High Schools in Chicago - Application Process
An overview of the high schools in Chicago and the application process for enrollment
Selecting which Chicago high school would be the best match for your student is a challenge: There are so many options available. Navigating the admissions policy is another hurdle you have to cross when enrolling your Chicago 8th grader at a Chicago high school. All of the schools hold open house events beginning in October and continuing through January in some instances. Middle schools hold high school fairs for their 8th graders to help them learn about the options available to them for high school. The Office of Academic Enhancement has made the process for applying to Selective Enrollment schools, Military Academies and Career and Technical Information (CTE) Colleges and Academies a little easier by putting the application online and having everything in one location. There are a vast number of good students looking for a good high school in Chicago though, and not enough available slots at the city's most coveted schools. Your Chicago high school search shouldn't overlook the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programs, Fine Arts Programs, Charter Schools and other choices. This lens will provide a central point for you to start your own high school search from.
What Schools Can You Apply For Online At The Office of Academic Enhancement's Website
CPS Chicago Selective Enrollment High School, Military Academies and Career & Technical Academies
The Chicago Public Schools' CPS Office of Academic Enhancement has somewhat simplified the Chicago CPS High School application process with its online applications. While you can still apply for these schools and programs by mailing a paper application, the process can now also be completed online.
The types of schools that can be applied to online through this online application process is NOT COMPREHENSIVE. The following schools are represented by the OAE's online application process, and, depending on the particular program will require additional testing, interviews, Letters of Interest and teacher recommendation letters. The initial application for these schools can be conducted entirely online however.
Selective Enrollment High Schools
Choose up to 6 (out of 9 total schools including Brooks College Prep, Jones College Prep, King College Prep, Lane Tech, Lindblom Math & Science Academy, Northside College Prep, Payton College Prep, Westinghouse and Young Magnet School) and rate them by preference. The Office of Academic Enhancement will assess your 7th grade core grades, 7th grade ISAT results and socio-economic data for this application. After submitting your choices, you will be assigned a test date. Your test date will be communicated to you through a letter delivered by your school's guidance counselor. The Entrance Exam score you receive will be combined with the earlier mentioned factors when the schools choose whether or not to offer you a spot at with them.
* To be eligible to test for selective enrollment high schools in Chicago, the student must have received stanine scores of at least 5 in both math and reading for the 7th Grade ISAT tests. If the student has an IEP or 504 plan or is enrolled in an ESL-program, the student must have a combined stanine of 10 when adding both the math and reading stanine scores from 7th Grade ISAT result (ie a reading stanine of 4 with a math stanine of 6 or a reading stanine of 7 with a math stanine of 3).
Choose up to 4 (out of total schools including Air Force Academy, Carver Military Academy, Chicago Military Academy, Marine Military Academy, Phoenix Military Academy, Rickover Naval Academy ) and rate them by preference. The Office of Academic Enhancement will assess 7th grade ISAT results. If your application meets the initial requirements, you will be invited to interview with the school receiving your highest preference.
* To be eligible to interview for Military Academies in Chicago, the student must have received combined stanine scores of at least 10 in both math and reading for the 7th Grade ISAT tests. This combined stanine score of 10 must be achieved when adding both the math and reading stanine scores from 7th Grade ISAT result (ie a reading stanine of 4 and a math stanine of 6 or a reading stanine of 7 and a math stanine of 3).
Career & Technical Academies
Choose up to 5 Career and Technical Academies (out of possible schools including: Austin Polytech, Crane, Curie, Dunbar, Fenger, Harlan, Harper, Juarez, Julian, Manley, Marshall, Mather, Orr, Schurz, Sullivan and Wells) and rate them by preference.
* For your application to be complete to the Selective Academies of Law & Public Safety, Medical & Health Careers, Cisco Networking and Database Programming courses, you MUST complete and mail to the Office of Academic Enhancement a 1-page, typewritten "Statement of Interest" for each program you select. Additionally, these Selective Academies require a recommendation letter and interview to complete your application to them. Preference is given to students with a minimum stanine score of 5 in both reading and math, with a minimum of 30% of the seats going to students who live inside the school's attendance area.
How to Calculate Stanine Scores
A general view
This area was particularly problematic for me to figure out. Stanine scores were often referenced, but no one had a clear answer as to where I could find my son's stanines. Through many google searches I came across the random fact that a percentile ranking of 77% equated to a stanine score of 77. As many schools simply require a minimum stanine score of 5, with other more selective programs requiring a stanine score of 7, I was assured national percentiles rankings in the 80s and higher were acceptable. Exploring the matter further though, I phoned the Illinois State Board of Education's Chicago Office and asked them if I could find a state assigned stanine score for a child's ISAT test results. The gentleman I spoke with said the answer could be found simply by googling "stanine" and using the chart provided on wikipedia to translate the answers. Here is what that information produces
Stanine 1 - Up to the 4th percentile
Stanine 2 - 5th to 11th percentile
Stanine 3 - 12th to 23rd percentile
Stanine 4 - 24th to 40th percentile
Stanine 5 - 41st to 60th percentile
Stanine 6 - 61st to 77th percentile
Stanine 7 - 78th to 89th percentile
Stanine 8 - 90th to 96th percentile
Stanine 9 - 97th percentile and upwards
ISAT Percentiles vs Stanine Scores
Chicago CPS Selective Enrollment High School generally use ISAT Percentiles whereas International Baccalaureate programs may use Stanine Scores.
To apply for these high schools online, first request a PIN number to be mailed to you. Your PIN allows you to complete your online applications, but YOU MUST REQUEST YOUR PIN AT LEAST TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE APPLICATION DEADLINE to use this online application.
CPS Chicago Public High School and IB Programs - Numbers Applied and Numbers Admitted 2008
Entry to Chicago's top schools is highly selective.
It is sobering to look at the numbers of students who tested for CPS Chicago Public Schools High Schools and International Baccalaureate (IB) Programs compared to how many students are actually admitted to these programs and schools. Here is the information I was able to find out from the schools' official websites and other reporting.
CPS Selective Enrollment High Schools - Tests vs. Acceptances
- Brooks College Prep - 2,681 tested, 198 accepted
- Jones College Prep - 5,730 tested, 213 accepted
- King College Prep - 2,447 tested, 244 accepted
- Lane Tech - 8,052 tested, 1,106 accepted
- Lindblom College Prep - 1,891 tested, 176 accepted
- Northside College Prep - 5,345 tested, 257 accepted
- Payton College Prep - 7,619 tested, 234 accepted
- Young Magnet - 9,174 tested, 504 accepted
is the year (along with the 1st quarter of 8th grade) that you will receive points towards your high school application.
7th Grade Report Card
And the 1st quarter of 8th Grade
A spot in one of Chicago's 9 esteemed Selective Enrollment High Schools is offered partially due to an average of the student's grades in reading, math, science and social sciences during the 7th grade year and also including the 1st quarter of their 8th grade year. Attaining "straight A's" in these subjects for the time period sampled is almost a requirement to secure a spot at one of the city's most coveted selective enrollment high schools.
Using the CPS point system, there is a total of 300 points available for the student's report card averages.
The most important grades (those counting towards your 300 possible points) are:
- Social Sciences
No longer count towards your high school "score". This make your ISAT results, grades, census-tract info and entrance exam results count more though.
Your Address' Census Tract Info
A new criteria for admissions, replacing the old racial & ethnic criteria
The Office for Academic Enhancement also provides an online tool for determining your socio-economic "tier" through your current census tract information.
Steps to find your Tier:
- Visit the Census Bureau's link to determine your geographic area and enter your address in the blank spaces, leaving all other choices as they are.
- Your census tract number is located in the 4th line down (a a 4-digit number).
** Note: Your 4-digit census tract number will have 2 zero's attached to the end on the socio-economic data charts, thus changing a census tract of "2002" to a "200200" in the socio-economic data charts.
Percentile Ranks and Stanine Scores
Whether or not your child can sit for an entry exam at one of Chicago's CPS Selective Enrollment schools depends partially on their 7th grade Illinois Standards Achievement (ISAT) results. The Illinois State Board of Education has more information about how to interpret your child's ISAT results available online. The scores that are referenced from the student's 7th grade ISAT tests are the following:
- Overall Score - The student's overall score calculates all of the questions on the test and how many of them the student answered correctly. Test scores fall into one of four categories: exceeds standards, meets standards, below standards and academic warning.
- National Percentile Rank (NPR) - The student's National Percentage Rank score compares the students results to results of children from the same grade level nationally. For example, an NPR score of 75% indicates the student performed better than 75% of other students nationally. (This score is based only on the first 30 questions in Section 1 of each testing area. These first 30 questions are an abbreviated version of the Stanford 10 (SAT 10).)
- Subject Specific Results - Each of the three subjects tested (Reading, Math and Science) are given expanded coverage for results. Each subheading under the subject lists the number of multiple-choice questions answered correctly out of the total number of questions asked. The student's individual results are compared to averages of those from: the school, the district and the state. Extended-Response questions for the Reading section and Short- Answer questions for the math section are given the same coverage. Finally, the student's Lexile Framework for reading is given, showing which level of books is most appropriate for their reading ability.
The OAE's Point Calculator Tool
Reading / Science / Social Science / Math grades, ISAT results and your Census Tract Data
The Office of Academic Enhancement provides an online tool for calculating your points earned through your 7th grade core subjects, 7th Grade ISAT test and Census Tract Data. The Office of Academic Enhancement suggests you use this tool to gauge the suitability of a school to the student, as well as predict the liklihood that student will get accepted to a school.
Information you will need to use the Office Of Academic Enhancement's Point Calculator Tool:
- 7th Grade ISAT percentile ranking for Reading
- 7th Grade ISAT percentile ranking for Math
- 7th Grade Average Grade for Reading
- 7th Grade Average Grade for Math
- 7th Grade Average Grade for Science
- 7th Grade Average Grade for Social Sciences
- Socio-Economic Tier (Calculated from your address' census tract data information)
Selective Enrollment Testing 2010
is held on December 11, December 18 and every Saturday in January. Be sure to let the OAE know if you haven't been assigned a test date as soon as possible - don't wait until the end of February!
Test Prep Books Available on eBay - ACT and SAT prep books have been recommended
While no official recommendations have been made as to how you can prepare for the Selective Enrollment High School Exam, I have heard it's a good idea to use SAT / ACT prep books. It won't hurt to use guides for these exams in your preparations: you will have to take these tests during your senior year of high school anyway for admission to a college or university.
Who Applied For Options For Knowledge Schools in 2010 - Did you?
Did you apply online or by submitting the paper form for Selective Enrollment high schools, Military Academies or Career & Technical Academies in the 2010-2011 school year, hoping for enrollment in one of these schools for the 2011-2012 school year? Lets see how many of your fellow Chicagoans have also done so.
Which CPS Office of Academic Enhancement programs did you apply to for 2011-2012 admission?
Invited to your CPS Chicago Public High Schools for the 2011 - 2012 School Year - Did you get accepted to the schools you applied to?
If you applied to CPS Chicago's selective enrollment, military academy or career & technical academies and tested or interviewed, were you offered a position at your schools of choice?
Did you gain acceptance to your selected schools for the 2011 - 2012 school year?
CPS Selective Enrollment High Schools - Applications are coordinated through Chicago's Office of Academic Enhancement
Apply for these Selective Enrollment College Prep High Schools online at the Chicago Office of Academic Enhancements online application page. You may also print or request a paper application to submit.
Addresses and Phone Number for CPS Selective Enrollment High Schools
With links to the schools' websites and Principals - alphabetically listed
- Brooks College Preparatory High School - (Principal - Dr. Dushon A. Brown) -250 E. 111th St., Chicago, IL 60628 - tel:773.535.9930
- Jones College Prep High School - (Principal - Dr. Paul J. Powers) - 606 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605 - tel: 773.534.8600
- King College Prep High School - (Principal - ) - 4445 S. Drexel Blvd., Chicago, IL 60653- tel: 773.535.1180
- Lane Tech High School - (Principal - Antoinette LoBosco) - 2501 W. Addison St., Chicago, IL 60618 - tel: 773.534.5400
- Lindblom Math and Science Academy - (Principal - Alan Mather) - 6130 S. Wolcott St., Chicago, IL 60636 - tel: 773.535.9300
- Northside College Prep High School - (Principal - Mr. Barry Rodgers) - 5501 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago, IL 60625 - tel: 773.534.3954
- Payton College Prep High School - (Principal - Ellen Estrada) - 1034 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60610- tel: 773.534.0034
- Westinghouse High School - (Principal Janice Jackson) - 3223 W. Franklin Blvd., Chicago, IL 60624 - tel: 773.534.6400
- Young Magnet High School - (Dr. Joyce D. Kenner) - 211 S. Laflin St., Chicago, IL 60607 - tel: 773.534.7500
Whitney M. Young Alumni
First Lady Michelle Obama is a 1981 graduate of Whitney M. Young High School.
Chicago CPS Public High School Military Academies - Applications are coordinated through Chicago's Office of Academic Enhancement
Apply for these Chicago Military Academies online at the Chicago Office of Academic Enhancements online application page. You may also print or request a paper application to submit.
Adresses and phone numbers for CPS Public Military Academy High Schools in Chicago
With links to the schools' websites and Principals - alphabetically listed
- Air Force Academy High School - (Principal - Capt. Yashika Tippett-Eggleston) - 1301 W 14th St., Chicago, IL 60608 - tel:773.534.7706
- Carver Military Academy - (Principal - Stephen Flisk) - 13100 S. Doty Rd., Chicago, IL 60827 - tel: 773.535.5250
- Chicago Military Academy - Bronzeville - (Principal or Academy Superintendent - R.W. Miller) - 3519 S. Giles St., Chicago, IL 60653 - tel: 773.534.9750
- Marine Military Academy - (Principal or Superintendent - Mr. Paul Stroh) - 145 S. Campbell Ave., Chicago, IL 60612 - tel: 773.534.7818
- Phoenix Military Academy - (Principal or Academy Superintendent - Ferdinand Wipachit) - 145 S. Campbell Ave., Chicago, IL 60612 - tel: 773.534.7275
- Rickover Naval Academy - (Principal or Academy Superintendent - Mr. M. Biela) - 5900 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago, IL 60660 - tel: 773.534.2890
CPS Chicago CTE College & Career Academies - Allied Health, Architecture, Automotive Technology, Business & Finance, Broadcast Technology & Digital
Apply for these Chicago CPS Career and Technical (CTE) College & Career Academies (CCA) online at the Chicago Office of Academic Enhancements online application page. You may also print or request a paper application to submit.
Addresses and phone number for CPS Career & Technical (CTE) Academies
With links to the schools' websites and Principals - alphabetically listed
- Austin Polytechnical Academy - (Principal - Mr. Fabby Williams) - 231 N. Pine Ave., Chicago, IL 60644 - tel:773.534.6301
- Crane High School - (Principal - ) - 2245 W. Jackson St., Chicago, IL 60612 - tel: 773.534.7550
Allied Health, Automotive Technology, Information Technology, Medical & Health Careers
- Curie Metro High School - (Principal -) - 4959 S Archer, Chicago, IL 60632 - tel: 773.535.2100
Business & Finance, Culinary & Hospitality, Database Programming IT, Design, Information Technology, Manufacturing & Auto Technology, Teaching & Early Childhood Education
- Dunbar Vocational Career Academy High School - (Principal -) - 3000 S King Dr., Chicago, IL 60616- tel: 773.534.9000
Allied Health, Automotive Technology, Construction & Architecture, Cosmetology, Culinary & Hospitality, Medical & Health Careers
- Christian Fenger Academy High School - (Principal - Elizabeth Dozier) - 11220 S Wallace Ave., Chicago, IL 60628 - tel: 773.535.5430
Construction & Architecture, Culinary & Hospitality
- Harlan Community Academy High School - (Principal - Reginald Evans) - 19652 S Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60628 - tel: 773.535.5061
Information Technology, CISCO Networking IT
- Harper High School - (Principal - Leonetta C. Sanders) - 6520 S Wood St., Chicago, IL 60636 - tel: 773.535.9150
Construction & Architecture, Culinary & Hospitality
- Benito Juarez Community Academy High School - (Principal - Juan Carlos Ocon) - 2150 S Laflin St., Chicago, IL 60608 - tel: 773.534.7030
Allied Health, Architecture, Culinary & Hospitality, Information Technology, Medical & Health Careers
- Percy L. Julian High School - (Principal - Careda Taylor) - 10330 S Elizabeth St., Chicago, IL 60643 - tel: 773.535.5170
Allied Health, Broadcast Technology & Digital Media, Business & Finance, Medical & Health Careers
- Manley Career Academy High School - (Principal - James M. Walton, Jr.) - 2935 W Polk St., Chicago, IL 60612 - tel: 773.534.6900
Culinary & Hospitality, Medical Assistant
- Marshall Metro High School - (Principal - Kenyatta Stansberry) - 3250 W Adams St., Chicago, IL 60624 - tel: 773.534.6455
Agricultural Education, Allied Health, Culinary
- Mather High School - (Principal - Chris Jones) - 5835 N Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60659 - tel: 773.534.2350
Information Technology, Law & Public Safety
- Orr Academy High School - (Principal - Jammie Poole, Jr.) - 730 N Pulaski Rd., Chicago, IL 60624 - tel: 773.746.5354
Early Childhood Education, Information Technology
- Schurz High School - (Principal - Mary Ann Folino) - 3601 N Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60641 - tel: 773.534.3420
Automotive Technology, Business & Finance
- Sullivan High School - (Principal - Dr. Joseph P. Atria) - 6631 N Bosworth Ave., Chicago, IL 60626 - tel: 773.534.2000
Allied Health, Medical & Health Careers
- Wells Community Academy High School - (Principal - Ernesto Matias) - 936 N Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60622 - tel: 773.534.7010
Law & Public Safety, Logistics, Teaching
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programmes - IB Programs Offered In Chicago High Schools
Apply for these Chicago CPS International Baccalaureate Programs with the specific application available for each school. These applications can be downloaded online from the schools' websites or requested from your school counselor's office as well as at the various high school fairs held throughout the year.
One exception to this is if you are applying to the IB program at Ogden International: They accept the standard Options For Knowledge Application, with no ISAT or report cards needing to be attached. While 7th grade ISAT results and report card grades DO count for this International Baccalaureate program, their application is still conducted via an open lottery. If you are selected from the open lottery held from the Options for Knowledge applicants, you will be asked to complete a more detailed application that will require 7th grade academic scores.
- Amundsen High School - (MYP Coordinator: Ms. Tanya Baxter, DP Coordinator: Mr. Minh Nguyen) -5110 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60625 - tel:773.534.2320
- Bogan Technical High School - (MYP Coordinator: Ms. Linda Mayfield, DP Coordinator: Ms. Diane Williams) - 3939 W 79th St., Chicago, IL 60652 - tel: 773.535.2180
- Clark, M. Academic Prepatory Magnet High School - (MYP Coordinator: Janice Stewart or Steven Waryjas) - 5101 W. Harrison St., Chicago, IL 60644 - tel: 773.534.6292
- Marie Curie Metro High School - (Coordinator - Sharyl Barnes) - 4959 S. Archer Ave., Chicago, IL 60632 - tel: 773.535.9837
- Hyde Park High School - (IB Coordinator - Debra Fenwick) - 6220 S. Stony Island Ave., Chicago, IL 60637 - tel: 773.535.0897
- Kelly High School - 4136 S California Ave., Chicago, IL 60632 - tel: 773.535.4900
- Lincoln Park High School - 2001 N. Orchard St., Chicago, IL 60614 - tel: 773.534.8149
- Morgan Park High School - 1744 W. Pryor Ave., Chicago, IL 60643 - tel: 773.534.6400
- Ogden International School of Chicago/a> - 1250 W. Erie St., Chicago, IL 60642 - tel: 773.534.6400
- Prosser Career Academy - (IB Coordinators: Jessica Stephenson or Mariana Jennings) - 2148 N Long , Chicago, IL 60639 - tel: 773.534.3310
- Senn High School - (MYP Coordinator: David Gregg, DP Coordinator: Ms. Claire Saura) - 5900 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago, IL 60660 - tel: 773.534.2365
- Steinmetz High School - (MYP Coordinator: Ms. Carol Mittleman, DP Coordinator: Ms. Nancyanne Ferrarini) - 3030 N Mobile Ave., Chicago, IL 60634 - tel: 773.534.2911
- Taft High School - (Coordinator: Irene Kondos) - 6530 W Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago, IL 60631 - tel: 773.534.1027
CPS Fine & Performing Arts Schools in Chicago
Helping your middle-school child apply to a good high school in the City of Chicago is a daunting task. There are a multitude of choices, separate applications to fill out, a confusing admissions policy, a large city with lots of traffic to estimate how your child will commute to school through and some feel an overall unfair selection process. Have you been through the high school application process in Chicago? What are you thoughts?