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Accelerated Placement

On June 26, 2019, the Chicago Board of Education voted to adopt a policy change in response to the State of Illinois Accelerated Placement Act, which allows early entrance to kindergarten and first grade, whole-grade acceleration (also known as grade skipping), and single-subject acceleration.

Students can apply for Early Entrance to Kindergarten if they turn five years old between September 2nd and December 31st of the school year for which they are applying. Students can apply for Early Entrance to First Grade if they turn six years old between September 2nd and December 31st of the school year for which they are applying. Students can apply to Whole-Grade Acceleration or Single-Subject Acceleration in the spring if they are currently in grades 3-6.

Details about each of these processes can be found on the Accelerated Placement page of this website, under ‘Elementary School.’

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement (AP) is a curriculum in the United States and Canada sponsored by the College Board which offers standardized high school courses that are generally recognized to be equivalent to undergraduate courses in college. Participating colleges grant credit to students who obtained high enough scores on the exams to qualify. Students enrolled in AP courses engage in intense discussions, solve problems collaboratively, and learn to write clearly and persuasively. AP is a within-school program; students can take advantage of this program after they are enrolled in a school.

AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination)

Through AVID, high school students receive tutoring, improve their self-image, develop critical thinking and organizational skills, and become leaders and role models for other students. In most cases, AVID is a within-school program; students can take advantage of this program after they are enrolled in a school.


Career Academies

Career Academies offer intensified resources that provide high school students with hands-on experiences and the opportunity to visit local businesses and shadow business professionals in various career areas.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) College and Career Academies and CTE Programs

CTE Programs feature a unique approach to prepare high school students for college and career success. Students can participate in CTE College and Career Academies, to which students must apply, and/or they can participate in within-school CTE programs. Through these programs, students experience hands-on training in their chosen industry, and may have the opportunity to earn college credit, attain industry-recognized certifications, and participate in job shadows and internships.

Charter Schools

Charter schools are independently operated schools that are authorized by CPS or the State Charter School Commission under Illinois Charter Schools Law. The schools authorized by CPS are funded and monitored by the Chicago Public Schools district, but can exercise autonomy over many student-related policies. Charter schools are governed by school-selected Boards of Directors and operate under contractual agreements with the authorizing entity; typically, these contracts are for five-year terms.

Children’s Engineering

Provides the opportunity for elementary school students to work together in cooperative groups on engineering design challenges, projects and activities, requiring them to define problems, research, design, construct, test, analyze, and communicate solutions.

Contract Schools

Contract schools are district schools that are managed by external operators. These schools are funded and monitored by the district and must adhere to all student-related district policies. Contract schools are governed by school-selected Boards of Directors and operate under contractual agreements with the district; typically, these contracts are for five-year terms.


Dual Enrollment

Through Dual Enrollment, students take college courses while in high school, earning both high school and college credit. Participation in Dual Enrollment may ease students’ transition from high school to college and save college costs, as course costs are covered by the students’ high school. Dual Enrollment is a within-school program; students can take advantage of the program once they are enrolled in a school.

Dual Language

Dual Language Education is a long-term, additive bilingual program that consistently and strategically uses two languages, generally English and a partner language, such as Spanish for instruction, learning, and communication. Graduates of effective dual language programs can speak, listen, comprehend, read, and write with proficiency in two languages. Dual language students are also able to successfully complete rigorous academic coursework in both languages and develop positive understandings, behaviors, and attitudes about their own culture and other world cultures.

The mission of the Program/Focus 

All dual programs are founded on three fundamental student pillars: 

  1. Develop bilingual and bi-literate proficiencies 
  2. Reach high academic achievement in both languages for all students
  3. Exhibit positive cross-cultural attitudes and flexibility

Two-way Dual Programs

Two-Way Dual Language Programs serve students identified as English Learners who speak a language other than English and English proficient students for whom the partner language will become a second language.

One-way Dual Programs

One-way Dual Language Programs serve students who share the same linguistic and cultural background and qualify for bilingual services through a Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) program.


Early College STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Math] Schools (ECSS)

The ECSS connects high school, college, and the world of work through dynamic partnerships and a new vision for college and career readiness. Partnerships allow students to pursue a career in technology and gain skills for the 21st century workforce; students have the opportunity to graduate with industry certifications and up to two years of college credit. In addition, students benefit from workplace learning experiences through internships, and they are matched with professional mentors in their career path so that they gain valuable knowledge and experience.


Fine and Performing Arts

Fine and performing arts programs encourage students’ creative and artistic expression, and develop their interest in art, music, dance, and/or drama. Faculty and students work with some of the city’s premier arts institutions and artists, both in the schools and throughout the city.


General Education

Schools that fall in this category offer a curriculum of general education that includes a wide variety of subject areas, including the core subjects of English/language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies, and may also include world language, art, music, and physical education. The general education program does not specialize in one particular area of the curriculum.



The Humanities curriculum Includes literature, history, art, music, geography, and world language, and brings artists and speakers into the classroom.


International Baccalaureate (IB) High Schools

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end, the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment. These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

CPS currently offers the following IB programs:

  • IB Primary Years Program (PYP):
    The International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP) is for students aged 3-12. This program prepares students to become active, caring, lifelong learners, and focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both within and beyond the classroom.
  • IB Middle Years Program (MYP):
    The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program provides a flexible curriculum framework suitable to meet the needs of all students. At the elementary school level, the MYP is offered to grades 6-8. At the high school level, the MYP is offered to grades 9 and 10. The MYP model places the learner at the center. This underscores IB’s belief in educating the whole person, and the central importance of student inquiry.
  • IB Diploma Programme (DP):
    The IB Diploma Program is a comprehensive and challenging pre-university program for academically motivated students in grades 11 and 12. The Diploma Program is widely recognized for its high academic standards and the impressive success of its graduates in colleges and universities around the world.
  • IB Career-related Program (IBCP):
    The IBCP is designed for students in grades 11 and 12. It incorporates the educational principles, vision, and learner profile for IB into a unique offering that specifically addresses the needs of students who wish to engage in career-related education. Students apply to be in the IBCP once they are enrolled in the school.

Additional information is available at



The Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) Program in the Chicago Public Schools offers an award-winning curriculum that incorporates leadership and character development, and dates back to 1919. The program develops students to their fullest potential and prepares them for college, careers, and citizenship by utilizing various components of the military model. Students receive rich, interactive, technology-driven instruction on a number of civics topics by a professional staff of retired military instructors. Students also have opportunities to socialize with students across the city and develop their leadership skills through such events such as summer camp, leadership camp, citywide sports competitions, orienteering, local and national drill competitions, and field trips. JROTC is a within-school program, in most cases, at selected CPS high schools; students can take advantage of this program after they are enrolled in a school. Visit to see videos, meet the students, and learn about the schools with these programs.


Magnet Cluster Programs

Magnet cluster schools specialize in one particular area, such as technology, world language, or fine and performing arts. A magnet cluster school is an elementary neighborhood school; it has a neighborhood attendance boundary and accepts students who live within that boundary. Students who live outside of the neighborhood attendance boundary must participate in the application and selection process in order to be considered for acceptance.

Magnet High School Programs

High school magnet programs are offered in neighborhood high schools to enhance and enrich the curriculum. The programs accept students from throughout the city. Magnet programs have minimum eligibility requirements in order for students to apply.

Magnet Elementary Schools

Magnet elementary schools specialize in one particular area, such as math/science, STEM, or world language. In most cases magnet schools do not have neighborhood attendance boundaries. Unless the school has an attendance boundary, all interested students must submit an application in order to be considered for acceptance. In most cases, magnet elementary schools provide bus transportation to students who live between 1.5 and 6 miles from the school.

Magnet High Schools

Magnet High Schools (with the exception of Curie Metropolitan High School) do not have neighborhood attendance boundaries, accept students from throughout the city, and offer one or more specialty programs. Magnet High Schools have minimum eligibility requirements in order for students to apply.

Mathematics and Science

These programs strongly emphasize those aspects of knowledge that are most likely to contribute to a student’s ability to explain, reason, communicate, and problem-solve, using mathematics and science.

Middle School Cadet Corp Program

Provides the opportunity for middle school students to develop leadership and discipline skills. The program includes an emphasis on communications, teamwork skills, discipline, and leadership training. (Madero Middle School only)


Open Classroom

Each grade level is located in an open classroom (no walls) environment. Each open space has an instructional team of eight teachers that services approximately 200 students. (Disney Magnet School only)

Open Enrollment Schools

An open enrollment school is a neighborhood elementary school that does not specialize in a particular area of the curriculum. Open enrollment schools accept students who live within their boundary. Students who live outside of the neighborhood attendance boundary must participate in the application and selection process in order to be considered for acceptance.


Primary Address

The student’s primary address is the address that must be used on the student’s application. The primary address is defined as the student’s regular, fixed nighttime abode.


Scholastic Academies

Scholastic Academies are magnet schools that place strong emphasis on language arts and mathematics, and offer an enriched curriculum in a selected area of art, music, science, world language, or language arts.

School Performance

The School Performance information provided on the CPS school profiles is derived from the following sources of information:

SAT: The SAT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. The purpose of the exam is to measure a high school student’s readiness for college and provided colleges with one common data point that can be used to compare all applicants.

Graduation Rate: The CPS “five-year cohort graduation rate” follows a group of students who enter the Chicago Public Schools as freshmen and calculates the percent of these students who graduate within five years after their freshman year. The rate is calculated by dividing the number of students from an adjusted ninth grade cohort who graduated over the five-year time period by the total number of students in that cohort.

College Enrollment: The CPS college enrollment rate is calculated using data acquired from the National Student Clearinghouse.The college enrollment rate is the percent of CPS graduates who enrolled in college by November 1st of that same year – the standard timeframe used to calculate national college enrollment statistics.

Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools

Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools provide academically advanced students in grades K-8 with a rigorous, accelerated curriculum. Selective Enrollment Elementary Schools encompass five individual programs: Academic Centers, Classical Schools, the International Gifted Programs, Regional Gifted Centers, and Regional Gifted Centers for English Learners. Testing is required in order for students to be considered for these programs.

Service Leadership Academies

The Service Leadership Academies are unique four-year high schools that prepare students for college and subsequent careers. Although students wear uniforms and operate in a structured environment, these schools are not intended to prepare students for the military. Rather, students take part in unprecedented leadership opportunities and co-curricular activities, including college trips and citywide competitions, in a nurturing, safe, and healthy environment in which they can realize their full potential. Visit to view videos, see testimonials, and learn more about these schools.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Program

The STEM program provides students with a solid foundation in math, science, technology and engineering. Students are expected to explore the world around them and become problem-solvers and critical thinkers.


Technology Academies/Technology Program

This program develops in elementary school students the skills necessary to live and work in an increasingly digital world.


World Language

World language programs provide students with intensive instruction in a world language to acquire proficiency in the new language as well as develop cultural understanding and awareness.

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Chicago Public Schools
42 W. Madison St, 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60602

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