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7030 North Sacramento Avenue
Chicago, IL 60645

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(773) 534-2201
(773) 534-2191
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Map of Decatur Classical Elementary School address.

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June 28, 2014
There is a reason Decatur is consistently in the top school list. It starts with the fact that the entry criteria is a test so the starting point is kids with above average skills and /or strongly involved parents. This parental involvement continues in various ways - fund raising, volunteer work, special projects and so on.

- submitted by a parent
June 27, 2014
Great school Superb Teachers and Genius Students. Great 7 years experience. Need more space for lunch room/ gym. We gonna miss Decatur.

- submitted by a parent
April 01, 2014
For a Chicago public school, this is an amazing school. Teachers are caring and experienced. Administrators are attentive. Kids are a group of bright, well-balanced diverse group with very supporting families. PTA is very active. My child always looks forward to going to school. She feels sad when she has to miss school. I just wish they receive more $ to do what they can do. Also, there is no 7th and 8th grade...yet. Also, they teach one grade above...not like some gifted programs that teach 2 grades above.

- submitted by a parent
February 14, 2014
We have spent almost 3 yrs at the school, going mostly through material review, except for Latin, new to us. If all students are like my child, which my child's teachers say this is so, then all of our children are terribly under-served. Our teachers and administrators go by the book and teach one grade ahead to the test. There is no differentiated instruction. Spelling seems to be taught via word families, not via spelling rules. Writing is expected, but I do not get much sense that it is being taught. Nevertheless, the students are bright, well mannered and come from very supportive families. Chess club is strong, successful, and we do enjoy it. I wish the school would offer other such quality, progressive, programs, before or after school, like robotics, debate team, math or writing club. I wish the school would make connections with reputable universities or on-line educational sites so the students could test out from knowledge they know and then be allowed to move forward in gaining new knowledge. However, with the current administration this will not happen. It is all about the test scores and they are fine.

- submitted by a parent
November 06, 2013
My son is a proud 5th grader at DECATUR and Our Family is ecstatic that he is a part of this great learning institution! He has been attending DECATUR since kindergarten and we are just as excited now as we were when he was accepted. I am very assured that when it is time for him to leave for 7th grade he will be EXTREMELY WELL PREPARED to handle a work load of an 8th grader and for that I am truly grateful; and as parents isn't that what we are looking for in a school?... A learning environment in which our children are PROPERLY PREPARED FOR LEARNING? I have the privilege to enter many schools to teach a segment on: " HOW TO AFFECTIVELY HELP YOUR CHILDREN WITH HOME WORK" and I also Tutor/ Mentor the children as well. Believe me as I write to you about the lack of: School Morale / Parent Support/ Teachers that lack luster/ and a lack of interest in the students that some schools have ! But not at DECATUR! They have vibrant and interesting teachers. So I am all for a rigorous learning environment that this school offers because the payoff is well worth it and your child will also see the benefit of what and how he was educated as he enters high school and college !

- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2013
We moved our child here from a private, Blue Ribbon school. I knew the academics would be great but what I didn't know is that they accomplish this with so few resources. There is also a real sense of community. I love the way the school has addressed the heavy backpack problem. The students are learning how to organize their work and to take notes. I am particularly impressed with the math and science classes. They don't just push more faster. The curriculum is enriched. The school really should be expanded. I am sure the powers that be at CPS think the school is doing fine and isn't overcrowded so this isn't a priority. That's not the point. The point is that there are so many students out there who are in desperate need of an education like this but are not served because the school can take so few students.

- submitted by a parent
August 28, 2013
I love the school. Great education, strong and very creative PTA. My daughter is very happy there. Administration staff, teachers and Parents are very friendly willing to help and answer any question. The Kindergarten teacher (Ms. W) is amazing, she knows how to implement an advance curriculum to young children, keeping them highly motivated, and gives individual instruction when is requiered. The big kids (5th and 6th grade) are very protective, they are always watching over the little ones in the bus or at school. It's small enough to give you the chance to know everybody.

- submitted by a parent
August 01, 2013
My son was accepted for the incoming 2013 Kindergarten class, so I'm not terribly qualified to review the school, but here are my thoughts so far. The meetings and open houses I've attended so far do give the sense that rule breaking (or even rule bending!) is not tolerated at Decatur. However, I don't see this as being cruelly restrictive. My son, like all Decatur students, is bright, and, like most kids, he tries to negotiate, argue, or weasel his way out of any undesired activity. So, for our family, the strict but fair approach is highly attractive. The school is clean and well-maintained, but small. The parents are extraordinarily involved. My only fear is that, as a working mother of two, I may not be able to keep up with the volunteering that is encourage and that I would love to do. Recently, there was some concern over a "shaming" by the principal. While I am concerned about this, I'm willing to give Mrs. K the benefit of the doubt. We don't know the relationships or circumstances behind what happened, and she apologized (which I appreciate greatly in a person of authority), so it is impossible to judge. I'm excited for my guy to be challenged in new ways.

- submitted by a parent
June 24, 2013
I could not disagree more with the review of 6/16. My child is happy and well rounded and has never been bullied. I have never heard of another child being bullied. The parents involved in the PTA are extremely welcoming and very nice. Their goal is to make Decatur the best school possible and their creative fundraising efforts continue to make that happen. As of today almost all of the graduating 6th graders have been placed in a 7th grade program that will meet their advanced needs. It is not a school that you leave unless you move or you just can't handle the academically advanced curriculum. It is that good. They don't have to teach to the test because the work they do is so far ahead of what is on it that the test itself is like child's play to those who take it. They don't have a lot of lot of extracurricular activities but that is what the programs at the park district are for. I wouldn't give up this amazing opportunity for my child because of that. After all, it is the responsibility of the parent to see that a child grows up to be a well rounded individual, not the public schools.

- submitted by a parent
June 16, 2013
While it is an excellent school for many, for us I found it to be lacking. For boys they quickly out grow the school. Unless your children want to be on Latin Club, Chess Club or Choir there really is nothing for boys. The social enrichment aspect for children is just not there. To be well rounded in society learning social cues, being able to get along with others is important too. There is a lot of problems w/ bulling there among the children & parent groups. At our current school it simply is not tolerated. The PTA is very cliquish, the school is very rigid here. They do teach for the test. I find as far as writing/expanded writing they are lacking. We switched to a Magnet, my son & daughter are more challenged, happier, well rounded children now. We have no regrets leaving. For their younger years I think it laid an excellent foundation, after 3 grade we found it to be really lacking. Keep in mind they do not have the best teachers, they have the BEST students & that is the key to their success! Also 30% of their graduating class did not make it into any middle school. With the new tier system it simply does not matter where you attend, but where you live.

- submitted by a parent
April 17, 2011
I have to give it a 5 star review. My 3rd grader is really getting into brilliant shape academically. He seems to have really developed a passion for learning that all the kids there share. My concern is that he's becoming increasingly neurotic and sometiomes has dark circles under his eyes. He tells me that Decatur "makes him stressed". Still he loves going to school. I figure this school will prepare him for the Ivy League if he chooses, I'm just concerned that there is a high cost. The environment is pretty intense. If your child forgets his lunch or homework, you may not drop it off. There is no loosey-goosey stuff going on here. The devoted PTA feels a little cliquish and a lot of moms just don't want to participate. Still the fundraisers are amazing (this year they did "Disco for Decatur" and even the gym teacher and security guard were up there dancing. It was so fun and had a huge turnout.) Overall, the school is doing an amazing job. Decatur students are famously loved by their new teachers after they graduate because they come out so enthusiastic and positive. Overall, I'm glad we got in.

- submitted by a parent
October 18, 2010
My son is an alumni of Decatur. I was a full time working mom while he attended. All parents chipped in when they could. Those that could not physically participate found other ways to contribute. Strong parental participation is necessary for any child's success in any school. The work is meant to be difficult just by the very nature of the school. Our son was happy there and we made so many wonderful friends (both teachers and parents). We miss them all!

- submitted by a parent
October 09, 2010
It is giving my granddaughter a first class education - she informs me of her homework and projects which are great learning tools.

- submitted by a community member
September 04, 2010
I am now in my 20s and went here for 1st - 6th grade. It was an amazing school with quite a diverse group of kids. Someone posted that there had to be a lot of parent involvement and that teachers assigned huge projects - not true at all. I had a single mom who worked long hours, and did homework on my own. The teaching is what really made the difference. They really invest in each student there. Great memories.

- submitted by a community member
May 11, 2010
I was told when my daugther tested for this school that she would have to score at the 96th percentile or higher to get accepted. I think Decatur's success is because they are taking the top 4% of students, not because of the quality of teaching. Teachers give lots of homework and large projects to be completed at home. The quality of these projects done at home reflect parental involvement more than students' abilities. If you do not have a stay-at-home parent in you family who is able to devote lots of time to homework help, your child will likely not be able to keep up with the amount of work assigned. Teachers are not sympathetic to working families. I would probably spend less time and get better results if I home-schooled my child.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 05, 2010
My grandaughter attends, and it has had a great inpack on her.

- submitted by a community member
no rating May 03, 2010
This is a wonderful small school that challenges the students.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 03, 2010
Lots of dedicated children and parents. A tight knit community.

- submitted by a parent
May 03, 2010
Amazing community. First rate education. School is in need of resources though.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 03, 2010
A small school that has great standards and an unbelievable parent base. The parents redefine 'supportive.'

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 03, 2010
Decatur is a school full of caring teachers and staff that put their hearts into every minute of teaching. The kids learn how to be well rounded citizens that truly care about learning and the world around them!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 03, 2010
Decatur Classical Elementary School is a school where the staff puts in alot of extra effort for the children.

- submitted by a community member
no rating May 02, 2010
Decatur is the #1 Elementary School in the State of IL. The community is wonderful and the education second to none!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 02, 2010
Decatur students are the best and brightest in Chicago. The parent community is involved and supportive. It's a wonderful school all around!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 30, 2010
Diversity of students, passion of parents

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 29, 2010
The diversity and strong support from the staff, parents and students.

- submitted by a parent
April 19, 2010
Fantastics school, strong, supportive staff, students & parents!

- submitted by a parent
February 09, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
February 03, 2010
I am very satisfied with this school given the time and era that we are in right now - where various educational approach rival with the good intentions of the old-school method. It seems like Decatur is doing really wonderful things for my daughter despite just being academically focused and test-driven. It is not a gifted school and I think parents should be aware of that. It is a school for the academically advanced. My daughter was reading at 4 and was doing simple addition which was why she was accepted into the school with a score in the 99th percentile. She had an average score for the gifted test and was not accepted into any of the gifted schools. It is comforting to know that my daughter is getting a wonderful education through Decatur because they are being prepared for life in the real world.

- submitted by a parent
January 29, 2010
Parents appreciate this school because it filled with children of other like-minded, academically focused parents. However, like many selective Chicago Public Schools, Decatur is really missing the mark on gifted education. All children learn a curriculum that is one grade level above their current focus, but there is little focus on depth of understanding or higher-level thinking. The students at Decatur succeed on tests because they are learning a grade level ahead and because the teachers focus significant time and energy preparing them to test successfully. Most Decatur students would succeed in any school because of their dedicated families but could truly thrive if given increased opportunities for higher level thinking during the school day.

- submitted by a teacher
October 30, 2009
It's diversity - the most amazing thing for my daughter! And it's one of the top elementary schools in Illinois.

- submitted by a parent
October 01, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2009
Decatur provides a stimulating and challenging curriculum for the students and has phenomenal teachers and a PTA that is out of this world.

- submitted by a parent
July 16, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
June 04, 2009
My daughter has been going to Decatur for 2 years now. It is a great school with good teachers and a lot of family involvement. There is a lot of home work some weeks but that is what school is all about....learning. For 2nd grade she is learning things I didn't learn until I was in 4th or 5th. All children take Latin and tap dancing. To me, Decatur is one big family. My daughter loves going to school! There is no violence at this school and I know it wouldn't be tolerated. We started working with preschool workbooks like reading, comprehesion, math etc. when she was around 3. This really helped her with the testing. The only downside to this school is that it only goes to 6th grade and then you have to test again to get into a 7th & 8th grade program like Whitney Young, Taft etc.

- submitted by a parent
December 03, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
November 06, 2008
Our son just graduated from the school. In four years as a Decatur parent; we recall zero violence. Some are upset that their child cannot get the test scores needed to get accepted. Many of the parents have nurtured and worked with their kids before kindergarten, which pays off. Competition to get accepted is a challenge. Regrettably, some may lack the parental commitment to help their child succeed at Decatur. Others may have not put in enough time. If you want to be a Decatur parent, then you need to accept some responsibility; there is a significant amount of homework, but the teachers care and so do the students. Jealousy by those whose kids are not accepted, understood! Violence, no!

- submitted by a parent
October 10, 2008
This is a very bad school. Its good reputation does not fit the school itself. The hall ways are chaotic, noisy , and messy. There is too much student violence. There are too many bad students. This is a very bad school.

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2008
As a former student from Decatur, I can only offer praise for their program. I am currently a student at Whitney Young Magnet High School, and I thank Decatur for preparing me to enter such a prestigious high school program that allows me to challenge myself as a student. Decatur has always concentrated on academic excellence and it is rare to find a student that does not enjoy the atmosphere and sense of family. As long as there is sufficient parental involvement, the students will thrive.

- submitted by a community member
no rating October 01, 2008
If you have no-nonsense, high academic standards for your children Decatur is your school. Plus, it is very refreshing to observe a like-minded parent community ...parents that raise the academic bar to prepare their children for anything they want to take on in the future.

- submitted by a parent
August 03, 2008
I used to go Decatur and it is one of the greatest schools on the planet! No questions asked! Because it is so small, everyone knows each other and that makes it easier on the younger kids. The vice-principal is so fun to have as a teacher in sixth grade! And everyone in the faculty and staff is great! It was sad leaving Decatur because of the great experience I had there!

- submitted by a community member
July 18, 2008
decatur is a good school. it teaches a lot of things ahead of other public schools. but there are downsides. some teachers are not as challenging/organized as others. and decatur does not focus on a child's individuality or creativity. they rank high and test well. but the students are treated as one as they focus too much on test taking and not enough on real world situations. my child is smart when it comes to vocabulary and math. but my younger child who is in different school has come home telling me things they have learned in a primary grade that my older child never learned at decatur. every school has its good and bad. i'm just saying that deactur is not all that it's cracked up to be.

- submitted by a parent
May 01, 2008
This is our first year here, coming from a Catholic school & I am VERY impressed with the academics, parental involvement, teachers, we are VERY happy here. Thank you:)

- submitted by a parent
April 02, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
March 30, 2008
Decatur is a great choice for children who are advanced academically. The facility is small, but everyone knows each other. The children are amazing and, in general, discipline is not an issue. The principal is mediocre- not of the caliber of the student attending the school.

- submitted by a parent
March 26, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 25, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
March 16, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
December 23, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
November 26, 2007
I am extremely impressed with Decatur. My child has attended for the past five years. There are two classes per grade. My child, along with many others in the class, qualified to take the ACTs this year.

- submitted by a parent
November 22, 2007
I am a student here at Decatur Classical. This school can't compare to any other. The teachers are above excellent, and the learning standards are unbelievable!

- submitted by a student
October 19, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
September 27, 2007
This is a great school. If your children want to hone their academic skill, this school is definitely a right choice. As to limited extracurricular activities it is quite understandable due to the ever lean public school funding. It is always better to have a school use their resources well on one or several areas than just superficially touch upon many things with mediocre performance. Besides, parents can always input many such activities that you think necessary to ensure a well-round education for your children.

- submitted by a parent
July 06, 2007
Decatur is supposed to be one of the best public schools in Chicago. The school has lots of potentials (parent involvement and motivated students) but it has a lot of limitations. We think that the school is not teaching student as a whole child, but mainly teaching the subjects to maintain its high test score. With only 1 class per grade, from KG to 6th grade, the class size is still pretty big, 29-30 kids in the early grades per class (less students in later grades). Although music class is available, sports and extracurricular activities are limited to almost nothing. No art class offerred. No cafeteria (children will eat in the classroom or gym). Limited access to the faculties. In the end, the school is still the best bargain in the city (and the state perhaps).

- submitted by a parent
January 26, 2007
Decatur Classical School is an exceptional place. Our neighborhood school couldn't support our son's needs,and he was saddened that more of his peers didn't share his interests. At Decatur, we've found a new home with great friends, parents and teachers. The only issue for us is that it ends at 6th grade.

- submitted by a parent
December 17, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 26, 2006
Doesn't live up to the hype. Teaches only to the test and lacks interests in a child's overall well being. A school in decline.

- submitted by a parent
November 03, 2006
The best thing this school has going for it is the children who attend it. The many old guard teachers are so stuck in the past and resistant to change that they prevent this school from being all that it could and should be. The newer or more open-minded teachers and administration are energetic and well-intended, but lack the power to take control. Too few parents are involved, too many are detached, and without a unified front, they are ineffective and are not heard as a credible voice by either the teachers or the administration, playing right into the hands of those who would keep things as they are. The lack of a unified vision has hog-tied the LSC. The PTA does it's able-best to stay motivated and focus on the children, despite the tug-of-war this school has become. How these children continue to thrive is a credit to the children alone.

- submitted by a parent
July 03, 2006
I am extremely impressed with the school. The students are engaged in learning, and the teachers are excellent.

- submitted by a parent
May 02, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 15, 2006
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- submitted by a former student
December 15, 2005
This is a great school! The students are engaged in the course work whole-heartedly. One reason for this is that the course materials are more inspiring and interesting. Another reason is that the teachers themselves are enthusiastic about teaching in this school. Besides, the children in this school need to pass an initial test first. And childrens passing this test are mainly from families who put great emphasis on education and achievements. So overall, I feel it is a great school in term of knowledge education.

- submitted by a parent
October 04, 2005
The quality of teaching at Decatur Classical Elementary School is excellent.

- submitted by a parent
January 29, 2005
An amazing program that does so much with so little. Children learn basic academics, along with Latin, music and art. The develop wonderful study and research skills and independence.

- submitted by a parent
September 23, 2003
This school has a great program. But i find that more homework goes to the parents! There is always so much sent home to read and do and sometimes it is hard to keep up with their daily, weekly, and monthly activities. But I think it is a great school with lots to offer young children.

- submitted by a parent
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Decatur Classical Elementary School
7030 North Sacramento Avenue, Chicago, IL  60645
(773) 534-2201
Last modified Decatur Classical Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-6. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Decatur Classical Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 65 reviews. Top