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Choosing A High School

Choosing a high school is an important decision in every student’s life. High school is a critical time for you to grow intellectually and personally. It also prepares you for college and provides skills to be used in the job market during this vital transition period into adulthood.

CPS wants to make sure that you and your parents/guardians have enough information to help make the most informed decision possible. CPS offers many different types of high schools—from charter schools to selective enrollment to College and Career Academies—which all prepare students for future success.

Passport to Success - Your Guide to High School and Beyond

Passport to Success - Your Guide to High School and Beyond

Welcome to your next big adventure on your journey to college and a career! This booklet will give you the inside scoop on how you can start preparing for success in high school right now. Counselors have provided their expert advice on how to get ready for high school. Passport to Success: Your Guide to High School and Beyond will help you make a smooth transition to the high school that is the best fit for you. Use this guide to pave the way for success in high school and beyond!

Tips for Successful High School Selection

A. Match your interests and preferences to school academics, activities, sports, and culture.

  • Use the Find A School feature on the CPS.edu website
  • Review each school’s website and/or contact school to schedule a visit.
  • Attend an Open House for every school you are interested - the Open House schedule is available on the Department of Access and Enrollment's website http://www.cpsoae.org/
  • Talk to your grade school counselor

B. Match your academics to schools application requirements

  • A number of schools have specific pre-eligibility requirements (including a minimum 7th grade ISAT stanines and grades) and/or application processes (exams, interviews, letters of recommendation, etc).

C. Take into consideration your travel time in your selection

  • Tardiness can have a negative impact on student’s learning and attendance records
  • Locate schools using the School Locator feature on the CPS.edu website
  • Go to CTA Trip Planner and estimate commute time to school choices

D. Select at least 5 school choices in various application processes, including your Neighborhood school

  • Consider different school types throughout Chicago
  • Consider different types of programs within schools
  • Note that some schools may require an application for the school and program
  • Speak to other students and their parents who have done the process before

Online Application and PIN Numbers


Online Resources for Additional Information

Online Resources for Additional Information
Chicago Public Schools website http://www.cps.edu/
College and Career Academies http://www.chooseyourfuture.org/cte/college-and-career-academies
International Baccalaureate (IB) http://cpsmagnet.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=87448&type=d&termREC_I...
Military Academies and JROTC http://www.chicagojrotc.com/
Selective Enrollment Schools http://www.cpsoae.org/