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Chicago Public School (CPS) Acceleration Application Now Open!

December 10, 2020 7:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

We have an update that may be of interest to our members who reside or plan to reside within the city boundaries. 

If your child is enrolled in a Chicago Public School (CPS) and he/she is in 3rd to 6th grade, we would like you to be aware that CPS has just opened the application process for your child to be accelerated, if qualifying criteria are met. Subject acceleration can occur in Reading, Math or both subjects or you can apply for a whole-grade skip. The first hurdle to pass is for your child to have the last two NWEA scores higher than 95 percent. Due to the pandemic onset in March, a lot of the children got only one NWEA test underway in the previous school year, so the requirement of two tests will mean that scores from the previous two years become relevant for the threshold to be passed. The second requirement is related to the grades your child has in the previous school years. If these two criteria are met, you can apply but the process won’t end there. The school will assess the student on the Iowa Acceleration Scale and if a passing score occurs, then the student will be scheduled for an academic, ability, aptitude and achievement test, in person at the Illinois Institute of Technology, likely at the end of spring 2021. Finally, the principal of the school has ultimately the discretion to accept or not the acceleration recommendation and the acceleration is not automatically transferable if you switch schools. There are application fees of $250 for the whole grade skip and $35 for the subject acceleration, but they can be waived under certain circumstances. The window for application closes on March 1, therefore if you intend to apply, investigate if your child meets the requirements and do it sooner rather than later. The requirements are high and the process is lengthy, but if your child already works above grade level and has qualifying scores, it may be worth it to apply and try to get more academic challenge in the school environment. For more information or if you have questions, visit, call the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060, or email the Policy Program Manager, Ali Fendrick, at

Lastly, please note that the application period for the Selective Enrollment Schools (e.g, Regional Gifted Centers or Classical Schools) has been recently extended until January 8, 2021. Unlike previous years, when one applied, an option for exam dates was not yet given. If you intend to apply to SES, please be aware that there are two types of schools with advanced curriculum and the exams for each of them are different in content. Considering the current pandemic, you may want to investigate and reflect on which kind of school your child has a better chance of getting high scores and minimize the risks of exposure or test anxiety. There will likely be different protocols for test taking than what your children may be accustomed from previous years. 

Good luck to all the members who are considering any of these options within CPS!

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The Chicago Gifted Community Center (CGCC) is a member-driven 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by parents to support the intellectual and emotional growth of gifted children and their families. 

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