Education Column November 2023 

By Tina Jenkins Bell 


Can you believe that in our minds school just started yesterday? In reality, we’re kissing November, tasting Thanksgiving and already preparing for Christmas?  

Time has zipped by faster than Kevin Kiptum, the 2023 Chicago Marathon runner from Kenya who broke the men’s marathon record. Many things happened. Many youth interested in attending Chicago Public School’s high schools submitted their applications and took the High School Admissions Test. Many have indicated their top preferences for high schools or elected to attend neighborhood schools.  

Though October was the primary month for CPS applications and testing, a CPS representative said students can submit applications until November 9, 2023. Afterwards, they will receive an immediate electronic notification of their test date, time and location. This information can also be found by logging back into the application portal or calling 773-553-2060. Whether students submit their applications earlier or later, CPS will notify them of the results of their efforts in the spring of 2024.  

In the meantime, The Villager is planning to interview CPS regarding the selective enrollment process. If you have questions that the has not answered, please email by November 10, 2023.  

The following provides dates and links for open houses and testing at area Catholic Schools.  

Catholic and Private School Testing, Open Houses, etc. 

The Catholic High School Entrance Exam will take place on Saturday, December 2. The Arch Diocese recommends referring directly to the Catholic high school where the student intends to enroll for the 2024/25 school year. For a list of Catholic high school websites, visit 

Dates for open houses at various area Catholic and private schools follow.  

Brother Rice – November 5, 2023, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.,  

Mother McAuley – November 2, 2023, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., 

Mount Carmel  – November 12, 2023, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 

St. Laurence  – Complete their inquiry form for prospective students at  

St. Rita – Visit their admissions page for guidance at  

Marist – November 8, 2023, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m., 

Morgan Park Academy – December 7, 2023 online, 6 p.m. 


Congratulations to… 

Forgive me for not mentioning individual stats. From football, to soccer, to volleyball, to basketball, our schools are showing up and showing out in the best of ways. For example, Kellogg’s 7th and 8th grade volleyball team won the Network 10 Championship. The sports teams at all of our schools are playing their hearts out. If you are a community member or business owner and get a chance, attend a game. Find out how you can support a team and their efforts.  


75 Years for St. John Fisher Parish and Church 

Though St. John Fisher School won’t turn 75 for a few more years, the school celebrates their church and parish which turned 75 this year. For examples of how the school supports its community of faith, visit 


Faith Based Communities and Schools Collectively Give Back  

October 14th was a dynamic day with all sorts of great examples of our community banding together to support and uplift. There was the Tombstone 5K timed race at Mount Greenwood Cemetery, Open House Chicago events, and a multi-Catholic School Day of Service in which 80 adults and youth contributed their time, talent, and resources to nine organizations across the city of Chicago. Participating in this collective day of giving were St. Barnabas, Christ the King, St. John Fisher and St. Cajetan.  


Finger Snaps 

I know I just mentioned them, but bear with me because collective giving and sharing deserves more than a nod. How about a round of applause for the great work achieved by St. Barnabas, Christ the King, St. John Fisher, and St. Cajetan on their combined Day of Service and to parents and supporters who helped spread the word.  

Finger snaps also go out to Morgan Park High School for hosting the second collaborative high school fair. The fair featured about 27 high schools from across the city and drew a continuous crowd of school families. Working together to make the high school fair a success were elementary school collaborators: Barnard, Clissold, Esmond, Kellogg, Sutherland, Vanderpoel, Ashburn and Keller elementary schools.  

Finally, I’d like to recognize BAPA’s efforts to mobilize youth to become a part of BAPA’s newly restructure Teen Service Corps, which offers the opportunity for youth to become solution creators and positive contributors to their community and city. Service hours are also credited for completed community work. On October 22, BAPA hosted a kickoff event to reintroduce its Teen Service Corps and drew over 30 youth from nine different schools.  

To all individuals and groups doing good work on behalf of our schools and youth, good going. We may all be contributing through various places and sources, but the combination of all these efforts is positively resounding. Thank you for your service! 


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