High School Types 

Every child is unique with different educational needs and interests. That’s why Chicago Public Schools offers a wide variety of choices for high school students.

Use the chart below to compare the differences among each school type. You can then view more details for each by clicking the corresponding links.

Overview

Neighborhood
This is your first option, since they generally serve students who live within a designated attendance boundary.


Career Academy
Students receive a college-preparatory curriculum and a career-focused education in different fields.

Charter
These schools are independently operated and not subject to the same state laws, district initiatives, and board policies as traditional public schools.

Contract
Contract schools are public schools open to all CPS students. These schools are operated by private entities under contract with CPS to provide an additional education option for students.

Magnet
Specializes in a specific subject area such as Montesorri, International Baccalaureate, math and science, humanities or dual language immersion.

Military Academy
For students who wish to develop leadership and team-building skills as well as receive military training.

Selective Enrollment
Designed to meet the needs of Chicago's most academically-advanced students.

Small
School population limited to 600 students.

Special Education
Provides individualized education.

 

CPS School Locator School Profile Pages

  Overview Approximate number of schools Attendance boundary Enrollment criteria
  Application type Entrance exam Details
 
Neighborhood Neighborhood
This is your first option, since they generally serve students who live within a designated attendance boundary.
48
(View all)
Yes
Yes

Visit the Office of Access and Enrollment website at www.cpsoae.org for specifics.

None
None
Out of boundary students must apply in order to be considered.
 
 
Career academy Career academy
Students receive a college-preparatory curriculum and a career-focused education in different fields.
5
(View all)
Varies by school

Contact school for specifics
Contact school for specifics

None
None
Students selected by test scores.
 
 
Charter Charter
These schools are independently operated and not subject to the same state laws, district initiatives, and board policies as traditional public schools.
69
(View all)
None
None

Contact school for specifics
Contact school for specifics

None
None
Uses a random lottery if there are more applications than available slots.
 
 
Contract Contract
Contract schools are public schools open to all CPS students. These schools are operated by private entities under contract with CPS to provide an additional education option for students.
3
(View all)
None
None

Contact school for specifics
Contact school for specifics

None
None
Uses random lottery if there are more applications than available spaces.
 
 
Magnet Magnet
Specializes in a specific subject area such as Montesorri, International Baccalaureate, math and science, humanities or dual language immersion.
8
(View all)
None
None

Visit the Office of Access and Enrollment website at www.cpsoae.org for specifics.

None
None
Uses random lottery.
 
 
Military academy Military academy
For students who wish to develop leadership and team-building skills as well as receive military training.
6
(View all)
None
None

Visit the Office of Access and Enrollment website at www.cpsoae.org for specifics.

None
None
Requires an admission interview. Acceptance based on academic achievement.
 
 
Selective enrollment Selective enrollment
Designed to meet the needs of Chicago’s most academically-advanced students.
10
(View all)
None
None

Visit the Office of Access and Enrollment website at www.cpsoae.org for specifics.

Yes
Yes
 
 
Small Small
School population limited to 600 students.
16
(View all)
Yes
Yes

Contact school for specifics
Contact school for specifics

None
None
Priority for students living within the boundary. Students outside of boundaries can apply if space is available.
 
 
Special education Special education
Provides individualized education.
4
(View all)
Varies by school

Contact school for specifics
Contact school for specifics

None
None
 
 
Related links
High schools A-Z index
Find a school
By school name or zip code:

Page Last Modified on Friday, July 17, 2015