Stone v Disney

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    • #11057 Reply
      Nwside mom

      Anyone have thoughts on school quality of Stone versus Disney I? We were offered both. They are both pretty far but relatively equal in terms of commute time.  There seems to be a lot about Disney (somewhat polarizing it seems) but little about Stone.

    • #11060 Reply

      Disney has a good quality gifted track but entry is not guaranteed.  The rest of the school isn’t better than Stone and Stone is more demographically balanced.

    • #11061 Reply

      I have a third grader at Stone. She has been there since kindergarten.

      I did the lottery on  a whim.  She was all set to go to a private school. We tried Stone knowing we could  always go back to the private school .

      My daughter and us have been very happy with Stone. As he has loved every one of her teachers. They know my daughter. I think all her teachers have been there 15 plus years. The curriculum is   challenging but manageable. Homework and projects but not crazy amounts

      Every week they have technology, music, art and library. I think gym 2-3 times per week.  librian is a nationally recognized author. She is wacky but in a good way. My daughter adores her.

      Stone has an arts in residence program for every grade. My daughter has done ballet, ballroom and tango. They have a musical each year and it’s fantastic.

      My daughter has friends. It’s very diverse. Parents get together too. You can be very involved if you want with the PTA or Friends of Stone. Good fundraising events. Jog a thon, Carnival, Raven theatre play, silent auction.

      Hope this helps. I am sure there’s more!



    • #11082 Reply
      Kennedy’s Mom

      I am a mother of a daughter going into 3rd grade at Disney. Let me know if you have specific questions.

    • #11084 Reply
      Nwside mom

      Thank you, both.  We are in the (fortunate) position of being offered both, as well as receiving a SEES offer. None, however, are near our current home in the near northwest side (each a 5+ mile commute, all in different directions).  Our neighborhood school is perfectly acceptable, and I was planning on just sending my kindergartener there.  However, I also know that can always be a fallback and we’re far from sure we will stay in this neighborhood forever (we have a third on the way and will outgrow our current home).  We do not have any low waitlist numbers.

      I do have a child 1 year younger, which leans me slightly in favor of the (high quality) magnet offers over the SEES offer. Am interested in particular in the early childhood program – whether you feel it is challenging / enriching / what you find best about the school / anything you would change about the school if you could?  Our daughter is on the older side and so has had a lot of pre-school. Also for Disney, did your daughter do pre-k there? That would be one advantage (otherwise our youngest would stay either private or at our neighborhood school next year). Finally, does anyone bus?  I don’t know that it would be feasible without bussing at least one way.  Am I crazy thinking of commuting my 6 year old?

      Thanks for all the help; I would have been perfectly satisfied with any one of the 3 offers but am having a very hard time deciding among what all seem like high quality options.

    • #11088 Reply
      Kennedy\’s Mom

      All great questions/concerns. My daughter has been at Disney since Kindergarten – she attended a private Pre-K. I was initially  concerned with the school being on the pod system, but being that my daughter started in K this was not much of an issue for her. I would assume this may be an issue for older kids, or kids who are easily distracted. My daughter does say the pods can get noisy. Each grade has like, 8-10 classes per pod.

      The school has a new principal this school year, who formerly was the upper class school floor assistant principal, Mr. Riskus. Prior principal there were a lot of different issues, not enough time to go into that. There will be changes coming I’m sure with the new administration.

      Curriculum is challenging, homework is rigorous, but manageable. They place your child in a class that’s centered around their learning speed. If they learn fast they will be in a class on a faster learning schedule and vice versa. Teachers are pretty dedicated and committed and work with you and your child. Most have been at Disney 10 plus years. There is a gifted program, not guaranteed to get in. You must test consistently – if not, and scores drop, you will be kicked out, which I’ve heard had gotten parents extremely angry in the past and rightfully so. How do you remove a 5th grader who’s been with the same group, environment for 6 years?

      What I don’t like, or would change about the school is they’re all about test scores and numbers and solely go off this, so if your child is not a strong test taker, Disney may not be the fit, unless you are prepared to spend money on test prep or tutors. Disney take the MAP test 4 times a year, not two like most other schools. Another thing is over the last couple years there seem to be an increase in behavior issues in some of the classes, which can cause  distractions. Special Ed kids are in regular classes if they test well – another way to show they care more about numbers. There is busing, but within CPS boundaries. I drive so not my situation. Oh, and the size of the school – super huge student population, like 1500 kids.

      Disney has been pretty good tho, my daughter I must admit has learned a lot and grown academically, no complaints in this area, but we’re looking to leave. I want a school with more of a traditional school environment, community/family feel. Disney is too big for this, so hopefully our low wait list number (#8) at LaSalle II will extend us an offer. Fingers and toes crossed.

      Good Luck to you and your family on whichever direction you decide to go in.

    • #11178 Reply


      We have an offer at Disney (1st grade) and am wondering if the new principal has lead to improvements? I have also heard that the school focuses on test scores to the exclusion of educating the “whole child”. Do you find this to be accurate? Finally, do you find the discipline style to be rigid?


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