Well, things did not go so well for Junior tonight in the UIC College Prep admissions lottery. He got pulled out of the golden raffle bin at number 96 of 198. Another 230 kids got pulled ahead of the wait list and won admission on the spot. Ouch.
To save you doing the math, that meant there were 428 applicants for 230 spaces, or almost two kids for every slot.
Goint there, it was snowing hard and even under long johns my legs stung from the cold while walking over to the Behavioral Sciences building from the Ashland bus. I was glad Junior and his mom had not come. She just got off bed rest-she didn't need to be out in that weather.
About 200 people showed up--on a rough head count, 80 percent were Latino, 20 percent African American. I saw two white families in the crowd and one other white lady by herself, like me. She picked up a letter for a winning student with a Latino name, so I wondered whether she was his mother or just another do-gooder like yours truly.
They showed some stats on a projector before the lottery started. Significantly more girls than boys applied, though I no longer remember the exact numbers.
If I were a parent, I could not have stood the agony of waiting to see whether my kid got picked, nor the disappointment when he didn't. This is a very strong impetus to get involved with the plans for a new neighborhood high school, I'll tell you.
There are two possibilities still on the table. First, it looked like many applicants, and many of those chosen, were from magnets and gifted centers, so this may have been their insurance policy in case they didn't get into a selective enrollment school. So some number of those admitted probably won't take the offer, which means some wait-list kids will get in. However, I doubt that will get us to number 96.
More encouraging is Noble Network's promise that the kids on the UIC College Prep wait list will be invited to take open slots at other Noble Network Schools. They have a couple of schools that don't have a full 9-12 grade complement yet, and I'm not sure if they are opening any other schools besides UIC. The things is, this still may not help Junior that much, because his mom is really worried that he will struggle to manage a complicated commute, and most of the other buildings I know of will be further away and more trouble to get to.
He still has one more chance--the Perspectives Math & Science Academy is Friday, and he's in that one. Someone else on the block got her application to me but too late for the lottery--she'll go straight to the waiting list.
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