Office of Access and Enrollment

Magnet High Schools

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; students must pre-qualify for inclusion in the lottery based on scores from the NWEA MAP.

Magnet programs within high schools offer specialized programs to students enrolled in the schools, such as the Pre-Engineering Program at Harlan High School and the Fine and Performing Arts Program at Senn High School.

Application Information

Eligibility Requirements for Magnet High Schools and Programs

Applicants to Magnet High Schools and Programs must pre-qualify in order to apply. Eligibility is based on the student's reading and math scores on the NWEA. The eligibility requirements for most of the schools and programs are as follows:

General Education Students and Students with a 504 Plan:

  • Minimum percentile of 24 in both reading and math.

Students with an IEP and Students Receiving Bilingual Education Services:

  • Minimum reading and math percentiles that equal 48 or higher.

There is ONE exception to these requirements. The Scholars Program at Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center has a different eligibility requirement for all applicants:

  • Minimum percentile of 60 in both reading and math and minimum seventh grade GPA of 3.0.

Student Selection Process

Eligible students are selected for available seats through a computerized lottery, which ensures that all applicants have an equal chance to be selected. The computer program randomly selects students to fill the spaces in each grade. Selection is conducted in accordance with the tier system outlined in the admissions policy for magnet, selective enrollment and other Options for Knowledge programs.

For magnet schools, there are three types of lotteries:

  • Sibling lottery: conducted only for students who have a brother or sister in the same household who already attends the school to which the student is applying, and who will still be enrolled in that school in the 2016-2017 school year.
  • Proximity lottery: conducted at magnet schools only (not magnet programs) that do not have an attendance boundary. This lottery is for applicants who live within a 2.5 mile radius of the magnet high school. (Note: If more than 50 percent of the entire student body is comprised of students within the proximity, and if more than 50 percent of the student body is any one racial or ethnic group, no proximity lottery will be held for that school.
  • General lottery: conducted for all students not included in the sibling or proximity lotteries (when applicable, this includes the four tiers).

NOTE- There are two exceptions to the selection processes outlined above:

  • Senn: Eligible students are selected for the fine and performing arts program through the audition/portfolio review process. Tiers are not considered.
  • Von Steuben Scholars Program: Eligible students are selected based on their NWEA scores, teacher recommendations, and an essay. Tiers are not considered. Visit www.vonsteuben.org (click 'About' and 'Admissions') for more information.

Waitlist

Students who are not selected for a seat through the computerized lottery are assigned a seat on a waitlist. After the available spaces in each grade are filled through the computerized lottery, waitlist numbers are randomly assigned, beginning with number 1, to the remaining students in each category. Parents of students who are selected in the lottery are given approximately three weeks to accept an offered space. After the deadline for accepting an offer, principals must fill any remaining spaces through the waiting list, beginning with number 1 and selecting students based on their category.

For example, if a student was selected in the sibling lottery and the parent does not accept the space, the principal will contact the parent of the first student on the sibling waiting list for that grade to offer him/her the available space. If this student declines the offer, the principal will contact the second student on the sibling waiting list for that grade, and so on. Principals are not allowed to contact students outside of the waiting list order, and offers must be made to replace students in the same category. For instance, a principal cannot offer a space to the student who is number 1 on a waiting list and then skip the next five students to offer a space to the student who is number 6 on the list. As another example, a principal cannot attempt to fill a space declined by a student from the sibling category by offering the space to a student on the general waiting list, unless the sibling waitlist has been exhausted. (When parents of waitlisted students are contacted, they will be given 24-48 hours to accept or decline a seat. Be sure to include at least one telephone number on your application where you can be reached at all times.)

NOTE: If your child is currently on a waitlist from last year’s application process, and you have not yet received an offer for the current school year, you will need to reapply for the 2017-2018 school year if you want to be considered for that year. Waitlists are not maintained from year to year.

 

Apply to Magnet High Schools and Programs

Applying to Magnet High Schools and Programs is easy! Just follow the directions below, and contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 or oae@cps.edu if you have any questions.

But first, please note the following:

  • The application period begins October 3, 2016, and ends December 9, 2016.
  • You have a choice of applying through the online application portal, or by using a paper application. (We recommend the online portal – it’s easier, faster, reduces chances for error, and provides email confirmation and online notification.)
  • Students must pre-qualify to be considered for magnet high schools and programs, based on their NWEA scores.
  • If your child is applying to the Fine and Performing Arts Program at Senn High School, he/she will have to schedule and participate in an audition/portfolio review process. Senn is the only magnet school/program with a required admission screening.
  • Your child’s application notification letter will be released on March 3, 2017, to notify you whether or not your child received an offer from any of the schools to which you applied. If you apply ONLINE, your child’s letter will be accessible via the online portal. If you apply via PAPER application, your child’s letter will be mailed to your home on March 3, 2017 (note this is the date that the letter will be MAILED, not received.)

Next, see the step-by-step instructions below, categorized according to CPS, Charter, Contract Students, and Non-CPS Students for both the online process and the paper process. Throughout the instructions, you will also find application tips – just click the links!

ONLINE PROCESS:

CPS, Charter, and Contract Students:

Step 1:Eighth grade students will receive an Eligibility Letter through their school counselor in September. The letter will contain a Personal Identification Number (PIN) that the student can use for the online process. The letter will also tell you if your child is eligible to apply for the Magnet High Schools and Programs.

Step 2:Starting October 3rd, go to the online portal, apply.cps.edu, and click “Apply Online” under Step 1. This will allow you to enter your PIN, open your account, and create your password.

Step 3:If your child is eligible to apply for the Magnet High Schools and Programs, and you are interested in applying to the Fine and Performing Arts program at Senn, click the SCHEDULE button for the Magnet High Schools and Programs and schedule the date, time, and location for your child’s audition/portfolio review. If you need to reschedule your child’s audition/portfolio review, you will need to contact Senn directly.

Step 4:After you schedule the audition/portfolio review OR, if you do not want to apply to Senn, click the APPLY button to select the schools to which your child is applying. You can apply to up to eight schools. NOTE: If your child is applying to the Scholars Program at Von Steuben, additional admissions materials are required.

Step 5:After you successfully submit your application, the online portal will show the word “Completed” under the status for applying. If you scheduled an audition/portfolio review for Senn, the portal will also show the word “Completed” under the scheduling status. You will also receive an email confirmation. If the online portal shows “Not Completed” you have not successfully completed these actions.

Non-CPS Students:

Step 1:Eighth grade students must take the NWEA MAP that is administered by the Chicago Public Schools. If you have not yet registered to take the NWEA MAP, click here.

Step 2:Only students who registered for the NWEA MAP by September 9th will be able to apply using the online application portal. (If you registered for the NWEA MAP AFTER September 9th, you will have to submit paper applications by the December 9th deadline. See below for the paper instruction process.)

Step 3: Students who register for the NWEA MAP by September 9th will receive a PIN Letter along with their test notification letter. When you receive your PIN, go to the online portal, apply.cps.edu, and click “Apply Online” under Step 1. This will allow you to enter your PIN, open your account, and create your password. Approximately two weeks after your child takes the second NWEA exam, you can login to your account on the online portal to see if your child is eligible to be considered for the Magnet High Schools and Programs. (You will receive a robocall and an email to notify you when your child’s NWEA MAP scores have been uploaded to the online portal.)

Step 4: If your child is eligible to apply for the Magnet High Schools and Programs, and you are interested in applying to the Fine and Performing Arts program at Senn, click the SCHEDULE button for the Magnet High Schools and Programs and schedule the date, time, and location for your child’s audition/portfolio review. If you need to reschedule your child’s audition/portfolio review, you will need to contact Senn directly.

Step 5:After you schedule the audition/portfolio review OR, if you do not want to apply to Senn, click the APPLY button to select the schools to which your child is applying. You can apply to up to eight schools. NOTE: If your child is applying to the Scholars Program at Von Steuben, additional admissions materials are required.

Step 6:After you successfully submit your application, the online portal will show the word “Completed” under the status for applying. If you scheduled an audition/portfolio review for Senn, the portal will also show the word “Completed” under the scheduling status. You will also receive an email confirmation. If the online portal shows “Not Completed” you have not successfully completed these actions.

PAPER PROCESS:

CPS, Charter, and Contract Students:

Step 1:Eighth grade students will receive an Eligibility Letter through their school counselor in September. The letter will tell you if your child is eligible to apply for the Magnet High Schools and Programs.

Step 2:If your child is eligible to apply for the Magnet High Schools and Programs, and you are interested in applying to the Fine and Performing Arts program at Senn, the school will contact you to schedule the date and time for your child’s audition/portfolio review. If you need to reschedule your child’s audition/portfolio review, you will need to contact Senn.

Step 3:After you schedule the audition/portfolio review OR, if you do not want to apply to Senn, go to www.cpsoae.org and click ‘Apply’ and ‘Application Materials’ to download and print the Magnet High Schools and Programs application.

Step 4: Complete the application. You can apply to up to eight schools. NOTE: If your child is applying to the Scholars Program at Von Steuben, additional admissions materials are required. Be sure to sign the application.

Step 5: Submit the application to the Office of Access and Enrollment. Paper applications can be mailed or hand-delivered only.

Non-CPS Students:

Step 1: Eighth grade students must take the NWEA that is administered by the Chicago Public Schools. If you have not yet registered to take the NWEA, click here.

Step 2:If you registered for the NWEA AFTER September 9th, you will have to submit paper applications by the December 9th deadline.

Step 3:Go to www.cpsoae.org and click ‘Apply’ and Paper Applications’ to download and print the Magnet High Schools and Programs application.

Step 4: Complete the application. You can apply to up to eight schools. NOTE: If your child is applying to the Scholars Program at Von Steuben, additional admissions materials are required. Be sure to sign the application.

Step 5:Submit the application to the Office of Access and Enrollment. Paper applications can be mailed or hand-delivered only.

Step 6:After your child takes the second NWEA MAP exam, the Office of Access and Enrollment will contact you via email and robocall, to inform you whether or not your child is eligible to be considered for the Magnet High Schools and Programs. (Your child’s NWEA scores will be mailed to you in spring 2017.)

To view the school's profile, click on the school name.

Magnet High Schools:


Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences

3857 W. 111th St.

(773) 535-2500

Clark Academic Preparatory High School

5101 W. Harrison St.

(773) 534-6250

Curie Metropolitan High School

4959 S. Archer Ave.

(773) 535-2100

Disney II High School

3900 N. Lawndale Ave.

(773) 534-3750

RTC Medical Prep

2245 W. Jackson Blvd.

(773) 534-7192

Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center

5039 N. Kimball Ave.

(773) 534-5100

Magnet Programs:


Harlan Community Academy

9652 S. Michigan Ave.

(773) 535-5400

Engineering

Senn High School

5900 N. Glenwood Ave.

(773) 534-2365

Fine and Performing Arts

FAQs


A.This application should be used to apply to the 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, the Engineering Magnet Track at Harlan High School, and the Fine and Performing Arts magnet program at Senn High School.

A.Yes, you have to live in Chicago to enroll and attend a Magnet School or high school with a Magnet Program. You don't have to live in Chicago to apply, participate in the selection process, and even be selected, but you have to provide proof of city of Chicago residency by July 1, 2017, for the 2017-2018 school year.

A.Students do not take a test for entrance into these schools. For most of the schools, students are selected through a computerized lottery (with the exception of Senn, which selects students based on an audition/portfolio process). In order to be eligible to apply, students must pre-qualify, based on their NWEA scores.

A. When you fill out your child's application -- whether online or paper -- you must indicate your child's "primary address." The primary address is defined as your child’s regular, fixed nighttime abode. Note that you must use the address that is your primary address at the time that you apply. You cannot apply using an address where you plan to live in the future.

A. If you share joint custody and your child sleeps at night at only one residence the majority of the time, that is the child's primary address, and that is the address that must be entered on the application. In cases of joint custody where a child's residence is equally divided between two addresses, either address may be used. Note that the address of only ONE parent can be used; your child cannot be considered for schools by using more than one address, and your child cannot submit applications with different addresses. The address that is used for the application and selection process must be the same, single address. If your child submits applications with more than one address, he/she will be considered for the selection process using the address on the first application that is processed by the Office of Access and Enrollment

A.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 Diverse Learner Supports and Services 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.

A.. If you apply online, you can make updates via the online portal to your address and telephone number. If you apply via paper application, contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 or oae@cps.edu to request a paper Contact Information Modification Form. For the purposes of determining tiers, attendance/overlay boundaries, and proximity boundaries, address changes must be submitted no later than December 9, 2016. NOTE: If you change your address and you accept an offer from a school, you will be required to provide proof of both the address on the application, and the new address, at the time of your child’s registration.

A..To correct your child’s CPS ID number, IEP/504 Plan status,current grade, or other student-related information, you will need to submit a paper Student Information Modification Form, whether you apply online or via paper application. To request the Student Information Modification Form, contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 or oae@cps.edu. Corrections must be submitted no later than December 9, 2016.

A.. We encourage you to attend Open Houses and conduct any other school-related research BEFORE submitting your application, to decrease the need for changing school choices. If you apply online, you can make changes by deleting your application and submitting a new one. If you apply via paper application, contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 or oae@cps.edu to request a paper Application Modification Form. Changes must be submitted no later than January 20, 2017.



A.Three of the schools on the application require additional information regarding your choices. If you are applying to:

  • Curie: Select the specific type of fine and performing arts program that interests your child. If you do not identify the specific type of fine and performing arts program, your child will not be included in the selection process. (If you live in Curie’s attendance boundary, you do not need to submit an application for the fine and performing arts program – your child will automatically be accepted into the program upon enrollment.)
  • Senn: Select the specific type of fine and performing arts program that interests your child. If you do not identify the specific type of fine and performing arts program, your child will not be included in the selection process.
  • Von Steuben: Offers two programs: a Science Program and a Scholars Program. The Scholars Program has additional requirements that must be submitted directly to the school (visit www.vonsteuben.org -- click 'About' and 'Admissions' for more information). If you do not submit these materials, or if your child does not qualify for the Scholars Program, he/she will be automatically considered for the Science Program.

A.No. You should apply only to those schools where you would accept an offer if your child receives one. If you don't want your child to attend a specific school, or if you feel that a school is too far from your home for your child to attend, then don't apply to it.



A.If you are interested in the Engineering program at Harlan High School, or the fine and performing arts program at Senn, and you live within the neighborhood attendance boundary of either of these schools, you must submit a Magnet High Schools and Programs application to be considered.

If you live within the attendance boundary of Curie and you are interested in the fine and performing arts program, you do NOT have to apply.

A.The only program with an admissions screening is the Senn Fine and Performing Arts Program, which requires eligible applicants to participate in an audition/portfolio review process.

A.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.



A.Yes. Scroll up and click the Eligibility link for the eligibility requirements for students with an IEP and students receiving bilingual education services.



A.Sibling applicants to magnet high schools and programs will be offered seats to the extent that space is available (with the exception of the fine and performing arts program at Senn, which does not consider sibling status in the selection process). If a school receives more applications from siblings than there are seats available, a computerized lottery will be conducted to fill the seats. In order to be eligible, the enrolled sibling and the sibling applicant must live in the same household and must be attending the same school at the same time for at least one school year. (The term “sibling” means natural siblings, step siblings, foster siblings and adopted siblings.) Your child cannot be accepted as a sibling if the enrolled sibling graduates or transfers to another school.

A.Yes. You may accept an offer from one school, and later on receive an offer from a school where your child was on the waitlist. If you wish to accept the offer from the second school, you may do so. Your child can receive an offer from a school where she is waitlisted up until the first day of school.

A.A student entering a Chicago public school at the 10th, 11th, or 12th grade is considered to be a transfer student. Each high school establishes its own guidelines and requirements for transfer students. You will need to directly contact the school(s) in which you are interested for information on transfer opportunities.


A.If you apply using the online process, your notification letter will be posted on your online application portal no later than March 3, 2017. If you apply via paper application, your notification letter will be sent to your home address via U.S. mail no later than March 3, 2017. (NOTE: this is the date that the notification letters will be MAILED, not RECEIVED.)


Page Last Modified on Thursday, October 13, 2016