Getting Ahead: Information for 6th & 7th Grade Students & Parents
The high school transition is around the corner – be ready for it! It is never to early to start planning for high school and post-secondary options. Parents and students can make the process much easier by planning ahead. Think about the future; what do you want to study in high school? Do you want to go to college? What kind of career do you want to have? Thinking about these questions now can help prepare students and families for the future.
A great website to utilize when discussing college and career planning is What’s Next Illinois.org. This website not only offers career and college planning, but also provides information on financial aid as well as high school planning and preparation.
The city of Chicago offers many different options for high school. Chicago Public School’s Office of Access and Enrollment provides a comprehensive guide to the high school application process. For more information, please visit OAE’s website or their prepared power point presentation.
Below, please find brief descriptions of the many high school options offered to students:
- Magnet: Magnet high schools offer one or more specialty programs, such as fine and performing arts, agricultural sciences, or International Baccalaureate. With the exception of Curie, magnet high schools do not have an attendance boundary. Students are selected through a computerized lottery; minimum stanines are required for inclusion in the lottery. Magnet high schools include: Chicago High Schools for Agricultural Sciences, the Fine and Performing Arts Program at Curie Metropolitan High School, Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center, Michele Clark Academic Prep High School, and the Fine and Performing Arts magnet program at Senn High School. For more information on magnet high schools, please click HERE.
- Selective Enrollment: Selective Enrollment High Schools provide academically advanced 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. Teachers expect students to be self driven and highly engaged with their studies. 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 minimum stanines required to apply to Selective Enrollment High Schools. The 10 Selective Enrollment High Schools are: Brooks, Jones, King, Lane, Lindblom, Northside, Payton, South Shore, Westinghouse, and Young. For more information on Selective Enrollment High Schools please click HERE.
- College and Career Academies: Career and Technical Education (CTE) College & Career Academies (CCA) offer an exciting pathway to college and careers, giving students a head start on preparing for their futures. While in high school, in addition to taking all CPS college prep core courses like math, science and English, students participating in CCA’s will experience hands-on training in their chosen industry. CCA students may also have the opportunity to receive college scholarships, attain industry-recognized certifications, earn college credit, participate in job shadows and internships, attend college fairs and tours, and compete in city, state and national competitions. Currently, 20 schools offer 70 academy offerings across Chicago. For more information on CTE and CCA programs please click HERE.
- International Baccalaureate (IB): International Baccalaureate (IB) programs offer a continuum of high-quality education that encourages international-mindedness and a positive attitude to learning. The IB is motivated by a mission to create a better world through education and has programs accessible to students in 138 countries. The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) focuses on a world language, English, mathematics, humanities, sciences, arts, physical education, and technology. The program is offered for students in grades 9-10. The IB Diploma Programme is designed for students in grades 11-12 and offers courses for the IB Diploma, a prestigious secondary school credential recognized by universities worldwide. Students must meet minimum stanine requirements in order to apply for IB programs. IB programmes include: Amundsen, Bogan, Curie, Hubbard, Hyde Park, Kelly, Lincoln Park, Morgan Park, Ogden, Prosser, Senn, South Shore, Steinmetz, Taft and Washington high schools. For more information on IB programmes please click HERE.
- Military Academies: The Military Academies offer a unique high school option for highly motivated students, providing an academically rigorous curriculum with a focus on leadership and citizenship. Students study in a safe and supportive school environment that allows them to reach their fully potential. The Academies’ primary goal is to prepare students to attend the four-year college or university of their choice. Each academy focuses on a specific branch of the military. The experienced teaching staff at each Military Academy is joined by a small team of retired military personnel who are branch-certified instructors, and who help to foster student success. There are six Military Academies: Air Force, Carver, Chicago Military Academy (Bronzeville), Marine, Phoenix, and Rickover. For more information on Military Academies, please click HERE.
- Charter Schools: Charter schools are free public schools that are independently operated. They have a high degree of autonomy over budgets, curriculum and personnel. Charter schools are open to every student within the public school system. There are no admission tests or required tuition to attend. For more information on the Illinois Network of Charter Schools, please click HERE.
- Parochial: Parochial schools are private schools that require tuition to attend. These schools also require students to take an entrance exam, which usually takes place in early January. When considering admissions, these schools look at a student’s 7th grade grades and ISAT scores, 8th grade 1st quarter report card, attendance, letters of recommendation and may require a personal essay. Many parochial schools offer “shadow days,” where 8th grade students are able to shadow a particular student, visit their classes and get a feeling for the school culture.