By Charese David
There are a lot factors that attract home buyers to specific neighborhoods. Conveniences such as the proximity to the CTA and highways, commute time to work, nearby shopping and dining, distance to Lake Michigan or one of the many parks tend to play a role in the home buying decision. But one of the biggest reasons people choose a neighborhood is because of a good school. Even those without children see the value of a competitive school. The fact is, people are willing to pay more for a smaller house and less amenities to afford to live in these neighborhoods.
Good schools have enticed people to certain neighborhoods for decades. Everyone wants their child to have the advantage of a quality education. CPS (Chicago Public Schools) has worked tirelessly to increase the level of education it can offer. A portion of our property taxes fund these schools. When there were fewer top-rated schools, parents struggled to enroll their kids in the good ones. The neighborhoods with the best schools tended to be unaffordable to the average home buyer. But that is now changing.
In the past four years, public schools that were not considered to be competitive, have risen in their rankings. In fact, 5 CPS high schools are ranked among the top 100 in the nation. How did this change? Communities have rallied around the need for higher educational standards. Parents also play a huge role in their involvement and continue to expect good, solid education for their children in both primary and secondary education.
How do you find a school that fits your family’s needs?
Numerical metrics — school test scores, rankings, graduation rates are important but only part of the story. Look beyond the numbers at the schools' specialized programs, teaching methods and priorities. We live in a city that is rich with opportunity to learn and diverse in its offerings. Assess your child’s interests in a particular subject, such as math or music, and find schools that thrive in those areas.
Once you’ve narrowed down your search, call the school(s) and ask specific questions about the teachers, classroom size and community involvement. Speak to other parents who have a child enrolled in that school. Ask questions on the local Facebook page. And search online for information.
- Visit the CPS website
- View The Best Public Schools in Chicago
- Find top-rated schools in Chicago
- Check out the 2020 Best Public High Schools and Public Elementary Schools
- Find out Which CPS Elementary Schools Send the Most Kids to Top High Schools
- Search schools near your current home
School Design Impacts Learning
A look back to the 1920s reflects how Chicago school design changed based on new ideas about child development and health. This was the decade when more public elementary schools were constructed than any other era. Explore the evolution of Chicago's public school designs to learn about rich architectural history. Plus, there were Four Features Of 1920s Chicago Public Schools That Reflect Changes In Education that were innovative in design and helped children thrive.
If you have any questions about Chicago schools, please call me at (312) 399-1271.