, and I felt was a position that was presented a bit condescendingly. And I know I keep going on about it, but in the scheme of things it didn’t totally turn me off the school (or the principal) by any means, and other than that I thought the principal seemed great and I was on board with the educational philosophy that she communicated.

            • #13047 Reply

              Thanks for that spreadsheet! So so useful. Any thoughts on Bell Options vs Pritzker Options? Probably putting to much thought into this – but haven’t gotten a chance to attend their open house. Both are equidistant, hard to tell based on ranking since they are both also neighborhood schools. Thanks!

              • #13048 Reply

                NVM. Literally just read the thread above! Anyone else’s brain going mush from all this research? I joked to my husband that I’ve officially put more energy into this than I did when I was picking my university 🤣

        • #13032 Reply

          Thought of more to add. Bell also just added basketball hoops to their blacktop area (went in last weekend)  and are about to replace the blacktop and paint a track on it. That is in addition to the really nice turf area, and the two playground areas. Also, something I didn’t get to see until I went in person, was the turf area has little wooden play areas around the perimeter (and example is a wooden ship) so the kids can use that to play on. Kindergarteners also have two recesses.

          One more comment about the technology. Kindergarteners are using an online reading program where they can listen, read, then take quizzes about the stories they read. Parents can log in to see their progress. Each individual account is set up to the kids reading level. Not sure if it’s just  an option for quiet time or if they are logging in as a class. My child is logging in about one a week from school.  They can definitely log in from home if they want. Mostly they are working on reading with their reading groups. And they are getting printouts to read from the teacher, matched to their level. And they have bins of books at school with options aligned to their level. So this is a good example of how technology is used to enhance, but it not the entire program. I viewed this as a positive. But that might be my personal taste.

        • #13033 Reply

          And for Mandarin, I believe that they introduce the culture to the students in the years prior to when they actually start language instruction. (So I think that is where you are getting they focus on culture) I would say this is accurate, but only for the kids that have not begun the language instruction. But again, we don’t have experience  in this yet, it was just the impression I got from the school.

      • #13274 Reply

        My daughter attends K at Pritzker this year and is having a really good experience. I would still probably rank Bell and Edison higher, based on what I hear from friends that have their kids at Bell and based solely on reputation for Edison, but I also think my kid probably got into the right program for her, if that makes sense.

        Pros: A diverse student body and faculty.

        – The teachers and families in the RGC program seem great.

        – The arts magnet program has an annual musical.

        – She gets weekly music, dance, computer, PE and art classes.

        – There seems to be a low/no homework approach in the early grades. And there seems to be a good focus on social and emotional learning.


        – No world language.

        – The communication from the administration leaves quite a lot to be desired – to be totally fair, I couldn’t figure out how to get on the parent/ school email list until recently.

        – Not as well resourced / boostered as some other Northside CPS schools (including Bell).

        – The hours may become a little tricky as she gets older 9AM-4PM and wants to do other non-CPS after school programs.

        Additional notes:

        There is before and after care through JCC and a number of school administrators office staff are also employed as JCC supervisors. We do before care and drop off about 45 minutes before school starts and she loves it.

        Music House does guitar and ukulele classes before school and there is now a cooking class after school. The programs were announced / started a bit late this year because of Covid. But we may plan so that she can attend the before school music classes next year (select days, 8-9AM)

        I believe there is also a chess club and some sports for older grades.

        Some kids do the bus and really like it!

    • #13038 Reply

      Does cps uses any test pattern like NWEA MAP,  OLSAT, NNAT and CogAT for sees (kindergarten)?

      • #13039 Reply

        CPS doesn’t make public the test(s) they use. Testing Mom recommends that you practice with the OLSAT, NNAT, and CogAT to ensure that your child has seen all possible question types. Also, I haven’t watched this video yet, but it’s from Testing Mom and it looks like she spends a good deal of time going over what to expect from the tests, so hopefully it offers some insight!

    • #13043 Reply

      After you set your school rankings (a necessary step to schedule your test date), can you change them?

      Seems like test dates are getting booked quickly but we are still trying to schedule tours and etc. with the schools.

      • #13044 Reply

        Yes, you can rerank schools! I recently reranked some of mine (I also removed one school on our list and added a different one). In the past I think it’s even been possible to rerank schools after the application has closed — I wouldn’t count on that this year, though.

    • #13049 Reply

      CPS recently added the number of offers and applicants that most SEES had last year, and the number of applicants is down nearly 75% overall! Do you think these numbers will hold for the current application cycle? I assume the enrollment drop is primarily pandemic-related, but given that ages 5+ can now be vaccinated, it seems like next school year should be more business-as-usual. If parents are banking on things returning to normal next school year, will SEES application numbers return to more typical levels? I’m really curious to see what others think about this.

      • #13051 Reply

        Those numbers may be wrong.  If you check some of the schools, their “grades served” are only 1-4, which is obviously wrong for the K-8 schools.  Also, 30 or 60 offers are said to have been made versus 28 or 56 in reality.  The admissions pages seem very misleading.

        • #13053 Reply

          Yeah, some of it is suspect (the “grades served” issue is also present on another list posted on the GoCPS Resources page), but they can’t possibly be pulling these numbers completely from thin air, right? There’s at least one school where the number of offers is greater than the number of applicants (Morton, I think), but idk, it was a brand new program in not necessarily the most desirable location, so maybe they found ways to make offers outside of their original applicant pool. It’s also possible some schools’ numbers include additional offers made in non-entry grades due to student attrition. I also think some schools expand their class size from 28 to 31 in 4th grade — are those numbers being included? Anyway, I don’t think CPS’s numbers are trustworthy enough to give any precise information, but hopefully they’re not totally worthless.

          • #13054 Reply

            The letter OAE sent out with my daughters scores, said 3,500 applicants. That would likely be for all SE schools, but I do believe it was in line with what someone said was on their letter in a prior, prepandemic year. I wonder if those application numbers are for grades 1-4 (or whichever years they have under the admissions tab)

            • #13055 Reply

              Oh, that’s interesting — thanks for the insight!

              • #13057 Reply

                Sorry the letter said 3,050 (mistype above) and “tested for kindergarten classical or gifted programs”

                Also what is unclear about the application numbers is how many kids put the school as a choice or put the school as a first choice. That could have been changed as well, from last year to this year.  I guess you could reach out to OAE and ask. But in any event, it didn’t seem like the cutoff entry scores changed by that much from 2020 to 2021 results. At least in the schools we were targeting.

    • #13059 Reply

      Hello to all,

      My kid tested last week and was in for about an hour, can people please advise what has been their experience thus far.

      We tried to extract the subject matter but all we got was that it was exhausting and no desire to discuss anything related to this test. We felt that this was a blurry moment as our kid was unable to communicate whether there was anything math related or not. Eventually, we gave up and realized that it must have been an adrenalin rush of some sort and that they are unable to recollect any of the questions.

      Good luck to all those testing in the next few months.


      • #13060 Reply

        My child who got into our first choice school (Bell) and also scored 99/97 on classical.. was not able to tell us much about what was on the test either. Other then she had to read paragraphs. She was able to tell us she couldn’t read one word (or got one “wrong” as she put it) For what it’s worth her reading level was tested at preschool and k, and was much higher then grade level.  The math part was not asking them to complete simple clear cut arithmetic, it required more thought. And actually my child said there was no math on the test, but later revealed that there actually was when she relayed a test question to me randomly months later. She didn’t realize or define it as a math question.

        I believe since the RCG test is some type of IQ test, it might be hard to articulate/summarize from a 4/5 year old… even if they know the correct answers.

        Personally, I think it’s great that they keep the type of test secretive. That way the results should be more accurate and parents can not prep their kids. (However, I’m not really sure prepping for an IQ test really works anyways)

        • #13061 Reply

          That makes perfect sense that the classical test would also require high IQ and processing ability,  it is not entirely about knowing the widgets, the kid has to have the ability to process the data presented and apply it accordingly, which is why I believe the kids are unable to articulate the questions. It was baffling to an extent that the kid wasn’t asked straight up math but your rationale makes more sense and probably the right way to evaluate the kids 360 degree ability.

          Any feedback on the average time spent by the kids this year, the organizer stepped out and stated that due to covid protocols it could take anywhere from 30 mins – 90mins.

      • #13063 Reply
        SEES Parent

        Was your child offered a ‘mind erasing sticker’ by chance?  In the early years, our children received a sticker on their hand or for their shirt that seemed to eliminate any ability to recall test questions, no matter how pressed.  It’s only now that we are talking about 7th grade AC exams that they suddenly can recall what kindergarten test questions are.  It’s amazing.

        I’ll leave you all to the Kinder chat.  Hang in there, and if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

        • #13064 Reply

          Thank you for the good laugh… this is the most accurate response, to date.

          Best advise I can give to all of you, is to trust the process. If you think your child will do well, they probably will. And trust that these are trained professionals administering the tests. It’s hard to do that when there is no much negative press about CPS.

    • #13065 Reply

      Does anyone know if there is a deadline to register for testing?

      • #13076 Reply

        I’m pretty sure that you just need to make sure to register for a test before the application closes at 5pm on December 15th!

    • #13066 Reply

      I’m on the app currently, and there are no testing slots open, but I cannot move to the next screen unless I select a testing slot. I assume others are running into this issue and wanted to check in to see what the next course of action should be.


    • #13081 Reply

      Hello there!

      We are new the CPS. How exactly does bussing work? Is it safe? Reliable?

      Starting K in the fall of 2022 but not exactly comfortable with the idea but it seems awfully convenient.

      • #13082 Reply

        I don’t have any personal experience with busing, so I’m interested to see others’ responses, but I do know that it has definitely NOT been reliable this year. During their open house, Edison specifically mentioned that they’d been impacted by the bus driver shortage, and it kind of sounded like their school in particular had been hit worse than others. No idea what things will be like next year, but I did come across this gem on the GoCPS website: “NOTE: The Board of Education will be reviewing all transportation policies to determine its ability to fund ongoing programs. When making choices about school applications fro your child, please keep in mind that current transportation policies and guidelines could be subject to change.”

        Relatedly, I’ve seen a lot of people mention that they’ve needed to carpool due to busing issues, and I’m wondering how viable of an alternative that is. It seems like it would be a huge hassle with younger kids in carseats. Does anyone have any experience managing that? Like, are you buying an extra carseat for somebody else’s car? I just can’t think of a way to make carpooling work that isn’t wildly inconvenient.

      • #13088 Reply
        SEES Parent

        I posted a warning about bussing several weeks ago.  Since then, we have made zero headway with bus service being ‘restored’ and CPS Transportations response has been extremely frustrating (different answers from different people)  Several parents are afraid this is going to be used as an excuse to stop bussing altogether.  I would certainly evaluate your choices as if there is no bussing.

        Carpooling works—ish.  There are a lot of complicating factors and it’s not always perfect with parents job schedules, afterschool activities, other children, etc.  Many people are able to take their kids too school, but stopping in the middle of your afternoon to spend an hour+ picking up is really challenging. The traffic/parking situations at these schools are not setup for so many cars.  As an alternative, it’s pretty much impossible to hire someone to spend that hour to pickup your kid at school and return them home.

        When bussing was happening, it was good enough for the most part.  You drop your kid at a neighborhood location, wait for the bus and get them.  Some drivers were better than others.  Sometimes there was traffic and it took awhile.  But overall it was okay and worth it for the school they were able to attend.

        Bussing NOT a guarantee

    • #13083 Reply

      Hi! Anyone taken the SEES test already in previous years/or this year and have any idea on how to tell if their kid did well? Mine came out all smiles and said “that’s was really fun, let’s do it again next week.” But also told me three specific instances that the proctor said “that isn’t quite right.” I’m thinking that’s a good sign, but not if there are only like 7 questions. Haha trying to decide whether to put the gifted or selective enrollment as first choice.

      • #13084 Reply

        Mine hasn’t taken the test yet, but based on what I’ve heard from parents in previous years, kids tend to be extremely unreliable narrators about the test experience.

        Do you mean you’re trying to decide whether to rank a Classical or gifted program first? It doesn’t really matter strategically. Let’s say you rank gifted programs above Classical, but your child gets a low score on the gifted test and a top score on the Classical test. You won’t receive an offer at your top-ranked gifted schools, but you likely will for whichever Classical school you’ve ranked highest. Really the best thing to do is to rank schools in order of preference. You could also reserve your 6th ranked choice for a school with a newer program like Morton (gifted), Sor Juana (Classical), McPherson (gifted), or Bronzeville (Classical). Since those programs are less established, they tend to be less competitive.

        • #13087 Reply

          thanks! So this is my thought process, too, that it doesn’t matter strategically – But while talking to another parent yesterday, we thought that theoretically if two children score the same, and are in the same tier – the spot would go to the child who ranked the school higher, right? So it DOES matter in that sense. But that would then also mean that any school listed after 3 or 4 would probably not matter since someone else will probably have ranked it higher and would get dibs. But 100% may be overthinking it lol and honestly, can’t actually control it so 🤷🏻‍♀️.

          thanks @Bpmommy & @Himama – that thread is super insightful!

    • #13085 Reply

      @ACMama, from what I’ve heard from others who have taken the test in years past, the length of time it takes the child to take the test has a direct correlation to how well they did.  Parents whose kids took between 40-50 mins to take the test did really well.  My daughter took about 50 mins last year and did really well in the Gifted exam but not so much in the Classical.

      • #13086 Reply

        To expand on this, here is discussion over last years testing times. You would probably have to see who came back and reported their scores later.

        Kindergarten 2021-2022 applicant chat


        My child took 45 minutes and got a 143 on RGC and a 99/97 on classical. She had just turned 5 less then a month prior to the test.

    • #13095 Reply

      Hi all, I recently emailed OAE some questions, and thought I’d share their responses for anyone else who may have been wondering some of the same things I was!

      I was told that ranking does not play any role whatsoever in determining who to give an offer, even (or especially) in the case of a tiebreaker. They didn’t say how ties are broken if they happen (my guess is by random lottery), but apparently ranking is irrelevant to that decision.

      Also, tiers are NOT changing this year, so that’s why they haven’t been updated. If you look up your address on the CPS School Locator map, whatever tier it shows you should be accurate for this year’s application cycle.

    • #13191 Reply

      I’m trying to finalize my rankings and I’m having trouble deciding whether to include McPherson or Decatur (or maybe Skinner West?). I really like Decatur’s program (and I don’t know much about McPherson, though I’ve heard positive things), but we’re not eligible for transportation, and it’s about a half-hour drive to get there (which adds some concern about how that drive might impact my work schedule, as well as some concern about likely needing to pay for after-school care every day). I’d also like to add another Classical school to our application, as we only have Skinner North on there at the moment. The only other realistic Classical option would be Skinner West, but what I’ve heard isn’t all positive, I’m pretty sure they’ll be in the middle of a leadership transition next year, and I get the impression that it might be more competitive than SN anyway, so it seems like a waste to include it on my application.

      Idk, does anyone have any thoughts or insight? In what order would you rank Decatur, McPherson, and Skinner West, and why?

    • #13251 Reply


      Please advise on any feedback you may have on the SEES testing experience, surprisingly not much has been exchanged on this forum thus far so curios how things are shaking out.

      • #13252 Reply

        We just got home from ours. Got taken in about 10 minutes before our appointment and tested for about 40-45 minutes. Received a sticker, which was the highlight of the experience. Not getting much info about what kind of questions there were other than “math problems” and that some were easy and some were hard. I did notice that 6 kids who went back to test after my daughter were finished before her (as was the one who went back at the same time). Honestly a lot of kids were only gone for like 15 minutes. Would be curious to hear how long others tested for!

      • #13253 Reply

        After some prodding, I was able to get some more information about the test out of my daughter. It sounds like there was quite a bit of “point to the A, point to the G, point to the cat, point to the house, etc.” kind of stuff. She also said that there were multiple “which one doesn’t belong?”-type questions. I was initially told that there wasn’t any reading, but later she said that she did read some sentences, though she claimed she couldn’t remember any of them. I was told that there were definitely no patterns, no questions about shapes or colors, and no questions about opposites. I also managed to get a single question basically verbatim out of her: “Marina went bowling with her friends. First she knocked down five pins, and then she knocked down three more. How many pins did she knock down altogether?”

        Good luck to everyone who’s already tested, as well as to those still waiting to test! Not looking forward to the long wait for results…

    • #13254 Reply

      Thank you, Petra. What you shared are some solid data points and we too had a similar experience with the test timing but one of the organizer’s stepped out and let us know that the test could last anywhere between 30-90 mins so that left us somewhat confused.

      If the rest can contribute, that would provide a good metric and let us assess the general trends of this year’s SEES testing.


    • #13256 Reply

      We had a similar experience – my kiddo was gone for ~45mins, but 4 kids who went in right after us were done around the 20-25 mark. I know one of the kids was there for early kindergarten testing, though, so it might just have been different testing. we do have a friend who took it last year and told us there was zero reading (tested 30 mins), but her daughter is currently in a gifted program and also cannot read yet. So I think they incorporate the reading in towards the end of the exam if the child shows they can read. That might account for the extra 10-15 mins at the end, just a total guess!

    • #13288 Reply

      can we edit the school choice ranking after taking the test?

      • #13289 Reply

        I’m about 99% certain that it’s not possible to rerank schools anymore and that you were only allowed to do so prior to the application closing on 12/15.

        • #13291 Reply

          Thanks, Petra!

      • #13292 Reply

        I think you can download and fill out a reranking document and email to cps oae.

        I did once a couple of years ago even after the deadline.

        you need to double check with cps oae though.

    • #13294 Reply

      Does anyone know when test and admissions results come back? It feels like the testing rounds have concluded (save for any reschedules)

      • #13296 Reply

        last year, testing was ended around March. the result was released around the end of May. prob something similar this year as well?

      • #13297 Reply

        Last year, results were posted on May 28, which is super late, but I know Covid has bumped timelines back some. In 2020, results were originally scheduled to be released on April 24, and they ended up delaying until May 8. They used to release results around late March/early April — in 2017, notifications were emailed on April 3, and in 2016 letters were mailed in late March (supposed to be the 27th, but ended up being the 30th because something about furloughs and a 1-day strike, idk).

        I wish the process and timeline was more transparent, or at least that they’d release scores before results. I’m too anxious and impatient, I can’t take this wait!

        • #13299 Reply

          For 2021/2022 school year, SEES testing did not begin until first week of January, delayed due to covid, which led to delayed results. We received test results and SEES placements all on the same day in late May.

          If you email CPS OAE they should be able to give you an estimate.

    • #13301 Reply

      What’s everyone’s plan for selective enrollment/rgc schools if school busses go away for good in the fall? I know there’s been massive disruption this school year due to driver shortage but more routes will be reassigned to accommodate (as they should) IEP/medically fragile students, and students in temporary housing over magnet schools possibly starting this March. Some of my friends with kids in rgc’s been driving/carpooling every day but idk if I can do it with 2 kids with 1 in daycare and 1 starting kindergarten in the fall.


    • #13302 Reply

      Is bussing safe for kindergardeners? Feels like alot of kids (all older) with little supervision…

      • #13303 Reply

        My friend’s kiddo has been riding the bus since she was in kindergarten. From what I heard you get paired with a older kid that rides the bus. And pick up/drop offs are at a CPS school closest to you with a guard that makes sure kids get on/off at correct stop. she’s had no issues and it’s been 3-4 years.

    • #13330 Reply

      I know it’s hard to believe, but my niece was only back there just 28 mins (I took her to the test and timed it) and she scored 99 reading 98 math and 119 regional gifted. It really depends on how confident your child is with their answers to the questions . Also, full discloser I am also a daycare provider. The children in my daycare take the test every year, and some are back there 50 mins while several were back there only 25 mins, but they were all offered seats at their first choice schools. I believe it’s all in the confidence of the child.

    • #13393 Reply

      Hs admissions are published Friday 3.18. Does anyone know when Elementary school offers were made im relation to hs offers in previous years

      • #13394 Reply

        Usually about a month after, so likely some time in mid-April.

    • #13672 Reply

      CPS website says elementary school results will be published on April 29th, does this mean the offer data or the scores? Or will the scores become available earlier?

      • #13673 Reply

        The scores and the offer data will both be released on 4/29.

    • #13688 Reply

      Hi everyone,

      So with results coming out soon, what do you do if your child wasn’t accepted to any of your preferred schools?

      I know there are 2nd and 3rd rounds where they could possibly still get in. What is the process for that? Are there also principal decisions similar to HS?

      Is there anything that needs to be done for neighborhood school enrollment if you are planning to use it as a backup?

      • #13689 Reply

        “I know there are 2nd and 3rd rounds where they could possibly still get in. What is the process for that? Are there also principal decisions similar to HS?”

        Nothing you can do.  Just wait for the call or email that may or may not come.

        “Is there anything that needs to be done for neighborhood school enrollment if you are planning to use it as a backup?”

        Just register there anytime you like, but not after you take a desirable SE/choice offer.

        • #13691 Reply

          So it’s an automatic process that proceeds to the 2nd and 3rd round?

          I’m assuming at the very least, you only go on to the next rounds if you don’t accept an offer to any school.

          And from what you are saying, it sounds like there is no deadline for registration to neighborhood schools. Is there any incentive to register early in case any of the SEES schools don’t pan out.

    • #13692 Reply

      “I’m assuming at the very least, you only go on to the next rounds if you don’t accept an offer to any school.”

      Of course.

      “And from what you are saying, it sounds like there is no deadline for registration to neighborhood schools. Is there any incentive to register early in case any of the SEES schools don’t pan out.”

      Indeed, no deadline.  You will do your neighborhood school a favor – for planning purposes – by registering early.  To study there is your child’s right.

    • #13693 Reply

      hparker is wrong.

      There’s an actual process for waitlisting that starts after offers are issued and is sorted after the accept deadline.

      You should take a look at the CPS website. You will miss key dates and actions to take if you listen to hparker.


      • #13694 Reply

        No, I am not wrong.  “Rounds of offers” is for Selective Enrollment schools and comes from OAE automatically based on a student’s application info.  Waitlisting happens with magnet/choice schools and is a rolling admissions process that is managed by individual schools also automatically based on the applications submitted back in December.  There could be unfilled seats in less desirable schools that merit another application event, but this doesn’t seem to be the original poster’s question.  So, please kindly advise what dates I might have failed to mention that would demand a parent’s action.

    • #13695 Reply

      Agree with hparker.  My daughter was accepted to a gifted program in the 1st round last year that we ended up declining.  We had to wait until July (Round 2) to hear whether she would receive an offer to the next school we had listed.  But once we accepted, we were no longer eligible to receive any subsequent offers.  And like hparker said, there are no waitlists for SEES; this is only for Magnet/Choice schools.

    • #13703 Reply

      Seconding himamma. If you accept a SEES offer, you will no longer be eligible for a subsequent round for SEES. If you accept in round one, even if it’s not your first choice school.. you will not be eligible for round 2 or 3.  If you accept in round 2, you will not be eligible for a round 3 offer.

      This is different then the non-SEES lottery system where accepting an offer does not eliminate your child from receiving offers from other schools.

    • #13773 Reply

      So, if you receive an offer in round 1 from a SEES, and you don’t accept because you’re hoping for a different school in subsequent rounds, you lose out on that option. So, you could end up missing out entirely if you “gamble” and wait for a subsequent round…?



    • #13774 Reply

      Hi everyone,

      Can you be accepted to more than 1 school in each round? I thought it was only 1 acceptance to the highest possible school, in order of your own rankings.

      Something like this

      1- no acceptance

      2 – no acceptance

      3 – no acceptance

      4 – accepted

      5 – no acceptance (since you got accepted into your 4th choice)

      6 – no acceptance (since you got accepted into your 4th choice)


      And what would happen if you tried to make it to other schools? You reject this offer to try to get into your 1-3 choices, what are possible outcomes Round 2?

      Could you even get into Option 4 again or is that off the table now that you rejected them?

      • #13775 Reply

        You can be accepted to more than one school each round (because you can receive an offer for up to 20 Choice schools where offers are determined by a lottery), but only one SEES school (which includes both Classical schools and Gifted programs). If someone applied to one 0r more of the three ELL Gifted programs (Pulaski, Greeley, and/or Orozco), they could also get an offer from one of those schools in addition to one of the non-ELL Classical or Gifted schools.

        Here’s some data from the previous three years that can help anyone considering gambling on second round or later offers to make a more informed decision: (I’ll try to get this more updated later today — scores in green are below the 1st round “cut score,” scores in red are above it, and scores in white are the same)

        You could potentially get offers from lower-ranked schools in subsequent rounds. I think last year there was someone who accidentally ranked their schools backwards (relative to their true order of preference) and they went through a few rounds of offers until they ended up with their actual preferred school. In this instance, the score was above the Tier 4 cut score for every school, though, so this helped their odds.

        • #13791 Reply

          OMG. We did that too. My husband ranked all the schools based on their after school program. I thought I changed the order later on but may be I didn’t save it. In any event, our listed first choice is McPherson, and I do not think we can even be considered for Bell or Skinner. Do we need to decline first choice in order to get to Round 2? I am still not clear on how the Rounds work? Did CPS uploaded the webinar on the selection process?


          By the way, I do not know where you get this data from but it is priceless. Thank you for posting!

      • #13783 Reply

        This is how I understand it from experience:

        For SEES schools, you only get ONE OFFER per round and it will be based upon your score and your ranking.  For example if you get a  pretty good, but not great, score and get an offer from your 3rd choice and you want to wait for a higher choice, then you can decline the 3rd choice and hope your score is good enough to get a later round offer on a higher choice.  However if it’s a popular program, it may be unlikely that you’d get a 2nd or 3rd round offer because this means other people would have to turn it down – so you may end up with no SEES offer in the end.  Therefore it’s important to look at your score and assess ‘how good’ it is and decide whether you want to risk turning something down.  However you accept the offer from the 3rd choice, then you are taken off the list from the 1st and 2nd choice for SEES and you will not get a 2nd or 3rd round offer.

        For MAGNET and choice schools there is no ranking, and, you can get multiple offers in the first round and you will get a wait list number for each school you don’t get an offer from.  Once you turn a school down, it’s gone, but if you accept a magnet or choice offer, you can remain on the wait list for others.  So for example if you get a school you kind of want, but there is a better option that is closer to home or something, you can take one offer, while remaining waitlisted for other.  Also if you accept a SEES school, you can remain wait listed for magnets.  If you get multiple offers from SEES and Magnet in first round, you can only accept only one, but after accepting you can remain waitlisted for other Magnets that you are waitlisted for. Complicated…..

    • #13781 Reply

      Is there a comparison between Classical and Gifted Scores? I only applied to Classical programs, but will probably apply to Gifted Schools in Round 2 – so I’m wondering how to calculate an approximate Gifted score, using the Classical that I get today.

      Is that possible?

      • #13782 Reply

        If you did not apply to gifted in Round 1 then CPS likely did not have your child take the gifted test.  I don’t think that you can just apply in round II without taking the test.  The classical and gifted tests are totally different tests.  One is like an IQ test with puzzles [gifted] and classical is a knowledge based test.  The scoring is also different [gifted scores over 100, up o 150-160 or so? and Classical scores out of 100th percentile]

        • #13784 Reply

          I was told it was possible to apply for Gifted programs, even if I only applied for Classical at Round 1.

          Yes, scores are different, but the test is the same (for Kindergarten only!)

          • #13789 Reply

            Yes, if you’re applying to Kindergarten, your child will have already taken the Gifted test even if you only applied to Classical schools. The score won’t be posted in GoCPS, but it exists. I wonder if you call OAE if they might be able to make it so that you can access the score before applying to Gifted schools in Round 2?

            There’s really no way to gauge what the score might be from looking at Classical scores. Sometimes one score is very high and the other isn’t, and sometimes they’re universally high or low. It really just depends.

      • #13785 Reply

        On the there is a 2nd round for SEES RGC-EL

        Testing for SEES-RGC-EL will RE-OPEN for the following schools!

        Orozco Fine Arts & Sciences Elementary School
        Pulaski International School of Chicago
        Horace Greeley Elementary School

        Primary Language must be Spanish or Polish Students who have previously tested are not able to re-test. Only “new” candidates are able to test at this time.

        Test Date: Saturday, May 14th, 2022
        Test Location: Orozco Community Academy
        1940 W 18th Street, Chicago, IL 60608

        GO.CPS.EDU 773-553-2060 GOCPS@CPS.EDU
        Register through your GoCPS online portal.
        Registration is open from April 20th to May 6th, 2022.
        Registration is required as walk-ins are not accepted.
        Questions: Please contact the Office of Access and
        Enrollment or the RGC-EL School you are interested in.

    • #13792 Reply

      For anyone wondering how subsequent rounds work, it is exactly how someone described it above, a gamble.  My daughter last year scored in the 80’s for classical and a 142 on gifted.  We ranked the schools as follows: 1- Skinner West; 2- Skinner North; 3 – NTA; 4- Pritzker; 5- Bell; 6 – Edison.  When I ranked them initially in Oct 2019, I was thinking SW and NTA are close to where I work.  Because of her score and Tier 4, she did not get into the Skinners but was accepted to NTA in Rd 1.  After thinking of it more, I realized I did not want to drive to Chinatown everyday since we live in Lakeview.  In hindsight, I don’t even know why I ranked them so high.  But anyway, so we ended up rejecting that offer and hoped for the best that she would get into Pritzker, the next school on our list.  Rd 2 results came out in July and she ended up getting in which we accepted, thus taking us out of the running for any subsequent rounds.  Good luck to everyone today!  Such a nerve wracking day, I think!

      • #13793 Reply

        Interesting thanks for sharing!

        Thats a high score on the gifted and based on the cutoff score data that has been shared, perfect for Pritzker (our first choice also).

        How has your experience been there?

      • #13794 Reply

        So, she got accepted in Pritzker?

        • #13797 Reply
          Pritzker Mom

          We are also in K at Pritzker with a 142. She seems to be right in the middle academically. We’ve had a really good year there.  Our kid is happy, has good friends, and has a K teacher that knows her and cares about her progress. We participated in the play this year which has been fun, and she does before school care through JCC.

    • #13796 Reply

      @Crazymom, yes she ended up getting accepted in Round 2.  It was a big gamble but based on her score, we thought she had a good shot.  It was definitely a nerve wracking and long wait.

      @Moyambi, my daughter loves it.  The administration can be better but the program seems to work despite that.  We love the community of parents in her class.  The only drawback is that it starts so late, so I don’t get to work until 9:30.  Hopefully she’ll be amenable to taking the bus next year.  But otherwise, it’s been great.  Good luck!

    • #13802 Reply

      Scores are now available online

    • #13832 Reply

      Just provide one date point. We benefit so much from this forum.

      math 97

      reading 99.9
      gifted 139

      tier 4

      Got Edison.
      skinner north skinner bell all rejected us

      • #13835 Reply

        We also got Edison, though it was the top choice for us. Are you going to accept?

        • #13861 Reply

          Hi Petra,

          It was our first choice too. Does that mean once we get an offer we won’t be considered for others? I never understand those discussion  about ranking. We likely will accept but it means we have to move we live in the south side. Excited and congratulations to you!

          • #13864 Reply

            Oh, since you said the Skinners, Bell, etc. rejected you, I thought it wasn’t your first choice — but you can only get one offer for SEES, so you weren’t rejected and probably stand a chance at admission in later rounds if you pass on Edison. If you do decide to accept Edison, you won’t be eligible for offers at any other SEES, though.

            We live in the West Town/Humboldt Park area, so Edison a bit of a hike for us, but we’ll likely move closer in the next few years. Everything I’ve heard about Edison has been great, so I’m definitely excited for next year!

            Congrats to you as well!

            • #13875 Reply

              Thank you! That explains a lot.

    • #13881 Reply

      Question for the group, would love any insight. Tier 3


      math: 88

      RGC: 134

      Got 4th choice of Pritzker. Bell was first choice.

      Looking at the google doc for last years score cut off, it looks like we just missed it (Bell Tier 3 was 135). Thoughts on holding off and taking the gamble? Any insight to Pritzker? New to all of this so rankings were done just off what info I could get from schools’ website.


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