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Just 16 Percent Of K-8 Students Got A Spot In A Selective-Enrollment School

By Heather Cherone | April 10, 2017 7:29am | Updated on April 11, 2017 11:44am
 Nearly 11,500 students applied for a spot at Chicago's selective-enrollment grade schools for 2017-18.
Nearly 11,500 students applied for a spot at Chicago's selective-enrollment grade schools for 2017-18.
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CHICAGO — Nearly 11,500 Chicago students applied for a seat at one of Chicago’s selective-enrollment elementary schools — but just 16 percent of the pint-sized applicants were offered a spot in one of the highly coveted classrooms, according to data released by Chicago Public Schools.

In all, 1,868 students out of 11,497 applicants got at least one offer to claim a spot in kindergarten through eighth grade at one of the 11 regional gifted centers, five classical schools or three regional gifted centers for English learners designed for academically advanced students, according to CPS officials.

Seventy students were offered a spot at more than one of the schools, officials said.

Students are offered spots in the gifted programs based on their score on an admissions exam. About 70 percent of selective-enrollment seats are granted admission based on four separate tiers, with students who live in the most affluent tier facing the most competitive scores.

It was easier to win a spot at one of Chicago's magnet elementary schools, which specialize in subject areas, such as math and science, fine arts, world language or humanities.

About 14,100 students applied for a seat at a magnet elementary school, with 39 percent of students offered a spot.

Another 3,800 students got multiple offers, district officials said.

The deadline to accept an elementary school offer is April 24.

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Magnet schools accept students from throughout the city through a computerized lottery that also reserves seats for students from areas of the city identified by data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau as socially and economically disadvantaged as part of the CPS commitment to racial and economic diversity.

Seven high schools also include academic centers, which offer an accelerated program for students in grades seven and eight — and assures the students' admission to the high schools.

The academic center at Whitney Young Magnet High School was the hardest to get into, with students who won the coveted seats outright earning at least 888 out of a possible 900 points, according to cutoff score data released by CPS.

The minimum admission scores for the other academic centers for the 2017-18 school year are:

• Lane Tech: 874.3

• Taft: 831

• Kenwood: 785.8

• Brooks: 761.8

• Lindblom: 773.8

• Morgan Park: 650

Results were posted, and letters of acceptance or denial were released April 3, officials said.