It’s that time of year again — stress over the high school open house and application process.

Payton Grizzlies Kick Off

I have a sophomore safely settled at a selective enrollment high school, but with 7th and 8th graders, we are anxious and busy.  The open houses are packed with long lines.  We waited outside at Jones for an hour and a half before we could get inside.  We were able to get right inside Lincoln Park, but it was jammed.  I’m still pondering … when I complete the application, do I need to give priority to my child’s favorite school or the one he’s most likely to get in to?

Next week, it’s Walter Payton on Saturday and Lane Tech on Sunday. Our calendar is full (see open house schedule).

My son is taking a Selective Prep class, which the company claims will prepare him to get a higher score on the exam in January.  Will this make the difference in whether or not he’ll get in?  Are these classes as helpful as the businesses claim?

The courts struck down the ethnicity/race component to the selective enrollment process.  Previously,  schools were required to meet diversity goals, so the application included a checklist — is your child a (white/black/latino/asian pacific) (boy/girl)?  The swine flu epidemic has raised the attendance issue — I hear the 100 points for attendance will be handled differently than in previous years.  This year, with no diversity or attendance component, parents don’t know exactly how the 1000 point system will be implemented.  One more reason to stress out.

Chicago Public Schools

The Tribune just released ISAT scores for the Chicago schools.  How cool to have a top Illinois school right in our back yard!  But, what if our sons and daughters are just your average, hard working nice kids who score in the mid-80’s?  mid-70’s? Where is the best place for them?  There are just not enough good Chicago schools for them!

Alcott and Ogden are options, but they’re new …  part of Ren 2010.  They certainly are possibilities, but the class sizes are small (good if we’re in — bad if we’re vying for only a few spots!) and we won’t know about these classes until late in the season.

If you’re in the same “stress boat” as us,  I feel your pain.  Good luck to you and your child this season.

CPS Selective Enrollment High Schools

For information on the high school application process, or if your real estate needs are affected by your child’s education situation, contact Anne Rossley at Prudential Rubloff.

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