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PK-8
Public district
Chicago, IL
Students enrolled: 600
Before care: No
After care: No
 

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3116 W Belden Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

(773) 534-4110
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Map of Darwin Elementary School address.

August 13, 2015
As a parent of a student at Darwin, I am very concerned about the leadership at Darwin. Mr. Segovia does not seem fit to lead at an elementary school. The stories that I've heard from teachers about his abusive behavior toward veteran teachers, and on the other end the blatant favoritism towards a privileged few of his staff; is completely unacceptable. "His" LSC also doesn't help because everything and everyone are kept in the dark about the budget, programming, and teacher hires/cuts. The only way we as parents are informed is through a monthly newsletter that is full of extremely poor grammar. I have heard great stories from friends of mine of wonderful principals at various other CPS schools, I wish that I could say the same about my child's principal. Unfortunately, I am not in a financial position to pay for private school tuition. I just hope that the LSC would listen more to the teachers, the parents, and the community...not simply to him.

- submitted by a parent

August 03, 2015
Darwin is a great place with dedicated teachers and administrators. I used to work at this school and I witnessed first hand the hard work and dedication from all the staff, including administrators. I have been at different schools during my career and Mr. Segovia is by far one of the most involved and hard working principals I’ve met. From the beginning he has worked tirelessly to bring positive programs to Darwin such as PBIS and The Leader in Me. These programs have proven to promote the wellbeing of our students.

- submitted by a community member
Develops respect: Disagree
August 01, 2015
The principal expects the students to say "Good Morning" in unison to him when they pass him in the morning. If they don't say it he then refers to himself in the third person and reminds them to greet the principal. However, if they happen to be middle school students who display more of a willingness to challenge and oppose, he will shy away from confronting them about their boisterous behavior, public displays of affection and below the buttocks pants-wearing. It is quite a site to see this happening even during fire drills where certain classes come running down the stairs laughing, talking and in disarray during a fire drill and rather than confront these students he acts like he doesn't notice it. You can then see the seething anger in his face because he knows that he should confront these rowdy teens but he is too timid. Then, if another classroom comes along that is slightly talkative or not in a straight line (and usually led by a female teacher and below sixth grade) he then finds a great deal of courage and resolve and whips that class into shape, for sure!

- submitted by a community member
Develops honesty: Strongly disagree
August 01, 2015
Well, again, there is this whole forced program they have implemented at the school that takes up a whole lot of instructional time. It consists of a lot of mindlessly repeated mantras that have no real meaning to the students. It’s all about putting up a facade, a show, for people to come and look at a bunch of posters on the walls with trite sayings and robotic and forced performances by teachers and students when they have "leadership days". They also spend an extraordinarily inappropriate amount of instructional time making the kids comply with directives in order to achieve "lighthouse" status. How this program improves educational outcomes at this or any school is unproven, yet the principal forced the whole school to buy into this. It all about the principal festooning himself with achievements that don't necessarily benefit the students. If your child attends Darwin Elementary, they will spend a lot of time collecting obnoxious and repetitive data about themselves in a "leadership binder" and rehearsing their lines for the big "show off" day where the principal likes to put on his chef's hat and expect you to marvel at the incredible work he is doing. The principal also coaches students on how to answer a survey that results in a school rating. Certain teachers will take time out of learning to prep them for this survey. He also has one of his lieutenants go around the school with a clipboard checking the names of teachers who have completed the survey and reminding them to give the principal a good rating because he is so great. This is so the principal can tout himself . The principal will also seek to exact vendettas on other teachers by "punitively" reassigning to grade levels and positions that he knows will be difficult for the teacher. One teacher taught kindergarten for many years and then was reassigned to a middle school science position and later reportedly said that he hopes that she retires as a result of the reassignment. Or go ahead and attend one of the Local School Council meetings and observe how disrespectful he can be towards members who disagree with him. All of this does not go unnoticed by students at Darwin who are very intelligent and observant.

- submitted by a community member
Develops grit: Disagree
July 30, 2015
No. The administration will allow every opportunity to detract from meaningful learning and embroil the students in senseless programs and testing regimes that don't improve educational outcomes. He will dedicate a whole day to kids mindlessly repeating the digits of pi every March 14th yet makes now effort to organize meaningful educational activities like African-American heritage month or President's day. Despite some testing being optional he will voluntarily subject the school to these testing sessions such as three MAP assessments and 2 PARCC assessments. He seems to have this grandiose idea that latching on to every Board suggested directive will demonstrate that he is a pioneer of some sort. Students become overwhelmed with all the testing and lose interest. The principal thinks that by holding pep rallies and pleading with them that their scores are going to raise. Its like the old saying where you keep weighing the animal but you never feed it.

- submitted by a community member
Teacher effectiveness: Very effective
July 26, 2015
I have known Mr. Segovia for many years. His integrity and work ethic drive him to be the very best each day. His commitment to the community, his staff, and most importantly the students of Darwin School should be the model used for all CPS Schools. Thank you for all your hard work!

- submitted by a teacher
Teacher effectiveness: Effective
July 23, 2015
For years I have witnessed the work of a committed, caring and hardworking principal. Some teachers are incredibly caring, talented, and dynamic. Those are the teachers that jump on board in a heartbeat for the good of achievement, students, and the future of Darwin School. What tough jobs some principals and teachers have! I thank our Principal and those teachers that do it with dedication, respect, love and courage.

- submitted by a parent

July 23, 2015
For years I have witnessed the work of a committed, caring and hardworking principal. Some teachers are incredibly caring, talented, and dynamic. Those are the teachers that jump on board in a heartbeat for the good of achievement, students, and the future of Darwin School. What tough jobs some principals and teachers have! I thank the Principal at Darwin School and those teachers that do it with dedication, respect, love and courage.

- submitted by a parent
Develops empathy: Strongly agree
July 22, 2015
I do feel the Darwin elementary school is caring and involved with their students not only because teachers spend hours in school getting material prepared for the students but they also say today for after school to teach students more are given more help that they need

- submitted by a parent

July 22, 2015
I think that Darwin elementary school is a great school because the teachers are caring and very involved with the students.

- submitted by a parent
Amount of homework: Don't know
July 17, 2015
Given how much time is spent preparing for their Leader in Me performances, they could probably use a lot more homework.

- submitted by a community member

June 18, 2015
Darwin School has so much to offer to the students, parents and community. I am so happy that my children come to Darwin. This is their second home, where they not only prepare themselves for their future education but also where they feel safe and loved. Thank you to everyone at Darwin School, for working so hard!

- submitted by a parent
Develops honesty: Strongly agree
June 18, 2015
Darwin school is a Leader in Me school, thank you to Mr. Segovia school principal for always putting the students first priority. Students from grades 6th - 8th with chrome books, great academy programs, so many programs to offered. The school develops integrity and fairness in its students. Safe environment where students like second home. Students and families feel respected and welcome as they come into the building. Teachers always caring for their students to succeed and become great leaders. The end of the year carnival for all students for the last six years, the principal participating with the students, laughing and just having a great time. Please consider this school as one of the best Chicago Public Schools. Love Darwin!!!

- submitted by a parent

March 23, 2015
As someone who worked at Darwin I can say the school has a BIG BULLY not only with students but with his colleagues and staff his name is Mr. Segovia the principal. When working there he had me sit at the security desk 3-4 hours and when I would could be doing my job. Which was attendance clerk when I would bring up the subject of the school needing 2 security guards for each building he told me before he hired a security guard he would get rid of me so than he can have $$ to pay the security officer. So from what I know til this day he still only has 1 security officer for both buildings.

- submitted by a community member

March 20, 2015
Great teachers but probably one of the worst places to work in the city. These teachers are pressured, overworked, and bullied by the administration. I should know I worked there and was basically forced out by a principal who cared more about his own political ego and success than the actual success of the students and working staff. I give four stars for the people that work there and the history of the place but make no doubt teachers here are miserable! I write this not to bash him but to support and let it be known about the working conditions for the teachers at Darwin.

- submitted by a community member

March 20, 2015
I transferred my daughter out of Darwin this past summer after learning about an incident that was spearheaded by the principal of Darwin, Mr. Segovia. Last year I learned would be the final year that CPS would have to administer the ISAT standardized test. In a brilliant attempt to motivate his students, I learned that Mr. Segovia organized AND lead an ISAT pep rally. Here is the KICKER all of the students that met or exceeded state standards wore pre-made shirts labelled met or exceeded on the back of their shirt. All of these students were led around the school by Mr. Segovia and the Darwin cheerleaders, while all of the students who did NOT meet or exceed (even Special Ed students) were told to stand and clap for their peers. What kind of a principal would promote this borderline abusive behavior, AND get away with it!?! My daughter came home in tears and told me what had happened, and how so many of her friends and classmates who had to stand and clap were humiliated and left feeling DUMB. Way to go Principal Segovia, what a standard you have set for your students!

- submitted by a parent

January 06, 2015
This school is such a great school from the teachers and staff to the diversity in the students. Every teacher is very supportive and is very hands great welcoming vibe from everyone there and a very hands on principal they do everything they can to see that your child succeeds.

- submitted by a parent

October 27, 2014
I'm a student in 8th grade Its a pretty good school with a leadership program called "leader in me" the teachers and principal really care about the students and want to see them succesed and I wish I could have such loving teachers in high school

- submitted by a community member

October 15, 2014
This school is horrible. Apparently you shouldn't enroll your child here if they don't speak spanish. My child is being put back into 2nd grade because his teacher will not be returning and he doesn't speak spanish. No communication from the school was received prior to my inquiry. The principal doesn't care about the kids, he's more concerned with the school ratings and turning it into an all Hispanic school.

- submitted by a parent

October 21, 2013
This school is great! I LOVE their dual language immersion program where kids from English and Spanish speaking homes are put in the same classroom where they can learn the second language from each other! (Much more effective than traditional second language acquisition programs!) The research on this method is outstanding. Now is the chance for them to learn a new language!! The teachers also are also so committed to their work.! You can tell that they are pouring their heart and soul into their classrooms - and it shows! Great things are in store for this school and the kids who go there!

- submitted by a parent

August 31, 2013
My daughter goes to this school. The teacher are so nice and they get involved with the students. I attended this school when I was 6 yrs old it was such a fun school and the teacher are still nicer or even better than before. Oh and the principal Mr.segovia he always is walking around seeing If the students need anything or even saying GOOD MORNING to all the parents. I have to say my daughter couldn't be in a better school. Thank you for making my daughters shook experience an awesome one . She loves going to school everyday . THANKS AGAIN.

- submitted by a parent

August 29, 2013
.Tengo dos ni os en darwin , des de hace cuatro a os, presisamente en el a o en q entro el director nuevo yo entre con mis hijos, y dejenme decirles que estoy muy pero muy satisfecha con todos los logros y con todos los cambios q se han echo en la escuela,realmente es una escuela exelente , con un ambiente muy lindo todos muy amables que se siente uno como n casa, los maestro wwooww....que les puedo decir.exelentes por algo estan en darwin y por algo la escuela a crecido,gracias al director y su inparable lucha de sacar a la escuela adelante, les recomiendo la escuela al cien porciento,.. Solo me queda decirle a los maestros , al principal a todos los que trabajan en darwin q no me arepiento de estar ahi y mil gracias por todo su apoyo para con los padres y alumnos...gracias nuevamente..y BAMOS DARWIN.

- submitted by a parent

August 26, 2013
it is a safe school nice and cool teachers and i will never forget about Darwin Elementary school

- submitted by a community member

July 26, 2013
I had the great pleasure to coordinate two Junior Achievement volunteer events at Darwin Elementary this year. It was a total privilege to bring my executive and high school heroes volunteers to Darwin. Mr. Segovia and Ms. Davis welcomed our volunteers and showcased the amazing traits that make Darwin a wonderful school in Chicago's school serving the Logan area and beyond. I can confidently state that working with Darwin staff and students is one of the most enjoyable highlights of the 70+ event that I coordinate each year. Darwin students are bright, respectful, and adhere to a standard of excellence that Mr. Segovia and Ms. Davis ingrain in the school's culture & values.

- submitted by a community member

May 28, 2013
I have been doing volunteering work at Darwin School for the past four years. It gets better every year! I love how the Principal recognizes and celebrates school accomplishments. He has a strong sense of community and cooperation. You can visit the school s website for more information on their accomplishments. www.darwinelementary.com

- submitted by a community member

May 26, 2013
I went to this school and will always remember how hard the teachers worked !

- submitted by a community member

April 11, 2013
I have been working at Darwin School for three years and would not trade it for any other school. We have small size classrooms, there is a lot of fun activities planned for the students such as Spirit Week (this year returned), Talent Shows, Choir, sports teams, a store for students to trade Darwin tickets from positive behavior for fun activities. We have great teachers who are dedicated and hardworking. We are always collaborating and being exposed to new teaching practices so to improve our teaching. A number of classrooms have shown over 90% growth in MAPS testing. We have had very unique programs such as partnerships with Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera, and exchange programs with schools in Italy and Chile. There are many wonderful things happening at our school daily, I would recommend interested parents to schedule a visit.

- submitted by a teacher

April 10, 2013
My daughter attended Darwin for kindergarten, left to attend a regional gifted center for first grade and returned to Darwin to complete the last quarter of first grade. I was underwhelmed by her former schools approach to academics and the enormous class size (31 is not acceptable for 6 and 7 year olds). Darwin's class sizes are small, the students are engaged, and my daughter loves being in the dual language program. I taught K-1 for seven years and am quite familiar with Chicago Public Schools. I am impressed by Darwin's ability to engage my daughter even though she is above grade level in both reading and math. Darwin may only have a GreatSchools Rating of 3 (which is ridiculous, in my opinion), but both my daughter and I love the school, staff, and curriculum.

- submitted by a parent

April 01, 2013
Darwin has an extremely hardworking staff that are dedicated towards empowering students and parents alike!

- submitted by a teacher

January 29, 2013
My son is a kindergardener at Darwin Elementary and we have been very impressed by the teachers, the principal and everyone involved at this school. We spent months looking for a school that offered high-quality education and after only a few months we realized we made the right decision. Our son really loves his school and we look forward to many years at Darwin Elementary.

- submitted by a parent

January 29, 2013
My son is in Kindergarten, also in the dual language program. We applied to several dual language magnet programs across the city for which he was placed on a waiting list and did not get in before I realized there is a school right in our neighborhood that has one. We visited the school and felt really good about their program after speaking with the dual language coordinator and principal, and enrolled out son right away! They were awesome about letting us enroll even though we live just outside the neighborhood boundaries for the school. We have been very happy with our decision. Our son is excelling in school and seems to really enjoy it. All of the teachers seem to really care about the students as does the principal. Our son is learning Spanish and we are excited for him to spend his elementary career at Darwin! They also have an exchange program for eighth graders and a great parent community.

- submitted by a parent

January 29, 2013
Not only are Darwin's language immersion program, teachers and staff great, but it also has tremendous parental involvement - courtesy of Logan Square Neighborhood Association's award-winning Parent Mentoring program, a plethora of parent volunteers, and, I hear, a newly-forming Friends of Darwin group.

- submitted by a parent

January 28, 2013
My daughter is in the dual language kindergarten at Darwin and she absolutely loves it! She is performing above grade level in English and Spanish. Her teacher has truly gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure my daughter has every resource necessary to thrive. The teacher communicates with me daily regarding my child's behavior and academic endeavors. Additionally, the support staff (counselor, psychologist, nurse, etc.) have all been phenomenal in managing my child's 504 (medical/disability plan). I most appreciate the parent volunteer coordinator on staff for her monumental success at engaging parents in the education process and achieving Healthy School status. Darwin participates at the nationally renown parent mentor program of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association and there is always a parent mentor in my child's class of 20 students to assist the teacher. Next year we look forward to participating in the after school programming for 1st-8th graders at the nearby Boys and Girls club that partners with Darwin as well. Darwin is a community where my daughter and I are appreciated, valued, and challenged to grow. I highly recommend the school.

- submitted by a parent

November 08, 2012
My child is a first year Pre-K student in the bilingual classroom at Darwin. Darwin has a world language magnet program that allows them to teach in Spanish through eight grade. He has really learned a lot in just the first few months and LOVES it. All the parents and other children in his class are so sweet. There are only 20 in his class and every day there is the teacher, assistant and at least one parent volunteering. Parents are always welcome in the classroom and I love that we get to know the other parents while our kids eat breakfast there together. I think this school may have had some issues in the past but it is clear they are working through them. I am glad that we took the time to take a tour, meet the teachers and learn more about the school.

- submitted by a parent

June 11, 2012
As a teacher at Darwin, it is my opinion that the school is moving in the wrong direction. The principal at Darwin is terrible. He wouldn't even allow the student council to organize a "spirit week"! Students organized, planned, and presented options to the principal and were shot down. Then, teachers stood up for the students and one of them got fired!!! There is a new culture at Darwin that is not healthy or beneficial for anyone involved. The school has had some great teachers, but some have been fired, some have transferred, and others are just counting days to retirement. Darwin was a good school about three years ago, but the new principal has created a toxic environment for everyone in the building. You will notice that the principal has not even taken the time to complete the school's profile on this website - he probably doesn't even know about it.

- submitted by a teacher
no rating
September 11, 2009
I have been a teacher at Darwin for over 18 years. During that time, I have seen a lot of improvement. Our scores have gone up every year for the last 7 years. We have many opportunities that other schools don't have, such as having sister schools in other countries that our students visit. Mary Beth Belda,Sped.tchr.

- submitted by a teacher
no rating
April 01, 2009
It is the best school in the are 4, have a lot of parent involvement every year. It have a parent mentor program and have around 50 parents helping inthe school, classroom, lunchroom etc. Tell me what school in this area have such amount of parent helping in the school doing a huge difference in education........

- submitted by a parent
no rating
September 18, 2008
I feel darwin is not a good school because there is no activities at this school for the children. The principle involvement is poor and my children didnt feel safe. Even though my children are old enough to walk by them self, i still had to be there to take and pick them up because of the unsafe activities accuring at or around the school. Itransfered my children this year to a school i felt was more caring about all its student something i couldn't get at darwin.

- submitted by a parent

April 05, 2007
Overall this is a school in need of help. Students do not feel safe and the school officials don't seem to care much. My kids have been attending darwin for 6 years and I am not aware of these sports programs they advertise. I am very dissapointed with this school and their interest in their students. Look elsewhere !

- submitted by a parent

February 10, 2007
Darwin is the best school that I anyone can sent a child to learn. They have the best Parent Program for parent involvemente. Every year they have about 50 parents helping in the classroom. It make a huge difference on this school. More school would like to have a lot of parent like this school have. It make a big difference with the education and security. I am proud of send my daugther to this school. It is the best. Most of the Teacher are dedicate teacher and are overqualify. It make a big diference.

- submitted by a parent

November 12, 2006
Darwin has a few teacher who care. Teachers at Darwin do not know how to handle Special Education Students. Very little parent involvement. Concerning security issues not a safe school security does nothing they just watch. You need to get self defence classes in order to go to this school.

- submitted by a parent

September 01, 2006
I am about to become an 8th grade student at Darwin, I've been at that school all me life. I've been there since kindergarten. All of my teachers, have been the most committed teachers i have ever seen, and the 8th grade teachers, don't let me get started on how great they are! We always have monthly incentives, they are a blast! Those incentives really help with the discipline, it motivates the kids. This school, is the best, I will always love this school.

- submitted by a student

September 04, 2004
My son started kindergarten at Darwin and he used to be very exited, but the teacher never understood him and decided to put him aside. I would never recomend this school to anyone. Very poor knowledge of educating very active and opened minded kids these days. I was there for a whole year and never saw the principle till graduation time! Overall staff is very lazy. I will do my best to have my kids in a better school.

- submitted by a parent

June 21, 2004
Hello. I am a 7th grade student from Darwin School and I love the school. I have been there all my life. The teachers are great and helpful. The teachers are always doing their best for their students. They work hard for the kids! So I hope I said something that will somewhat make you bring your kids to Darwin. It is a good school!

- submitted by a student

February 27, 2004
I am student from Darwin School. And this school is good it shows you many fun things plus we get to do alot of fun activities. This school is not like other that everybody get in with each other, we have learned strict rules in where we know how to respect. We have some good and smart teachers. I recommend this school to you is the best. I have been since 2 grade when I came from Mexico. This school and it's teachers show to learn English which I learned. This school gives you alot of help when you are new in this country.

- submitted by a student

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Last modified: August 13, 2015

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Darwin Elementary School
3116 W Belden Ave, Chicago, IL  60647
(773) 534-4110
Last modified Darwin Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades PK-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 5 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Darwin Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 59 reviews. Top