High School Guidance Program


Baker’s High School Guidance Program is a partnership between Baker, each eighth grade student and their family to find the best fitting high school for the student. We provide individualized programming and 1-on-1 support with Sarah Mohr, our dedicated High School Transition Coordinator (HSTC). With all the factors that go into determining what makes a school a fit, our High School Transition programming gives focus to each of our graduates and their families. Through our process, we aim to set our students up for another outstanding experience as they enter into high school.

Baker Demonstration School graduates

An Individualized Approach

Ms. Mohr forges relationships with each student, so she is able to work closely with them as individuals in order to help them identify schools that are a “best fit.” We review the wide-range of options, taking into account specific programs and curricula, location, and the choice of public and private schools. In addition to the deep knowledge Ms. Mohr gains about students through her interactions with our team of Middle School teachers and advisors, through 1-on-1 meetings with families and students, Ms. Mohr gains thorough knowledge of each student both in and outside of school. Informal interactions with Ms. Mohr begin in 6th grade, such as meetings during advisory. Further conversations continue through 7th grade. By the fall of 8th grade, students begin to narrow down the qualities of a high school that best meet their personal needs and specific interests. In addition, they continue to meet together to review choices and applications, prepare for interviews, and discuss essay topics. Finally, Baker hosts a High School Information Night for students and parents to meet with current students and admissions counselors from area high schools to ask questions, gather information and have a hands-on experience before actually committing to a high school.

Our Program Includes:

  • Identification of schools aligned with a student’s interests and strengths
  • Individual consultations with families
  • One-on-one meetings with students
  • Contact with independent high school admissions to ensure applications are complete

Sarah Mohr, Baker’s High School Transition Coordinator and one of our 5th grade teachers, has extensive experience in helping students transition from 8th grade to their freshman year of high school. Baker’s broad networks in Chicago and North Shore school communities, gives Ms. Mohr even in-depth knowledge of the surrounding public and private high schools.

Baker students matriculate to a wide-range of high schools every year in Chicago, Evanston and Chicago’s North Shore including: Chicago Public School neighborhood high schools and Selective Enrollment high schools, Evanston Township High School, New Trier Township High School, North Shore Country Day, Loyola Academy, Beacon Academy, The Latin School, and Francis W. Parker School to name a few.

Public High Schools

Regardless of any plans to attend an independent high school, all students should visit and register at their local public high school.

  • The Baker team meets with the local public high schools to answer any placement questions about individual students and to assist in getting students placed into classes, this includes ETHS, New Trier, Niles North, and any other North Shore public high school to which we will be sending incoming freshman. Each high school has a different process, but for most schools this includes some combination of their placement tests, MAP testing scores, and the input from our teachers.
  • Most public school placement tests occur in the fall. Depending on the high school, they may administer and/or use the NWEA MAP, their own placement test, grade reports from previous years, or a combination.
  • All Baker students are encouraged to register for their neighborhood public school, even if their final choice is to enroll in a selective or independent school.
    If you live in Chicago, there will be some open houses at different high schools in the spring and in the early fall.
  • If you live in one of Chicago’s suburbs, the local public high school will host some form of an open house for rising freshman.
  • For CPS bound students, seventh grade narratives will be converted to final letter grades at the end of the year. These grades are submitted by Baker as part of the CPS Selective Enrollment Application process which begins in October. Here is the link to the main site where you will find information about deadlines and the application process: http://cps.edu/AccessAndEnrollment/Pages/OAE.aspx. It is important you start your application as soon as possible and adhere to deadlines. Selective Enrollment notifications are usually sent out in March.

Independent High Schools

  • Students interested in private high schools are encouraged to consider several options as there are many independent schools on the North Shore and in Chicago from which to choose.
  • Check schools’ websites for open house dates. There are many informal open houses in the spring and usually at least one formal one in the fall.
  • Several private schools require additional testing (their own, the ISEE, or both), which takes place either in the fall or early winter.
  • Private school applications deadlines tend to fall between December and early February. Our High School Transition Coordinator will follow-up on application status and reach out to admissions on the student’s behalf.
  • Private school enrollment notifications usually go out in March.