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Best Chicago High Schools | Public & Private, Rankings and Which is Tops for You

You may be looking for the best schools in Chicago for various reasons. Maybe you’re moving to the city and want to find the best schools for your kids. Or perhaps you’re already living in Chicago and want to send your kids to top-ranked Chicago charter schools. Whatever your reasons, finding the best schools in Chicago can be a daunting task.

There are over 200 public and private Chicago schools, so how do you know which ones are the best? That’s where we come in. We’ve compiled a list of the best Chicago high schools, both public and private, based on test scores, college readiness, and other factors.

We’ve also included rankings from U.S. News and Great Schools. Keep in mind that these rankings are just one part of the equation. It would help to consider your child’s unique needs and interests when choosing a school. With that in mind, keep reading to learn how to select the Chicago school that best fits your child.

When it comes to selecting a neighborhood and school for your children, there are a few things to think about:

  • The crime rate in the area
  • The cost of living in the area
  • The proximity of the schools to your home or workplace
  • The commute time to and from the schools
  • The extracurricular activities and programs offered by the schools
  • The school’s classroom size, AP participation rate, and efforts to prepare kids for college
  • The school’s accomplishments, such as a Blue Ribbon School or state accolades
  • The diversity of the student body at the schools
  • The teachers’ experience and credentials.

The Chicago public schools teachers union is also an excellent resource for parents deciding which school to send their children to. Since CTU represents both teachers and other school personnel, they have first-hand knowledge of the district’s schools and can help you identify which ones would be the best fit for your child.

Finding the best schools in Chicago for your child is an important decision. There are many excellent schools to choose from, so it’s essential to do your research and find the one that is the best fit for your child. With our list of the best Chicago schools, you’ll be sure to find the perfect school for your child.

Best High Schools in Chicago

As the third largest city in the United States, Chicago is home to many excellent high schools. Both public and private institutions offer rigorous academics, competitive sports programs, and extracurricular activities to engage all types of students. The finest Chicago high schools are as follows:

Walter Payton College Preparatory High School | Top-Rated Chicago Public School  with the Highest Graduation Rate

Walter Payton College Preparatory High School offers a rigorous academic program, competitive sports teams, and extracurricular activities to engage all types of students. The school also has a global exchange program and study abroad opportunities to give students a well-rounded educational experience.

The instructors at Walter Payton are well-experienced and highly qualified, with 91% having three or more years of experience. The student body is diverse, with students from all over the world.

Awards and Recognition:

  • U.S. News and World Report’s Top 100 High Schools
  • 2014 and 2008 National Blue Ribbon Award
  • Goldman-Sachs Foundation Prize in Excellence in International Education
  • #1 International High School in the United States

Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood is home to Walter Payton College Preparatory High School. The area is known for its historic architecture, quaint shops, and lively nightlife. It’s also just a short train ride from downtown Chicago, making it an ideal location for families.

According to Chicago public schools breaking news, Water Payton College Preparatory High School is one of the top high schools in Chicago, IL, Metro Area High Schools, and Chicago Public Schools High Schools. The school was also placed fifth among all national rankings.

The school boasts an unprecedented 98 percent graduation rate and a 99 percent 4-year college attendance rate. In addition, the school has a robust AP program, with 98 percent of students participating in at least one AP course.

Northside College Preparatory High School | Chicago IL High School with several language programs

Northside College Preparatory High School is a public institution that offers a rigorous academic program and competitive sports teams. The school also has an International Baccalaureate program and offers several language programs, including Spanish, French, Japanese, Latin, and Mandarin Chinese.

Awards and Recognition:

  • Recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School
  • #3 for America’s Top High Schools for Low-Income Students (2016)
  • #2 in Illinois High Schools

Northside College Preparatory High School is located in Chicago’s North Park neighborhood. The area is known for its diverse population, lively nightlife, and excellent schools. Northside College Preparatory High School is just a short train ride from downtown Chicago, making it an ideal location for families.

Northside College Preparatory High School placed second among the best high schools in Chicago, IL, Metro Area High Schools, and Chicago Public Schools. The school ranked #31 among the top 100 national rankings. In addition, the school offers several language programs, including Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese.

Northside College Preparatory High School has a 98 percent graduation rate, making it one of the best colleges in America. The school also has a robust AP program, with 93 percent of pupils taking at least one AP course.

Whitney M. Young Magnet High School | Chicago High School with performing and creative arts programs

Whitney M. Young Magnet High School is a public institution that offers a college-prep curriculum and competitive sports teams. The school has performing and creative arts programs, including music, theater, and dance.

Awards and Recognition:

  • 4th Best Chicago High School Chicago Magazine
  • 2nd Most Diverse High School in Chicago and Illinois
  • The school received the Blue Ribbon Award for academic excellence

Whitney M. Young Magnet High School is located in Chicago’s Loop neighborhood. The area is known for its vibrant nightlife, excellent shopping, and diverse population. The community is home to several schools, making it an ideal spot for families.

Whitney M. Young Magnet High School ranked fourth among the top high schools in Chicago, IL; Metro Area High Schools; and Chicago Public Schools. The school also has a strong AP program, with over 91% of students taking at least one AP course.

Best Elementary Schools in Chicago

There are many great elementary schools in Chicago, each with its unique strengths and offerings. Families looking for the best possible education for their children will find many options in the Windy City.

Skinner North Elementary School – One of the Top 10 Best Elementary Schools in Chicago

Skinner North Elementary School has Social Emotional Learning (SEL).  SEL is a program that helps students develop self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making skills.

Awards and Recognition:

  • Chicago public schools news states that they were granted the National Blue Ribbon Award
  • #1 in Illinois Elementary Schools

Skinner North Elementary School ranked first in Chicago Public Schools Elementary and fourth in Chicago Public Schools Middle Schools. The school also placed fifth in Illinois Middle Schools. 

Lenart Elementary Regional Gifted Center | Chicago Elementary School with an accelerated and specialized program

Lenart Elementary Regional Gifted Center is a magnet school with an accelerated and specialized program for gifted students. The curriculum is designed to challenge and engage talented learners.

Awards and Recognition:

  • #2 in Illinois Elementary Schools
  • 2020 National Blue Ribbon School

Lenart Elementary Regional Gifted Center has an accelerated and specialized program for academically advanced students. This is one of the Chicago elementary schools that serve grades K-8 and is located in the West Chatham neighborhood of Chicago.

Lenart Elementary Regional Gifted Center also ranked first in the state of Illinois Magnet Elementary Schools and ranked second in Chicago Public Schools Elementary Schools.

Decatur Classical Elementary School | One of the top performing Chicago Public Schools

Decatur Classical Elementary School is one of the high-rated magnet schools in Chicago. They use Common Core Standards and have a rigorous curriculum.

Awards and Recognition:

  • 2020 National Blue Ribbon School
  • #3 in Illinois Elementary Schools

Decatur Classical Elementary School ranked third in Chicago Public Schools and second in Illinois Magnet Elementary Schools. The percentage of instructors with three or more years of experience is 75.0%. For math, 92% of students scored at or above the proficient level, and 92% performed at or above average for reading.

Best Private Schools in Chicago

There are many excellent private schools in Chicago, but which is best for you? It depends on your child’s learning style, interests, and needs. Based on our research, we’ve compiled a list of the top Chicago private schools.

Here are some of the top private schools in Chicago:

  • University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. It is a private school in Chicago, IL, with a population of 2,188. The school’s student-teacher ratio is 11:1, and 85% of the Faculty have Advanced Degrees.
  • Lake Forest Academy. Lake Forest Academy is an institution located in Lake Forest, Illinois, with approximately 438 students. The student-teacher ratio is 6:1, and the school provides AP® Courses.
  • Latin School of Chicago. The Latin School of Chicago has 1,155 students. It is the 7th largest private high school in Illinois, with an average student-teacher ratio of 8.0 to 1.

Chicago Schools FAQ

What is the best school district in Chicago?

There is no one “best” school district in Chicago. Each community has its strengths and weaknesses. You’ll need to research which neighborhood best fits your child’s needs.

What is the best high school in Chicago?

Again, there is no one “best” high school in Chicago. However, some of the top-rated high schools in Chicago include Northside College Preparatory High School, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, and Lane Tech College Prep High School. 

Does Chicago have good schools?

Chicago has a mix of good and bad schools. There are some excellent schools in the city, but there are also some underperforming schools. You’ll need to research which schools best fit your child.

If you’re considering relocating and want expert Chicago movers, check out the schools we mentioned and contact us at Federal Companies. We can assist you in making the transition to the Chicago area worry-free.

You can also check out our tips on buying a house in Chicago. In addition, Chicago public schools jobs provide opportunities for those who want to work in the district. There are jobs available in teaching, administration, support staff, and more. These are some of the best schools in the city, and you’re sure to find one that’s a good fit for your child.

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