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Office of Academic Enhancement

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Selective Enrollment High Schools
GENERAL QUESTIONS
 
What types of schools accept the Selective Enrollment High Schools/Military Academies application?
This application should be used to apply to Selective Enrollment High Schools and Military Academies.
 
What are Selective Enrollment High Schools?
Selective Enrollment High Schools provide academically advanced high school students with a challenging and enriched college preparatory experience. Each of the Selective Enrollment High Schools offers a rigorous curriculum with mainly honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses. The schools strive to develop students’ critical and analytical thinking skills, and promote diverse academic inquiry by bringing together students from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. There are nine Selective Enrollment High Schools: Brooks, Jones, King, Lane, Lindblom, Northside, Payton, Westinghouse, and Young.
 
Does my child have to take a test to get into these schools?
Yes -- admissions testing is required for Selective Enrollment High Schools. 
 
Is transportation provided?
Bus transportation is not generally provided for high school students. Transportation at the high school level is provided to students with disabilities if the IEP or 504 Plan requires it; for information, contact the Office of Special Education and Supports at (773) 553-1800. Transportation may also be provided to homeless students upon enrollment; for information, contact the Office of Educational Support for Students in Temporary Living Situations at (773) 553-2242.
 
What is Principal Discretion?
Principal Discretion is a process that allows principals of Selective Enrollment High Schools to fill a designated number of seats, outside of the regular selection process, and in strict compliance with the Principal Discretion guidelines. The Principal Discretion process takes place in March, following the first round of regular selection. Information about the process will be posted on the Office of Academic Enhancement website, www.cpsoae.org, in February 2012. Principal Discretion only applies to the nine Selective Enrollment High Schools. It does not apply to Military Academies.

APPLICATION QUESTIONS
 
Do I have to apply for the maximum number of schools?
No. You should apply only to those schools where you would accept an offer if your child receives one.
 
I want to apply to more schools. Can I submit a second application?
No. You may not apply to more than six Selective Enrollment High Schools and four Military Academies. You may not submit a second application in order to apply to additional schools.

My child is currently enrolled in high school. I would like for him to transfer to a Selective Enrollment High School next year. What should I do?
Contact the high school in which you are interested for information on transfer opportunities and guidelines. Each school establishes its own guidelines and requirements for transfer students.
 
TESTING QUESTIONS
 
How do I have my child tested for the Selective Enrollment High Schools exam?
The first step is to apply. In order to be tested, students must pre-qualify, based on their standardized test scores from the 2010-2011 school year. After the applications are processed, eligible students will be contacted by mail regarding testing date, time, and location. If your child is not eligible to test, you will receive a letter notifying you of this information.
 
What are the requirements for students to qualify for the admissions exam?
Testing eligibility for the Selective Enrollment High Schools admissions exam is based on the student’s 2010-2011 ISAT national percentile rank in reading and math or, if the student did not take the ISAT, the 2010-2011 percentile rank in reading and math on a different nationally normed, standardized achievement test. In order to be eligible for testing, students must have a minimum stanine of 5 in reading comprehension and a minimum stanine of 5 in total math. Students with an IEP or 504 Plan must have stanines in reading comprehension and total math that total at least 10 (e.g., 3 in reading, 7 in math; 9 in reading, 1 in math).
 
Do I have to submit my child’s grades and test scores with his application?
If your child attended a Chicago public school in the 2010-2011 school year, CPS will obtain his test scores and grades from the Student Information System. You do not have to submit any test scores or grades.
 
If your child attended a charter, private, parochial, or other non-CPS school in the 2010-2011 school year, please follow the instructions below:
  • If you are using a paper application, submit your application to your child’s current school counselor or principal. The counselor/principal will complete the required information on the application and forward it, along with your child’s test scores and grades, to the Office of Academic Enhancement.
  • If you are applying online, print out your confirmation page. (This is the page that is displayed after you submit your application.) Submit a copy of the confirmation page, along with your child’s test scores and grades, to the Office of Academic Enhancement, or request your child’s current school counselor/principal to submit these materials to the Office of Academic Enhancement.
Do you provide sample questions or study materials for the Selective Enrollment High Schools exam?
The Chicago Public Schools does not recommend or provide study guides, preparation courses, or sample tests/questions for the Selective Enrollment High Schools admissions exam. The Selective Enrollment High Schools admissions exam is designed to assess student ability, knowledge, and potential for success in programs for academically advanced students.
 
My child attended a private school last year and didn’t take the ISAT. What should I do?
Students are required to submit scores from the ISAT, or from a different standardized test, in order to determine eligibility to take the admissions exam for the Selective Enrollment High Schools and the interview for Military Academies. If your child did not take the ISAT in the 2010-2011 school year, you may submit scores from any of the following tests:
California Achievement Tests (CAT) – 6th Edition
Terra Nova
Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS)
Stanford Achievement Test 10
Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement 2
Woodcock Johnson Achievement Test 3
Wechsler Individual Achievement Test 3
 
If your child was administered a test in 2010-2011 that does not appear on this list, it is not an accepted test for determining eligibility. If your child does not have ISAT scores or scores from an accepted test, he may take one of the accepted tests through one of the following testing options:
  • Students may obtain private testing on an approved test by a certified school psychologist or a clinical licensed psychologist.
  • National Louis University offers testing for a $75 fee. For information and to schedule testing, call 312-261-3359.
My child took the Terra Nova test last year, but I would like to have her tested again to see if she can get a better score. Can I do this?
No. If your child has taken a pre-qualifying exam that we accept for our eligibility process, this is the measure that must be submitted with your child’s application.
 
What is on the Selective Enrollment High Schools exam?
The Selective Enrollment High Schools exam is an achievement skills test that covers four subject areas: reading comprehension, vocabulary, language arts (grammar), and math word problems.
 
My child is applying to four Selective Enrollment High Schools. How many tests will he have to take?
Students take only one Selective Enrollment High Schools admissions exam, regardless of the number of schools to which they apply.
 
How long is the test?
The Selective Enrollment High Schools exam is approximately three hours long.
 
When will the test take place?
The Selective Enrollment High Schools admissions exam is offered on the following Saturdays:
December 10, 2011
December 17, 2011
January 14, 2012
January 21, 2012
January 28, 2012
 
In addition, the exam will be administered on one Friday in January 2012 for students who are unable to test on a Saturday due to religious reasons.
 
Where will the test take place?
The Selective Enrollment High Schools admissions exam will be administered on selected dates at Brooks College Preparatory High School, King College Preparatory High School, Lane Tech High School, and Whitney Young Magnet High School. You will indicate on the application which one of these test sites is most convenient for you. If you do not select a test site, the Office of Academic Enhancement will schedule your child to test at the site that is closest to the home address identified on your application.
 
When will my child receive a test date?
Eligible students are scheduled for test dates based on (1) when the application is processed and (2) test date/site availability. In addition, for Selective Enrollment High Schools, scheduling is based on the information provided on the application regarding testing dates and the test site that you select. Note that it is not possible to select the date on which you want your child to test for Selective Enrollment High Schools – you may only indicate the date(s) on which your child CANNOT test. This assists us in scheduling a test date that is most convenient for you.
 
You will receive your test notification letter approximately two weeks before your child’s scheduled test date. For current CPS and charter school students, letters of notification are sent to the child’s current school. For private and parochial school students, letters of notification are sent to the child’s home.
 
The last scheduled test date is January 28, 2012. If you have not received a test notification letter by January 18, 2012, please contact the Office of Academic Enhancement at (773) 553-2060 or oae@cps.k12.il.us.
 
IEP/504 PLAN and ELL QUESTIONS
 
Can students with disabilities apply to Selective Enrollment High Schools? Can English Language Learners?
Yes. In order to qualify for the Selective Enrollment admissions exam, students with an IEP or 504 Plan and ELL students must have stanines in reading comprehension and total math, on their previous year’s ISAT (or other standardized test), that total at least 10 (e.g., 3 in reading, 7 in math; 9 in reading, 1 in math).
 
SELECTION QUESTIONS
 
How are students selected for Selective Enrollment High Schools?
Students are selected for Selective Enrollment High Schools based on a final point score and in accordance with the admissions policy for magnet, selective enrollment and other Options for Knowledge programs. Details can be found at the end of this section, “A Closer Look at the Selection Process.”
 
How is the final point score determined for Selective Enrollment High Schools?
The Selective Enrollment High Schools selection process is based on a point system, with a maximum of 900 points. The final point score balances the admissions exam results with standardized test scores and final classroom grades. The score consists of:
• The admissions exam (33 1/3% or 300 points)
• 7th grade reading and math test results (33 1/3% or 300 points)
• 7th grade reading, math, science and social studies grades (33 1/3% or 300 points)
 
A rubric showing how the points are allotted for each of these three areas can be found on this website. Click “Programs,” followed by “Selective Enrollment High Schools” and “The Point System.”
 
If my child is not selected, is it possible for her to be selected later?
After the seats at each school are filled, the non-selected students will remain in an applicant pool. This is not a traditional waiting list, where students are assigned numbers – students are ranked in the applicant pool by score. If your child declines an offer or does not receive an offer, he remains in the applicant pool and has a chance to receive an offer in a later selection round for schools that still have seats remaining.
 
In addition, the Principal Discretion process takes place in March, following the first round of regular selection. This process allows principals of Selective Enrollment High Schools to fill up to five percent of the total available seats for the coming school year, outside of the regular selection process, and in strict compliance with the CEO’s guidelines. Information about the process will be posted on the Office of Academic Enhancement website, www.cpsoae.org, in February 2012. Principal Discretion only applies to the nine Selective Enrollment High Schools. It does not apply to Military Academies.
 
If I apply to a Selective Enrollment High School where I have another child enrolled, will my child automatically be admitted?
No. There is no sibling preference or consideration for applicants to schools that require testing or interviews.
 
My child applied to four Selective Enrollment High Schools. How many offers can she get?
The Selective Enrollment process is a single-offer model. If qualified, your child will receive an offer from the highest ranked school on her application for which she qualifies.
 
ACCEPTANCE/NOTIFICATION QUESTIONS
 
When will I find out if my child has been accepted?
Notification letters will be mailed the week of February 20, 2012. Results cannot be given to parents via telephone. If you do not receive a notification letter within two weeks of the designated date, contact the Office of Academic Enhancement at (773) 553-2060 or oae@cps.k12.il.us.
 
If my child accepts an offer to a Selective Enrollment High School, can she be selected to another Selective Enrollment High School later?
Once you accept an offer from a Selective Enrollment High School, your child cannot receive an offer in a subsequent selection round to another Selective Enrollment High School. If you wish, your child can accept an offer from a Selective Enrollment High School and apply for a different Selective Enrollment High School through Principal Discretion. Your child does not have to decline an offer in order to apply for Principal Discretion. However, if you wish for your child to remain in the applicant pool for a possible selection in a subsequent selection round, you will have to decline the offer that your child receives. Please be aware that there is no guarantee that all, or any, schools will have more than one selection round. Subsequent selection rounds are based on remaining seats available after the first selection round. If a school does not have seats available after the first round, no subsequent rounds will be held for that school. In addition, your acceptance of an offer from a Selective Enrollment High School has no impact on any offers you might receive from magnet high schools, magnet programs, International Baccalaureate High Schools, or any other high schools to which you apply.