1. Who is eligible to enroll?

Acceptance into ASA is on a first-come first-serve basis or a lottery if all seats are filled. If you are interested in attending ASA, you must:

  • Be 16 years of age
  • Have completed one year of high school
  • Be a resident of Chicago
  • Be willing to commit to a minimum 1-year residency


2. What are the minimum credits I must have to enroll at ASA?

There are no minimum credits required for ASA enrollment. If you meet all eligibility requirements, an ASA representative will contact you to discuss your academic and credit history.


3. Do I have to be a high school drop-out to attend ASA?

No. ASA provides a two-year academic curriculum that is geared toward at-risk youth. Our specialty is providing high school students who are not succeeding in traditional public high school settings with a second chance at a general high school diploma. Many of our students come to us because they have dropped out, are pregnant, or have been chronically truant from school. Others, however, come to us because they prefer a small school setting and are seeking individualized study. We encourage you to visit our school to learn if it is right for you. To schedule a campus tour, please call Vanessa Bush Ford, Director of Development, at 773-921-1315.


1. What is the STAR and why do I have to take it?

The STAR test is designed to measure basic reading and mathematics skills. ASA requires all enrolled students to take the STAR assessment because it helps us determine student achievement and design appropriate individual learning plans.

2. When can I take the STAR?

Tests are administered upon enrollment, mid-year and end of the year. Please call the school at 773-921-1315 for testing dates and times.

3. When will I get my STAR results?

ASA will call you within 24 hours of taking the test to inform you of your results.

4. What if I fail the STAR, can I still attend ASA?

Actually, you cannot fail the STAR. The test simply measures your achievement skill level in reading and math.


1. Are there any student fees?

The annual student activities fee is $150. This fee is paid at the beginning of the school year, prior to the first day of school.

2. What is the enrollment process once I am accepted?

ASA administers the STAR test to all enrolled students. The STAR is designed to measure basic skills. ASA uses the STAR to measure basic reading and mathematics skills.

Parents or legal guardians should accompany students at the time of registration. Accepted students must bring the following with them:

  • A copy of your transcript from your previous high school (official or unofficial)
  • An official release/withdrawal from your previous high school
  • A copy of your birth certificate
  • A copy of your current health records including immunization records
  • Proof of residency
  • Parental proof of income
  • A picture I.D.
  • Once enrolled, all students will:
  • Attend new student orientation
  • Take the STAR exam
  • Pay activities fee of $150

General Questions

1. When does school start?

For the most part, ASA follows the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) regular track calendar. However, there are variations with regard to professional development days, report card pick-up days, etc. For specific dates, please refer to the ASA school calendar or contact the school at 773-921-1315.

2. Does ASA require uniforms?

Yes. ASA requires a uniform that consists of a blue polo shirt with the school’s emblem and black cotton pants. In addition, students are expected to come to school well-groomed, hair combed, dressed appropriately to support a learning environment free from distractions. All students must adhere to our dress code policy. Students are prohibited from the following on school grounds:

  • Hats, baseball caps, bandanas or scarves
  • Sagging pants; students must fasten their pants with a belt at the waist
  • Clothing with gang symbols or inflammatory, suggestive or discriminatory language
  • Combs, picks, rollers in the hair
  • Uncombed or unkempt hair
  • House shoes, flip flops or slippers
  • Shorts, mini-skirts (all skirts must be knee-length or longer)
  • Jackets, coats, or other outer-garments
  • Clothing that exposes undergarments

Additionally, all students must wear their ASA identification badge at all times.

3. Is there free transportation to ASA?

No, students are responsible for their own transportation to and from school. ASA is accessible via public transportation and is close to several bus routes.

Homeless or low-income students may be provided bus passes through a partnership program ASA has with Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Other low-income students with transportation needs may be provided with bus passes based on available funds. ASA’s counseling and social services department reviews and approves all bus pass requests.

4. Does ASA offer a hot lunch program?

Yes, ASA offers a free and reduced-cost cold breakfast and hot lunch program in collaboration with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

5. What are the expectations of parent involvement?

Parents are expected to be active participants in their child’s learning experiences. ASA invites parents to monthly Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) meetings to learn about school news, upcoming events and explore opportunities for further involvement in school activities.

6. Does ASA offer a formal graduation ceremony?

Yes, ASA offers a formal graduation ceremony.

7. Does ASA offer a formal Senior Prom?

Yes, ASA, in conjunction with the Alternative Schools Network (ASN), offers a formal Senior Prom. Students must be in their senior year and in good academic and behavioral standing to be eligible to attend.