A gifted middle school program that will allow early admission to Lane Tech High School, one of the city's top public high schools, is closer to reality.
Chicago Public Schools officials will be holding a public hearing on the proposal at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Lane Tech, 2501 W. Addison St. Officials are hoping the measure could come before the full CPS Board of Education for a vote as early as March 23 to ensure the program is ready to begin this fall.
The gifted middle school program, called an academic center, would accept seventh-graders and feed directly into the selective enrollment high school. Currently, two other CPS selective enrollment high schools have middle school programs — Whitney Young on the West Side and Lindblom Math and Science Academy on the South Side.
Lane Tech's would be the first such program for the Northwest and North sides, and the program would mean middle school applicants would have to go through the admissions process only once. Currently, many academically competitive students in Chicago apply for gifted middle school programs for seventh grade and then apply for top high schools for ninth grade.
Lane Tech has sought an academic center for two years, but this is the first time it's proceeded this far. Lane Tech Principal Antoinette LoBosco said the community has gathered 3,000 petitions online in support of the program.
The word is that students who already tested for an Academic Center will be eligible.