Classical Schools 

Designed to provide a challenging liberal arts course of instruction for students with high academic potential.



The instructional program in these schools is accelerated and highly structured for strong academic achievement in literature, mathematics, language arts, world language, and the humanities. There are five classical schools (Decatur, McDade, Poe, Skinner North and Skinner West). The classical schools begin with full-day kindergarten and continue through the sixth grade, with the exception of Skinner West, which continues through the eighth grade, and Skinner North, which will serve grades K-7 in the 2015-2016 school year, and grades K-8 beginning in 2016-2017. Testing is required.

Attendance Boundaries

None. Students across the city may apply.

Enrollment Requirements

Acceptance Criteria

  • Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools (SEES) application
  • Entrance exam


Admission testing is required. All age-appropriate students applying for grades K-4 will be tested. Testing eligibility for students applying for grades 5-8 is based on the student's NWEA MAP scores in reading and math. In order to be eligible for testing, general education students and students with a 504 Plan must have scores at the 60th percentile or above in reading and math. Students with an IEP must have percentiles at or above the 50th percentile in one subject (reading or math), and at or above the 40th percentile in the other subject (reading or math) in order to be eligible for testing.


View list of Classical schools

For more information, visit the website for the Office of Access and Enrollment at and click 'Programs' and 'Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools.'

Related Links

Elementary School Types

CPS School Locator  School Profile Pages

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