Skinner North or West?

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    • #10739 Reply
      lincolnparkmom

      Which one of the Skinners is better – overall? Need some clarity please. Thanks in advance.

    • #10750 Reply
      hparker

      Skinner North’s principal, though capable, is very equity-minded, discouraging parents’ push for scholastic excellence, while devoting sizeable resources to remedial students.  This, however, doesn’t mean that, overall, students are not doing well academically.

    • #10751 Reply
      skk

      I am surprised the previous post said that Skinner North has remedial students.  It is a selective enrollment school only.

      We have a child in Skinner West classical and I must say I am not impressed at all.   My other child, in a CPS magnet, is just as challenged if not more than my Classical child and I often regret going to the trouble of having them both split up. I have a friend who has 2 classical school kids [one just finished at West and one still at North] and she much preferred North in terms of the academics.  I think the classical program at SW is going down-hill.  That being said, SW is still one of the better schools in CPS and they have a lot of good extra-curriculars, music, etc

    • #10753 Reply
      hparker

      There are students who work at the nominal grade level – therefore one year behind the norm – and some even worse.  They are given plenty of “support”, which is remedial in nature for the purpose of trying to catch up with the majority.

    • #10754 Reply
      ES

      Second hparker, it is true.

       

    • #10759 Reply
      Launchpad

      Leadership is much better at SN. SW leadership is on the verge of retirement. They are not on the forefront of educational innovation. They also have to deal with the neighborhood component of the school. Yes, the West Loop has a middle-upper class demographic but also keep in mind they have a large Section 8 demographic that they cater to as well. With that being said, we have friends’ kids at SN who are burned out. Pick your poison.

      If your kid is bored at SN or SW then it’s probably safe to say they’re extraordinarily smart and he/she needs to be challenged with outside programs like Kids Science Labs or Northwestern’s CTD program. Despite these schools being SE programs, it’s the parents’ job to keep their kid’s engaged. Don’t expect that much from an underfunded public district.

    • #10762 Reply
      jazzman

      To Launchpad

      “If your kid is bored at SN or SW then it’s probably safe to say they’re extraordinarily smart and he/she needs to be challenged with outside programs like Kids Science Labs or Northwestern’s CTD program. Despite these schools being SE programs, it’s the parents’ job to keep their kid’s engaged. Don’t expect that much from an underfunded public district”.

      I would also add Math Circles as well and not as expensive as KSL or  CTD both great programs.  I know parents who moved their children from SN to Bronzeville not so much of burnout vs the commute and bad traffic. Are they giving out that much homework and student projects ( more so All Hands on Deck via the parents)?

    • #10764 Reply
      CPS parent

      We are at Skinner West and love it, although we can acknowledge  some problems.  One  problem with the classical program is that there is now only 1 classical classroom per grade-so kids are not being switched  around and grouped by ability  as they were  in the upper classical grades which have 2 sections. Also, if there is a child with a behavior problem in the class, they are stuck in the classroom with that child until 8th grade.  The good  is that for the most part, there are excellent teachers (with a few exceptions) in the classical program and they are guaranteed to  be teaching at least 1 year above grade level.  Our child is actually learning high school  level math and English this year. The kids are definitely challenged.   The neighborhood program is excellent, for the most part. The benefit of the neighborhood is that there are  multiple classrooms per grade level and they can switch for reading and math and be grouped by ability, but the teachers don’t always choose to do that.  As for the “large population of Section 8” I would say that’s not quite accurate. The school is only 17%  low income compared to Skinner North’s 8%.  I don’t have any experience with Skinner North but I can say that there is a very strong emphasis on academic excellence at Skinner West, if you can overlook some of the issues typical of a Chicago Public School.

    • #10768 Reply
      KT

      The CPS results are out…My son received 99 percentile in reading and match and 150 . He was offered Skinner North & Disney Magnet ? I would like to know on whats everyone’s opinion about Skinner North ?

    • #10770 Reply
      lincolnparkmom

      Where did you find your result? I do not see it on my gocps account. What does it mean?

    • #10772 Reply
      lincolnparkmom

      99 reading

      98 maths

      142 gifted

      Skinner North – choice 3 behind Bell and Edison

      Tier 4

    • #10782 Reply
      docdad

      Got skinner north and STEM academy. We stay close to STEM academy. Do you think it will be ridiculous to let go of SN for STEM??

    • #10824 Reply
      CPS parent

      Yes

    • #10881 Reply
      HeNe

      KT,

      You can look for the school rankings based on standardized testing on this website: https://www.schooldigger.com/go/IL/city/Chicago/search.aspx

      Skinner North is among the top 3 schools. Disney can’t compare to SN. Your child will be surrounded by students who got tested in and these students mostly are very talented. Disney is a magnet school where the students get in by lottery, so the quality of students is less.

    • #10903 Reply
      SN-bound

      What factors are important to you when considering which school is “better” — academics, testing statistics, extracurriculars, parent involvement, etc.? We’re going to accept our offer to SN. We’re friends with several families with kids there, and I get the general notion that it’s a great school — the kids are challenged academically (but not overworked), there’s a fairly high parent involvement (especially for a school that is a “commuter” school), and the administration is approachable. I’m not sure if having a principal who is “equity-minded” is a bad thing for a public selective enrollment school that has to accept kids from across the city and various tiers. I have not heard that resources are being wasted or earmarked for students who need extra support when they could be used otherwise. I’m not sure about Skinner West, but from my friends who have kids there (some in the classical program, some in the neighborhood program), I get the sense that there’s a clash between the two programs where the neighborhood families want to eliminate the classical program and the resources are being pushed and pulled to appease both groups.

    • #10940 Reply
      HeNe

      docdad,

      I think if you look at the schooldigger ranking above with standardized test scores, SN is definitely better than STEM. Remember, every single one of SN’s students are tested in based on their abilities, whereas STEM Academy is based on a lottery system.

      If I were you I would be willing to make the sacrifice of a longer commute for a higher quality student body. (In fact, I do live farther away from SN than you.)

      If you Google for previous years’ discussions, you’ll find that the waitlist for SN is way longer than any other school. So basically, if you don’t accept this offer this time and want to go back to SN, you might not get a second chance anymore. I’ve known friends of a friend who wanted to go to SN for grade 1, both tested 99/99 but only one was given an offer.

      Since you got in on the first round, your child is definitely talented. Wouldn’t you want to cherish that and let him or her grow to his/her best potential?

    • #11512 Reply
      Sarah

      I am a a student at Skinner North. I love my school, I have learned so many things from all of my teachers I have ever had, they bring us into deep discussions that don’t take place at other schools. I have also learned so much about other kids at Skinner North, our school is extremely diverse so we get the privelage to learn about other cultures while in the classroom. Not only the academics, but the environment we are put in at Skinner North really helps my classmates learn and thrive.

    • #11513 Reply
      Hannah

      I am a student as well and wholeheartedly agree with your comment. I feel that I am able to have discussions I wasn’t able to when I went to another school and growing up in a diverse environment has changed my view of the world.

    • #11514 Reply
      Malik

      Hi, I have been going to Skinner a North for 6 years now and I really like it here. The teachers keep learning fun and exciting while giving us one of the best educations in the state. It is truly a place where everyone feels welcome. The staff really helped me and many other kids I know after moving to Chicago from our old homes in other countries.

    • #11627 Reply
      Dolphin Dad

      I have a Skinner West neighborhood program student here who just got into Whitney Young Academic center for this school year.  I do believe that the neighborhood program has more advantages to the classical program academically.  I’ve had my minor complaints about the how large the student body is and how large classrooms are but the academics shine, if that’s your main concern.

    • #11631 Reply
      jazzman

      what advantages does the neighborhood have over the classical school program academically?

    • #11633 Reply
      Bpmommy

      @Dolphin Dad I am interested in hear more about this as well!

    • #11642 Reply
      CPS parent

      Congrats @dolphindad and go Dolphins!  I also explained above how the neighborhood program now does have some academic advantages. The main one being that they can divide the kids up by ability for both reading and math because there are 3 neighborhood classrooms.  The high levels receive instruction one year above grade level, just like the classical program. Most students in the high level neighborhood program are all scoring in the 90th percentile and above.  Unfortunately, the classical program is down to only 1 classroom per grade level and there are always a few  kids in there who may struggle a bit.  The class tends to have to wait for those kids to catch up so the highest level kids can be affected. Not a lot, in my experience, but it does happen.  They aren’t moving as fast as they maybe should be through the curriculum.  My experience at Skinner West involves both neighborhood and classical programs. Overall though, I would say I am happier with the classical program as the focus is consistently on academics and the students in there are for the most part all serious about learning.  As an FYI, Skinner West just had 24 students who got into the Whitney Young Academic Center this year (which may be the most out of any CPS school)  and at least 4 who got into Lane Tech. So I would say overall it’s a great program. There will always be things that can be improved at any school but obviously they are doing something right here.

    • #11643 Reply
      ChiTown

      “the classical program is down to only 1 classroom per grade level and there are always a few  kids in there who may struggle a bit.  The class tends to have to wait for those kids to catch up so the highest level kids can be affected”

      I guess this applies to all programs/schools. I won’t necessarily say its Neighborhood Class has an advantage over Classical Class academically.

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