If you’ve decided that you and your family are moving to Chicago, no doubt you’ve already researched the housing options, told the kids about the plethora of children’s museums and family-friendly zoos, and checked out the public transportation options for families. Equally as important is selecting one of the best school districts in Chicago to continue your child’s education, so we’ve gathered a list of the top five districts to make your choice a little easier. Without further ado…
- New Trier
With a student-teacher ratio of 10:1 and a budget of $24,000 per student, this high school-only district is renowned for giving students a great deal of personalized attention and achieving a very high graduation rate — 98% of New Trier students finish school. Furthermore, the district is located in a part of the Chicago metro that is affluent and has extremely low crime rates, making it one of the safest districts for both students and teachers in the entire Metro.
Students can choose from a wide variety of extra-curricular activities: 35 sports teams, over 150 student clubs, and performing arts opportunities year round mean your children will never, ever be bored. When they are nearing graduation, your children will have access to top-notch college counseling to help them get into the school of their dreams — and with well above average SAT and ACT scores in this district, their chances are looking good.
The Glenbrook district is centered in Northfield township and is home to nearly 5,000 students. Still, the district boasts a 14:1 student-teacher ratio, and spends a significant $26,000 per student, per year — so you can be guaranteed your student will have top-notch opportunities, facilities, and equipment in these Chicago schools. The students enjoy community-building activities throughout the year like Springfest and the Variety Show, and WGBK radio, the school’s very own station, can be streamed over the internet — giving students a creative outlet that is shared with the world.
Academics at both Glenbrook North and South show students to be performing highly, with SAT and ACT scores above average. The school also receives high rankings for safety, and students report that they feel comfortable in their school — all of this makes Glenbrook a fantastic option if you’re relocating to Chicago.
- Community High School District
The Community High School Cougars and Wildcats have the benefit of a smaller school in the Chicago Metro, with only 3,350 students in grades 9-12 between two schools. This district is centered in Lincolnville Township and offers students a 15:1 student-teacher ratio — though the students say that even the teachers you didn’t have know who you are due to the community feel. That shows in their 96% graduation rate and average SAT scores, which are well above average.
The budget per student at Community is a bit lower, but still shows significant investment in the school’s academics and facilities at $22,260. And of course, the extracurricular activities are plentiful with everything from theater and music groups to the dance team and other athletics. The schools also both have their own student-run publications like “Drops of Ink”, the student newspaper — creativity, involvement, and community are nourished at these top-notch schools in Chicago.
- Hinsdale Township
Downer’s Grove is a great neighborhood on its own, but the presence of this school district makes it even more attractive. Two high schools host 4,500 students, and the school provides an ambassador program for incoming freshmen — giving current students the opportunity to step into a leadership role and create a welcoming community atmosphere. Between Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South, the schools have a 96% graduation rate and excellent test scores, with both SAT and ACT averages well above the rest of the country. The district invests just over $20,000 per student, and students say that the presence of the nurse, school counselors, social workers, and hall monitors keeps them feeling very safe.
Hinsdale South alone has over 80 opportunities for students to be involved in clubs and extracurricular groups, and a dedicated webpage for the athletics program that has up-to-date scores for the day’s games. Hinsdale Central has the same — so you can stay completely in the know about the day’s sports, even if you aren’t able to make it. If your children are sports enthusiast, moving to Downer’s Grove might be a great idea.
Barrington is the first full-range school district that has made it on our list based on reviews and scores alone. Nearly 9,000 students are spread between the twelve schools, centered in Barrington Township — which covers a pretty significant 72 square mile area, including 12 villages. The district spends an average of $15,000 per student and maintains a high 96% graduation rate from its high school, which was rated #11 in the state of Illinois in Newsweek’s 2015 Top Schools list. With one early learning center, eight elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school, your children can spend their entire educational experience in one district with a unified vision for excellence.
The high school has everything from the angler’s club to the stock market club and everything in between, and there are plenty of athletics available from elementary school onward. If you are relocating to Chicago, this district promises an excellent experience for your child for his or her entire education.
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