Lane Tech College Prep High School prides itself in over 100 years of academic excellence. Continuing the tradition of excellence, in 2011, with overwhelming support from the community, Lane established an academically advanced 6 year Academic Center program. The academic center program provides an advanced curriculum for students beginning in the 7th grade and culminates with a capstone advanced placement college preparatory experience.
The goal of the Lane Tech Academic Center is to establish superior academic expectations that expand the knowledge of our students, allowing them to think critically and deeply. Through gained knowledge, students will assume responsibility, creativity, and curiosity about their individual, community, and societal hopes. By providing an academic environment we empower and encourage our students to pursue intellectual growth, to create and to explore all areas of strength.
What is an Academic Center?
There are differences between the Academic Centers and traditional or gifted middle schools.
The CPS Academic Centers include Harlan, Lane Tech, Lindblom, Kenwood Academy, Morgan Park, Taft, and Whitney Young. The academic centers are selective enrollment for gifted students in 7th and 8th grade living within Chicago. Students must take a gifted entrance examination (as well as qualify based upon 5th grade grades and ISAT scores) in order to attend these schools. Since these are gifted programs, students take classes that are 1-2 years advanced. (For instance at Lane Tech during student’s 8th grade year they are able to take a combination of Freshmen and Sophomore level courses.) Programs that do not offer gifted curriculum offer traditional grade level course work. So although a program is housed within a high school, the curriculum may be traditional, and the teachers need not hold a high school teaching certificate.
The Academic Center teachers are certified to teach both high school and middle school (the middle school endorsement focuses on the social/emotional aspects of middle schoolers). At Lane, teachers also have gifted education training, attend gifted seminars, and enroll in gifted workshops.
While there are over 80 gifted programs/schools in CPS, only students in the Academic Center programs can actually receive high school credit for the classes that they are taking. For example, all students in CPS can take Algebra during their 7th or 8th grade year, if they have a qualified teacher and pass the city Algebra test. However, only Academic Center students will actually get high school credit on their transcript. All other students will simply have an indication on their transcript that they took and passed Algebra in middle school.
Lane Tech does not receive any additional support for the 7th and 8th grade program. All resources are dependent upon general monies allocated to the school, much of which is provided based upon student population. That being said, although we do not receive additional support, we do emphasize a middle school model for the 7th and 8th grade in which we have dedicated counselors for social/emotional support and director for academic purposes, emphasizing gifted education and interventions for those not performing to their greatest potential. Additionally, we ensure that students have clubs, sports, extracurricular activities, dances, etc. like typical middle schools.
At Lane Tech and Whitney Young, the two selective enrollment high schools, students do not need to reapply their Freshmen year. Instead, students are automatically enrolled for grades 7-12, unless they decide to apply to a different selective enrollment high school for their 9th grade year.