Lane opens doors to academic ctr

March 28, 2011
The sprawling fourth floor of the city's largest school will add 93 middle school students "guaranteed" admission to Lane Tech's coveted Selective Enrollment High School. The CPS board approved the city's eighth Academic Center last week giving Northsiders two options. Judging by the big turn-out at Sunday's open house, many more will be disappointed. Some ace students already qualified for one of the other selective enrollment schools, wondered if they could still apply to Lane.  Admissions Director Molly Hart urged them to "hold off sending registration" elsewhere until April 11th when the first round of applicants is whittled down. Families will get notice by April 18th before the 2nd round April 22nd. If they make the cut, they can choose which school they want to attend. If they don't, the choice is made already. Hart explained once registered "you are projected into the school population, this way you can be unprojected." It did not look like anyone needed a sales pitch but they got an ear and eye full anyway. Lane is adding new language and arts courses, boasts of after school clubs, drama programs, champion sports awards, and emphasis on cultural diversity highlighted by the  International Day extravaganza. If you grew up before the advent of "Advanced Placement" studies, it is not likely you heard of Lane courses such as Human Geography, Italian Language and Culture, Advanced Environmental Science, Macroeconomics and Microeconomics. But you also didn't get college credits hours offered towards graduate degrees either. Eager curious families toured the century-old building with its "Industrial Gothic" design of chimney stacks, spires and central tower hinged on weather beaten brown brick buildings. Bright eyed Lane staffers led bright students through top floor corridors of class rooms, science labs, meeting rooms, and a lunchroom that had been used by Lane faculty. "Sorry about that," quipped Principal Antoinette LoBosco to any teachers in the house, unaware of the change. Some of the tension over the timing of the plan from last week's open house was defused by final CPS approval,  the April 11th "hold off" period, and a more flexible timetable for applicants. But many left the first open house broken-hearted, convinced it was already too late. Others still want to know why CPS voted thumbs up just weeks before the deadline when the once "green lighted" proposal has been in the works more than two years.

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