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Below are some of the most common questions people have about High Jump. Feel free to contact us if you still can’t find what you are looking for.

What is High Jump?

High Jump is tuition-free, year-round academic program that prepares Chicago middle school students for top ranked college preparatory high schools, college, and beyond. Students engage in rigorous course work, develop positive networks, and attend social and cultural events that broaden their horizons and foster personal development. Participating students have high academic potential but face limited opportunities and resources. High Jump is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization.

What are High Jump students like?

High Jump students are academically motivated and enthusiastic. They love having fun and value learning. They live in neighborhoods throughout Chicago and are of varied cultural backgrounds. High Jump students rank at the top of their class in their elementary schools. High Jump students are expected to maintain grades of B and above throughout their time in High Jump and at school.

Who is eligible for High Jump?

Sixth grade students who excel academically are eligible to apply. Students who get As and Bs, enjoy learning new things, and being challenged. They have a strong desire to attend a top college preparatory high school and college after high school. High Jump admits students as 6th graders, and they begin the program the summer before 7th grade. High Jump does not accept applications from 7th and 8th grade students.

Who are the High Jump teachers?

High Jump teachers are professional educators who teach in a variety of public and private schools and colleges throughout Chicago. Teachers are selected for their content area and instructional skill, and their ability to challenge and motivate high performing students while maintaining strong teacher-student relationships. They take a hands-on, interactive, exploratory, and project based approach to teaching; nurture positive academic mindsets by encouraging student to work hard and take risks, and build leadership characteristics such as self-advocacy and good decision-making.

What do students do at High Jump?

Students attend classes that are interactive and project-based, have hands-on activities, and incorporate technology. Students solve complex math problems in algebra, dissect a cow’s heart in biology, build bridges in physics, explore the humanities, read books, and write essays. They go on an over night camping trip, participate in a talent show and Academic Expo, go on cultural excursions, and attend High Jump’s high school fair and graduate at the Moving Up Ceremony.

Does the family have to pay anything?

High Jump is tuition-free. There is NO COST to you or your family. Breakfast and lunch is provided for free during the summer and on Saturdays. However, each summer, High Jump asks each family to make a family contribution. The family contribution is not required for students to participate in the program.

What is the commitment, and when do students attend High Jump?

This is a two-year program. Your personal and family commitments should be scheduled around High Jump during the times classes are in session. Students attend classes and other program activities for six weeks in the summer, Monday – Friday, mid-June through July. During the school year, students attend the Saturday program two or three times per month, mid-September through April.

Students are expected to attend and come prepared for each class, complete all homework assignments, and actively participate in class discussions and group projects.

Where is High Jump?

High Jump has three Chicago locations: the Latin School of Chicago located 59 W. North Blvd, the Francis W. Parker School located 330 W. Webster and the University of Chicago Laboratory School located at 1362 E. 59th Street.

Is transportation provided?

High Jump provides free bus transportation, during the summer only, to students who do not have a vehicle or cannot access public transportation. You and your family are responsible for providing transportation to the Saturday session program. High Jump carpools are worked out, between parents, for students who live in neighboring communities.

Who can qualify for High Jump?

Sixth grade students who demonstrate strong academic potential, value learning, and have dreams of excelling academically. Determined learners who would like to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills in writing, algebra, social studies, science, theatre and art.

What is considered “limited family income”?

High Jump assesses a family’s financial need on a case-by-case basis.

What is the application process?

Sixth grade students must submit a complete application along with school transcripts (or copy of 6th grade report card with at least two quarters of graders, copy of final 5th grade report card), 5th grade standardized test scores with percentile and stainine scores, student essays, three letters of recommendation, parent questionnaire, and parent/guardian proof of income. See the application checklist for complete list of application components.

Once the application is reviewed, High Jump will interview a select number of students and their parents. Candidates are notified of acceptance by May.

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline will be in mid-February. The application is only available online. Please visit our website for updates and to access the application.

Do students go on field trips?

Throughout the year, classroom study is complemented by field trips to local cultural and educational institutions such as The Art Institute, Chicago History Museum, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and The Steppenwolf Theatre. The summer sessions begins with a three-day outdoor education trip to Lorado Taft at the Northern Illinois University Campus in Oregon, Illinois. Students are able to explore nature, participate in trust building exercises and build leadership skills.