It's rather interesting how different parents have different takes on the school's Scholastic program. I am a real parent, and all my kids played in both JV and varsity NGS scholastic bowl teams, including all 4 teams mentioned by another reviewer. Yes, the ones that get to play at the state tournament are between 5-10 students at most. But over the past 3-4 years, there have been anywhere between 45-50 kids from 5th - 8th grades participating in varsity and two JV teams, which represent about a third to a half of all kids in these grade levels. All these teams consistently post VERY impressive records year in and year out against academic teams from other schools, both local and statewide. This is clearly not the accomplishment of just a "handful" of kids, but rather, a reflection of how well these kids are educated in general. I do agree with another reviewer that the school does nickel and dime you quite a bit, but I don't see how that relates to the school's consistently excellent performances in academic competitions.
Instruction-wise, the school is fine. Some teachers are good, others not so much. Turnover of teachers is quite high. That said, there are some areas where we have seen our kids learn and grow (we think) due to the school environment and teachers.
But then, you have to consider the cost. The school was a decent value several years back, but fees have gone up each and every year at a rate that is faster than inflation or most people's paycheck ... and the school has come up with new ways to "nickel and dime" us, as another parent says here. Anyone joining the school now has to consider how much more expensive it will get by the time their kids graduate. Already, tuition is close to University of Illinois in-state tuition levels. The school is becoming more and more an enclave of the wealthy.
There are way too many reviews here that mention the IESA scholastic bowl, which makes me suspect that these reviews are not coming from parents. The scholastic bowl success comes from a handful of kids in the class, and increasingly I don't think the school is attracting that type of child (because as noted above it is more and more about $$). I can already see a difference between our older child's class and our younger child's class. My advice - try public school (including the gifted programs) and save your money for college.
NGS has finished in top 3 at the IESA state championships in Scholastic Bowl for 4 straight years from 2013 to 2016, winning the championship in 2014. NGS won the IL Regional tournament of the National Science Bowl in 2014. In 2016, a team consisting of current students and 9th grade alumni won the Junior National Academic Championship against top teams from across the nation. For some reason, you won't find any of these information on the school's own website. But when it comes to academic excellence, NGS is certainly among the elite in the state of IL.
Great teachers, attentive staff, fantastic leadership. The principal is out front every morning and every afternoon to greet the kids and parents. She knows every child by name and is always looking out for their safety. The teachers are creative and excited about teaching and the children thrive under this system.
There are many ways to measure a school's academic success. One such measure has to be the school's performance in academic competitions against other elite schools in the state. Next Generation has finished in top 3 in the state in IESA Scholastic Bowl for 4 years in a row, winning the championship in 2014.
When something is questioned (My son stole candy from another's backpack) the teachers get all of the information before discussing. Then they discuss with the child to see if he or she can work through appropriate options for making amends.
We have two kids in NGS, enrolled since they were babies. The teachers in early education and preschool are great. We really loved it there. 5 stars there. Elementary school is a different story. It depends on the teachers, and lately there has been a lot of teacher turnover. I do not like how corporate it has become. I feel like they are nickeling and diming me all the time. They do have high academic standards which is good, but at the same time, they do not accommodate very well if your kid does not fit their ideal mode.
We have sent 3 kids to NGS, and we couldn't be happier. The teachers are awesome, and if a teacher cannot meet the challenges and high expectations of NGS, he/she does not stay. The curriculum is very good and challenges the students. But, students are well-loved and nurtured. NGS sees your kids as you see them and values their unique qualities. I can't say enough about this school!
Incredible teachers at every level, focuses on critical thinking and discussion for the purpose of understanding rather than the "right answer." Rigorous math program, especially if your child works one grade level ahead. Stronger programs in academics rather than the arts. Top notch PE teachers. My only criticism is that there have been occasions that the administration has made certain student discipline decisions that were either too lenient or too harsh, and that the administration does not know the children as well as they should. Teachers have always been willing to accept feedback and adapt to child's needs.