8th Grade High School Information

Dear 8th Grade Famlies,

Attached is information that will be helpful to you during the process (I know it seems overwhelming, however, I promise to help you and your child(ren) through the process-DEEP BREATH). Most of this information can also be found at https://go.cps.edu, by clicking HIGH SCHOOL, then RESOURCES.


Additionally, to prepare for our session or if you have any questions prior to the event please read through this information:


GoCPS application activation:

The GoCPS account activation period is coming to a close with the application going live on September 30th. If you need your activation code (these were sent home at the end of June) to access the GO.CPS.EDU site, please email me or have your child see me to obtain it. This will allow you to see which schools your child is eligible to apply to for the 2020-2021 school year.


Application period:

Monday, September 30th through Friday, December 6th (you can apply now, then edit prior to 12/6).


Applications are not accepted on a first come first served basis, so please plan your decisions and ranking rather than rushing to complete them on the first day. However, please be mindful of securing Selective Enrollment Test Dates, Art Portfolio or Auditions, IB Information Sessions, or Interviews. These dates fill up and are on a first come first served basis.


Just a tip to rememberif it is Halloween and you have not completed anything through the GoCPS system it is scary...be thankful at Thanksgiving that you have submitted everything for your application...the first week of December reflect and be happy that all is done! :)


Student Support:

I will provide information to the 8th graders as well as have them complete an assignment to facilitate my one-on-one meetings with them that I will happen later during October. For parents interested in receiving support regarding the CPS High School Application process please plan to attend on 10/1. I will be happy to set up an appointment after meeting with your child for their one-on-one if you need additional personalized support. Students should not be completing the application without their parent involvement.


High School Fair:


The GROW Community High School Fair has been rescheduled to Wednesday, November 20th. 
It will be held at Lake View High School, 4015 North Ashland Avenue (Ashland & Irving Park).
 Hamilton's entry time starts at 4:30pm.
We will have a sign in sheet so I can keep track of how many students from Hamilton are finding this event valuable and from which grade level. 
Just a reminder: 
7th grade is the best year to come to this fair so that in 8th grade you can focus on the open houses at specific schools. However, if you are still wanting to explore in 8th grade, please plan to attend. Especially if you are unable to attend an open house or if you have further questions for high school representatives.


Open Houses:

CPS open house information is made available through this helpful interactive site: https://go.cps.edu/dates-and-events, choose the filter, HIGH SCHOOL, and it is listed by dates.

If you are interested in private or parochial schools, please check those websites directly.


It is important to attend the schools that you are thinking of applying to and if it is an IB (International Baccalaureate) school, this is a requirement for admissions. You MUSTsign up through your GoCPS account so that it logs in that you attended.


Selective Enrollment

The test dates for the Selective Enrollment High Schools for the 2020-2021 school year are below. All students will receive their test scores in March 2020, with their application results.


Selective Enrollment Test Dates:

Saturday, November 16, 2019            

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Saturday, January 25, 2020


The Chicago Public Schools does not recommend, endorse or sponsor any test preparation courses, study guides, or sample questions for the Selective Enrollment Schools testing process. 


The admissions exams used for the Selective Enrollment Schools are designed to assess your child's academic capabilities or reasoning and thinking skills. The Office of Access and Enrollment has not seen any direct correlation between student acceptance rates in Selective Enrollment Schools and their participation in courses offered by test preparation companies. 


Please note that our department receives feedback each year from parents whose children participated in a test preparation course and were not selected for any of their school choices. 


Let the buyer beware. 


Application Advice:

Please read the attached information shared by the Office of Access and Enrollment. These are the same tips and advice that I would provide. In addition, please be aware of the GROW Community Network admissions policy where students that attend Hamilton Elementary are guaranteed admission to both Amundsen and Lake View, regardless of where they live.


The application process for ninth grade is a single-offer model.


  • AT MOST, students can receive an offer from only ONE Selective Enrollment Program and only ONE Choice Program. (Students also are guaranteed a seat in the general education program of their designated neighborhood school. Continuing school students will also receive an offer fromthe school in which they are currently enrolled.)


  • Students are considered for each program in the selection process by one of two methods: (1) a points-based system or (2) a computerized lottery.


  • Depending on the program, the selection process can also take into consideration other factors, such as whether the applicant has a sibling already enrolled in the school, how 

close the applicant lives to the school, and whether the applicant’s parent or guardian works at the school.


  • Points are generally based on the student’s NWEA MAP scores from spring 2019 (or fall 2019 if the student did not take the NWEA MAP in spring 2019), final grades from 7th    

       grade, and/or admissions screening results. Lottery numbers are randomly assigned by computer.


  • It is possible for a student to receive an offer from only oneSelective Enrollment OR only one Choice Program – or no offers from either. As a result, it is important for to apply to 

as many programs as the student would consider attending.


  • Ranking schools will be important based on interest in the school programs.


  • More information on the selection process can be found in videos, posted under ‘Resources,’ above.


Private and Parochial school applications:

Please make sure that you are adhering to the schedule set by the schools including allowing time for teachers and school staff time to process through material requested so that it can be sent on time. Teachers being requested to write letters of recommendation should be provided with more than two weeks notice to allow time to complete the materials. Ensure that your child is the one making these requests directly to the staff. 


Web Browsers:

GoCPS is optimized for view on Chrome and Safari web browsers.  We recommend using one of these to access the site.


Need Help?:

If you have any questions about the activation process, or other basic logistics or if you would like to set up a time to meet with Mrs. Gardner please email: LTERRY@CPS.EDU


If you need to contact the Office of Access and Enrollment directly:

phone: 773-553-2060

email: gocps@cps.edu