Elementary schools in WP/Bucktown

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    • #14671 Reply

      We are new to Chicago and still trying to wrap our heads around the school system. Our son is 5.5 years old and currently in kindergarten (though we feel he’s more Grade 1 but that’s for another topic convo).

      We want to move to WP/Bucktown but before we do we want to get a sense of the schools. Which are regarded as the “good” ones (I know that’s subjective, but overall which are well regarded)? Or do most parents do Open Enrolment? Or even private?

      Thanks! Really appreciate any insights you can share!

    • #14675 Reply

      You can look into private/or options/selective enrollment schools. Tbh, if a child is ahead, they should be moved before kindergarten. Classical schools in Chicago are one year ahead, so they do 1st grade work, in kindergarten. Your child can test into the programs. US News also ranks schools based on scores – from my perspective, the top 20 schools in CPS all differentiate to some extent. Bucktown/Pritzker has a gifted/options program that does differentiate. You would also have to test into that option. The neighborhood option would be at grade level. It’s a lot! My advice would be to look at the top 15ish public/ maybe top 5 private – and go from there. (Or you’ll make yourself crazy – trust me/been there!)

    • #14677 Reply

      I’m in Logan Square but am happy to share my perspective, since we looked at schools within a radius that included Bucktown and Wicker Park.

      The neighborhood schools (i.e. no lottery to get in) that I often see on lists are Burr, Pulaski, and Pritzker. My son had an offer from Burr through the lottery and, at the time, I spoke with a number of parents who were happy. My son now plays soccer with many Burr families, and the community seems fantastic. If you want a gifted program, as the prior poster noted, Pritzker has a program that your child can test into.

      There are a few magnet schools in the area that offer a percentage of seats to neighborhood kids, but it is still a competitive lottery. Top of mind for these are Drummond and LaSalle II.  My son is in first grade at Drummond, and we love the Montessori approach and community. My daughter will join him for Kinder next year.  LaSalle II was a close second for us because of the language component.  Other factors for our family were the commute, start/end times (Lasalle II starts at 7:45am, for example), test scores, and parent surveys.

      We looked at private, but — with three kids — couldn’t justify the prestigious privates, and liked but didn’t love the Catholic school options.  I know many happy families at St. Mary of the Angels, St. Helen’s, Saint John Berchmans, etc.

      Good luck in your search!




    • #14714 Reply

      LaSalle II, Mitchell, Burr are all supposed to be pretty good according to people we know who attend.  Those are not -that hard- to get into.  However, 1st grade is a non entry grade.  Someone has  to leave in order to get a spot open unless it is your assigned school.  Pritzker, Skinner North will be super hard to get for 1st, for the same reason.

      • #14715 Reply

        I will say, though, that I was pleasantly surprised with the number & quality of offers we got for first grade entry this year, and I have a friend who lives in Bucktown who felt similarly. I was really figuring our options would be very limited entering in 1st grade & we’d probably have to just move to a neighborhood with a boundary school we liked. In the end, though, it felt like our magnet lottery offers were better than when we did the lottery for K. I didn’t do the SEES thing (though my friend did & her kid got Pritzker), but we had 12 offers in the end with really great schools–Lasalle II, Burr, Alcott, Hamilton, Drummond, Suder, Prescott, etc. So there’s hope!

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