« Back to compare
/ / School Profile
Public charter
Chicago, IL

Contact this school

3900 W. Peterson
Chicago, IL 60659

School website
(773) 478-3655
(773) 478-6029
Nearby homes for sale
Map of CICS Northtown address.

November 22, 2014
As a student, this is a good school. The teachers are nice as well as the deans. If you are experiencing bullying, just contact the teachers and the issue is resolved. Negative views given by students are wrong since the students who write them slack off, disturb class, and whatnot.

- submitted by a student

August 04, 2014
northtown so far is not the best highschool for any student to apply to because of their strict uniform system, overpriced lunch, the staff hardly ever works\and the school is really poor. I've been a student at northtown for 4 years now and I hate it. If you apply at north town always go to the GENERAL class because the teachers there are less strict, they provide you more time to study, learn and the lessons that they teach goes faster because of how these GENERAL teachers help you and learn the lessons better.

- submitted by a community member

June 19, 2014
I went to Northtown from 2007-2011 & I loved it for the most part. The curriculum was challenging & the teachers always helped me after school & gave me extra practice whenever I asked for it. I didn't like that a lot of students were allowed to break rules & not get punished for it. The deans always picked on certain people & were ALWAYS looking for something wrong with them to punish them for it. I once got a Saturday detention for being late to class when I was not the one that was late. I told my teacher about it & she took so long to email the dean that I ended up having to go to the detention so I wouldn't lose my senior privileges when I didn't deserve it to begin with. This was unfair considering that the mistake got cleared but I was still punished for it. All the rules do not in any way apply to everyone.I dyed my hair half blonde my Junior year & was forced to change it & asked by the principal to not return until I did.There was another girl with her hair just the same way and she never got asked to change it or asked to leave school.Overall, if you want a good education, this is a great school.If you want respect & fair treatment, don't even bother with this school.

- submitted by a student

June 16, 2014
I went here and it was horrible. Here's why: 1. The staff were extremely power-hungry and demanding of the students. It wasn't a matter of them caring for their grades, it was just a matter of them hating their lives and making their students suffer for it. There's a difference between caring, and simply enforcing the rules because you want to have control over the students, which they did every second, even if the student were 18 years old. 2. The teachers, not all but a lot, were always slacking-off and barely taught their classes. Pretty much ever class was a time for relaxation and mingling. 3. The teachers favored a small group of inconsiderate students who conveniently were the top of their class, received the most awards, honors and scholarships, and also received the most credit for things they never did. 4. The school took credit for its students accomplishments, meaning that if a student got their life back on track all by themselves, the school would try to take credit by claiming they influenced the change, when really, the school didn't. It happened many times. Don't think of this school as anything special; they lie on their website about it being a fantastic place.

- submitted by a student

November 18, 2013
A fair review is a considerate review. Therefore this gets a 3/5 since it's pretty terrible, but most schools in the area aren't great, so it's average at best. Faculty are pretty much in and out every year, you/ your child probably aren't going to know a lot of the teachers by the final year due to them all getting fired. The lunch is disgusting and expensive, every student either buys junk food with their parents money or fills out a form to get free lunches, even if their family isn't financially struggling. More importantly, the education is insufficient. The most common trend of all the classes is the teacher tries to teach the material, the majority of the class is uninvolved or unfocused, the expectations for the criteria is not met, and the teacher ends up trying to negotiate with the class. Every teacher tries to engage the class by having them help work out how the class should go, and it never works. I personally believe that little to no knowledge is retained from most of these classes, and the knowledge taught that is retained could easily be taught much quicker/efficiently. Overall, don't choose this school for anything other than a high school diploma.

- submitted by a student

November 14, 2013
I graduated this year and I cannot expand on saying how much I miss this school. Yes, this school might not be the best, but I sure do not regret ever coming to this school. As any other student, I've had my good and bad experiences; but after all, it is the student himself who shapes how he is viewed among his peers. In all honesty, the school has a decent set of staff. The only problem that I ever encountered was the possibility of having a new teacher for a new semester, while all of the good ones left for better schools. Oh yea, I hated the crowded hallways. Despite the teachers being mostly new, they are quite friendly and enjoyable. As I've read throughout the reviews, many often blame the teachers and the school for unfairness, but I all I have to say is that most of it is lines and lines of excuses to justify a person's failure. Yes, many students cheat and are often praised for it, but we all know that people like that will never be able to execute in the real-world. It's nice and simple, what you get from this school is what you strive to achieve. No one will come and praise kids who are stubborn in both their personality and academic performance. GO PUMAS!

- submitted by a student

October 31, 2013
This school is horrible. Every day, I am bullied and walked over by the popular students. They treat me like dirt because the staff praise them to make them believe they are better than me. Nonetheless, the students all cheat. Im in honors classes and I see every day students looking up answers on tests and then get rewarded with scholarships for getting As on the test. Its not fair and nothing is done about it. Every day I beg my parents to remove me from this school

- submitted by a community member

October 20, 2013
I transferred from this school last year and I've had to take night classes at the school I transferred to because CICS Northtown Academy refused to transfer my credits. The administration believes I left the school because I didn't like it there when really my family moved to another state for work-related reasons. I didn't think the school was bad until they refused to transfer my credits and I had to give up half of my life just to make up my classes. I hope whoever sponsors this school reconsiders their investment. That's just absolutely ridiculous.

- submitted by a student

September 30, 2013
Absolutely outrageous. I was called into the school because my child supposedly was violating the uniform code, and upon my entry, I saw another student breaking the rules by wearing sneakers rather than the required dress shoes. When I brought this matter to the staff, I was rudely ordered to mind my own business and worry about my child. I filed a complaint with CICS and have yet to heard back from them, and that was 3 weeks ago. I see what this school is doing. They don't fool me: they're favoring certain students. I can tell my child isn't the most popular student in the school, but I bet if he was, the staff would allow him to violate the uniform code like that. My child tells me that the student I saw breaking the rules was indeed popular and is still continuing to violate the rules and not be punished for it, however, my child still is. I don't know how a school as outrageous as Northtown is allowed to even operate. Please reconsider sending your child here.

- submitted by a parent

August 14, 2013
Northtown is suppose to be a good school but what many parents don't know is that the students a really treated unfairly. It seems that everything has gone down hill for this school and nobody wants to take the time to try and pull the school back up. It's very dirty in this school and as a punishment they make students clean up. Anyone can tell that most of the teachers aren't there to help students they are there to get the days over with and get paid. Many of the students do drugs and drink alcohol but no one knows because they do a very good job at keeping everything low key. This is a horrible school and many students have transferred out.

- submitted by a teacher

August 10, 2013
This school is horrible. The staff are unfair. The honor roll students are conveniently rich and well known. The teachers blame us for our faults. Also, there was a rat in the cafeteria during last year. I transferred to Von Steuben and I can tell that even though it's a public school, the teachers and staff here are so much nicer than they are at northtown. transfering out of that school was arguably the best decision I ever made.

- submitted by a student

August 09, 2013
I was a student at CICS Northtown Academy and I have one word to sum up my entire high school career at this school: unacceptable. First of all, the entire system is extremely unfair and unjust. Teachers have favorite students who receive much better grades than others who actually try hard. I actually made tremendous effort in an honors classes by studying, whereas the other students cheat on tests and receive better grades than I do, and the school rewards the cheaters for their "leadership" and "diligence" with special privileges that are exclusive to "honor roll" students. I have told the principal that people are cheating in classes but he has never done anything about it. I feel as if he is too blind by the fact that his students are all "exceeding" the standards (by cheating). Moreover, the teachers are extremely unprofessional. For example, I turned in a homework assignment on time and the teacher marked it in the grade book as missing. I talked to her about it and she said she would fix it. Instead of actually fixing the grade, she marked the assignment as late and it dragged my grade down to an A- to a C. This has happened multiple times with multiple teachers.

- submitted by a student

August 02, 2013
This school is terrible. Teachers don't check to see if students are behind and the teachers also have very bad attitudes. The administration doesnt know how to figure out that some teachers are very rascist and favorite students. Northtown isnt a good school and my kids always complain that they want to get out of there.

- submitted by a parent

July 15, 2013
I am a Freshmen at Northtown Academy. I honestly didn't want to go to this school because it reminded me of my grammar school, CICS Bucktown! After my Freshmen year if I still don't like it I'm going to try to get into Lane or Westinghouse! But form the Transition Program I'm starting to think that I might stay at Northtown! Alot of my friends go there and I I've the diversity and all the different ethnicities here! Well, that's it! (:

- submitted by a community member

May 14, 2013
CICS Northtown Academy My son is a junior, he came from a small private school that he attended for 9 years. The transition to Northtown was easy and very successful. I was worries about the change from small grammar school to high school but I'm very happy with Northtown. Most of the staff are very good and approachable and my son has made some great friends.

- submitted by a parent

May 15, 2012
Me like this school a lot. Once I tripped going up the stairs, no one laughed cause no one was around because I was late to class and no one was around. I am challenged... The teachers are very nice to me... And I am a leadership person.

- submitted by a student

April 11, 2012
The teachers and administrators work with the parents and students to help them improve their grades and study habits. I have had the opportunities to meet teachers and deans and was impressed with them.

- submitted by a parent

February 23, 2011
CICS Northtown has done great things for students. I've never seen a more energetic and committed staff. The standard that we hold ourselves too is very high; we have the skill and will to push our kids to get there.

- submitted by a teacher

February 17, 2011
My son is a freshman at Northtown Academy and is very happy. The school is a relatively new charter school and under the direction of principal Ann Matz, I believe it will continue to grow stronger each year. The focus is on preparing students for colleges which starts in the freshman year. The school day is longer which gives more time for academics and is great for working parents. The teachers are amazing and fully engaged. My son is in honors and is appropriately challenged. They also have a focus on writing and I'm very impressed with the projects my son is working. When we were first looking at the school, one of the parents whose daughter was a senior (and had been accepted at Northwestern Univerisity) said Northtown Academy is like a getting a private school education without paying the tuition. I'd have to agree.

- submitted by a parent

January 24, 2011
My daughter is a freshman at Northtown, and loves going to school everyday. She is in all honors classes, and very challenged. No problems about safety. Teachers are very involved. So far so good! Parent involvement, not sure need to attend a PTA meeting.

- submitted by a parent

Profile Completeness


Want to improve this school’s profile? You can!

All schools on GreatSchools begin with BASIC completeness, which includes important information like contact details and test scores. It’s up to the school community to take the next steps. As a parent or community member, you can share what you know with other families by writing a review or answering a few questions about what the school offers. As a school leader, you can upload photos, describe school programs, and more with an Official school profile.

The completeness meter moves to INTERMEDIATE, then ADVANCED, and finally HONOR ROLL as you complete the following: 10 or more reviews, at least 1 photo, and 9 program questions parents find helpful.

Want to improve this school's profile?
for Parents
for Schools
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery

Media missing

Uh oh! No photos. This frame will look much better when you upload photos »

About this school

Chicago International Charter School- Northtown Academy Campus is part of the Civitas network of schools. Civitas Schools works to ensure that our students demonstrate the intellectual skills, the cultural competence, the belief in self, and the engagement in community necessary for success in school, college, the workplace, and life.

Contact school


Nearby homes for sale


Last modified: December 15, 2014

Sign up for email updates

Connect with us

Translate this web page

About GreatSchools

Our mission is to help millions of parents get a great education for their kids. GreatSchools.org is an independent nonprofit and the leading national source of school information for families.

GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

©1998-2015 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

CICS Northtown
3900 W. Peterson, Chicago, IL  60659
(773) 478-3655
Last modified CICS Northtown is a Charter school that serves grades 9-12
CICS Northtown Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 20 reviews. Top