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851 West Waveland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60613

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(773) 534-5490
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Map of Inter-American Elementary Magnet School address.

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October 22, 2014
Extremely disappointed in this school. We hoped that the focus on language and culture would support a sense of community and identity that we feel so passionately about. Unfortunately there is little to no communication between school and families. The new principal only talks about discipline and excellence and other buzz words when you do hear from him, but his only communication since the second half of last year was to ask for money. Before starting this school, our kindergartner wrote and illustrated bilingual stories all the time using invented spelling and dictating that she would give as gifts. She sat with books sounding out words on her own, excited to learn. Now two years in this place and she won't try to read and has not written a single story for fear that she will "write the letters wrong." She has a calendar of homework that includes weekends! All work and no play has killed her joy of learning. She constantly talks at home about how she wishes school didn't exist. We stayed for the use of our language. But exclusive English speakers are balanced to bilingual students not exclusive Spanish speakers, so English is the dominant language among kids.

- submitted by a parent
October 22, 2014
IAMS was the perfect elementary school for my children.My oldest one got into Walter Payton HS and he is now a Senior in Archtecture at Carnegie Mellon University and works as an Assistant teacher in technology at CMU. My youngest got into to Lane Tech ( a terrible school based on test taking) but now is thriving at Global Citizenship Lab HS. She is a senior in HS and loves languages. Art and Sciences which she developed at IAMS and GCE. Both my kids are very proud of their language skills. Both speak Spanish and Portuguse with ease and the oldest also speaks French. The youngest learned Chinese ansd sign language. The creative, nurtering years at IAMS were very important for their solid formation as great young adults. Thank you IAMS!

- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2014
If you want your children to learn Spanish and be a world citizen. This is the school for you. It's not perfect (what school is) but the parents care, are awesome, and the kids are even more fabulous. Read up on bilingual and learning two languages before you come. It's heavy on Spanish in younger grades (as research says it should be) and scores for the school will always be a little lower for 3rd grade due to testing inadequacies (standard tests only test one language) but all research says kids who are bilingual exceed in long term. There are some ignorant comments made in years past by parents who don't understand language acquisition. Most teachers are good and accessible but you do need. To be proactive if you think something isn't right or you don't understand.

- submitted by a parent
March 23, 2014
My son currently attends preschool at Inter-American and I couldn't be happier. He loves going to school and he really enjoys and takes pride in learning to speak Spanish. His classroom teachers are constantly doing fun, creative art projects and his confidence in his ability to draw and write has grown immensely. On top of all of the Spanish that he is learning, he has also learned his numbers, letters and letter sounds in English. I am amazed at how much he is learning in a half day program. The JCYS is partnered with the school and runs an excellent aftercare program that my son goes to which I really appreciate as a working parent.

- submitted by a parent
September 28, 2013
My son goes to pre-K at inter-American. My wife and I were concerned about all the normal school issues, combined with the language and cultural specifics as well. My son had the benefit of a wonderful baby sitter that is from Mexico, so his comprehension is already very high. We could not be happier. The sense of community and the level of professionalism and caring teachers is noticeable right away. We are completely impressed by the new principal and vice principal as well. He comes home singing songs in Spanish, corrects my Spanish as I am trying to catch up to him with Spanish language classes. I feel that we could not have made a better decision.

- submitted by a parent
September 20, 2013
This is so sad this lady passed up the chance for her child to go to such a great school. I have three children there and I could not be more proud to say I'm an IAMS parent. We are an English speaking home and my son's Spanish is perfect. This summer we did an immersion trip and everyone we came across couldn't believe how amazing my son's Spanish was. They couldn't believe he knew Spanish so well when my Spanish was so bad. We proudly said it was because of the school he went to in Chicago! We have turned down Blaine, Frankin, Hamilton and Newberry for IAMS. No other Chicago public school can do what IAMS does, especially for an English speaking family. The teachers are wonderful. Every one of my children have has this teacher, and she is a passionate wonderful teacher. My children are in a loving environment, that teachers children how to learn, not how to pass a test. It is a gem in Chicago!

- submitted by a parent
August 27, 2013
My son speaks better Spanish than his pre-school teacher. We met her, realized she doesn't speak adequate Spanish to teach ANYONE and removed him from the school immediately. The new principal was unwilling to switch my son to the other classroom. What a huge disappointment!

- submitted by a parent
January 25, 2013
I am an alumna of this great school from which I graduated back in 1993. My first language when I entered this school was spanish and I learned English there, perfectly mind you. I was there from the time of pre-school to 8th grade when I graduated. I never had a problem, the teachers were great and pushed me to do and become my best. I graduated from a great university, UIUC and I know that had it not been for the fundamentals which I learned at IAMS I would not have gotten and been succesful in both high school and college. I have nothing but fond memories of my old grammar school though I attended the old building which is no longer in existence, but the heart and fundamentals of what it represents is still very intact from what I'm told. If any of the old teachers from my time are still there, I hope you are all doing well! Ms. Rivera, Mrs. Kahn, Mrs. Rubalcaba. I believe Ms. Bruno is the mom of one of my old classmates that I graduated with. This is a great school and if I still lived in Chicago, I wouldn't hesitate to send my son there.

- submitted by a community member
December 03, 2012
Inter-American is a beautiful school with very intelligent, sensitive and perceptive teachers. I am very impressed with the amount and quality of "specials" that my sons receive. This is a first rate school and I feel fortunate that bilingual education is available as a public school in Chicago. My children are very happy here. One thing that is important to me is the fact that they are proud to speak two languages - they have additional pride in their heritage - and appreciation and curiosity about people from all over the world.

- submitted by a parent
April 30, 2012
We have 2 kids at Inter-American and will definitely send our third there as well. I still can't believe that such a wonderful program exists in CPS! We absolutely love the immersion program and have been thrilled with the quality of the faculty's instruction. The principal, Dr. Vallez, is doing a fantastic job, and it has been great to be a part of such an active, inviting parent community.

- submitted by a parent
March 22, 2012
worst school to send your child too. there is little to no communication between the teacher and parents regarding the child's education. children have no textbooks and test our hand written and meet up by the teacher classes spend more time learning about arts and music then they do about the fundamentals of reading and math. it is not a dual language school 90 percent is in spanish.

- submitted by a parent
January 26, 2012
BEST SCHOOL EVER this is my school im in 6th (2011-2012) i love my school it is so fun i have learned so many things in this school. my teachers are really fun and they are really nice i know 2 languages and im glad i do. im so happy i go to this school :)

- submitted by a community member
December 29, 2011
My son has attended IAMS since Kindergarten. He is now in 3rd grade. He loves his school. We have had excellent relationships with each teacher every year and our principle Dr. Vallez. Our principle is tough; she is not a push over but that s what we need, a strong leader for our kids. Her Spanish is impeccable and her knowledge on education caught me by surprise. I was scared when we got a new principle but I must say I m impressed. Parents are very involved. Our son reads about 35 minutes each night. He has math and grammar homework every night. This school is very challenging so we help with homework every night. Our son learned about the Taino s from Puerto Rico and this year the 3rd grade class is doing a project on the Inca s. They explore different parts of the world each year. I encourage more science and math studies or programs developed at IAMS. I hope I will see this as my son progresses into the upper grade levels. IAMS partners up with the Chicago Children Choir which is amazing. As I look towards the future I see a boy who can speak two languages equally and have the communication skills and heart to be a great world leader.

- submitted by a parent
December 18, 2010
This is a great school headed in the right direction. The new principal is making good changes that make some people uncomfortable, however I am optimistic about her efforts. I think she needs to be given the space to figure out how to improve student learning and maximize the benefits of the unique dual-language curriculum that makes Inter-American families proud. My children love the school so far.

- submitted by a parent
November 18, 2010
Our school has become a joke. The new administration has taken a once great school and brought it to new lows. This WAS the school all other dual-language programs used as the model. Our school was started by parents and the parent involvement had remained incredibly high until the new principal "took control." We have somehow lost the feeling of community. I've always thought the communication from the school could use some improvement, now it is completely nonexistent. Last night at the FELE meeting the principal was asked about this and her response was "I don't have enough time in my day" and than put blame on the parents. If your thinking of sending your child here, look at other schools including your neighborhood school. Don't think that magnet school is not the same as great or even good school. I'm willing to stick with this 2 more years when we get to select a new principal, I know others changing at the end of the year. I'm sure anyone looking to get in won't have any problem, just think about why.

- submitted by a parent
October 19, 2010
I have been an Inter-American parent for 12 years. Until now I have been happy with the school, despite some turmoil several years back. The new administration is instituting changes that are effectively locking the parents out of the school. In its prime, the school kept its doors open to parents throughout the day. We were able to come and go, having free access to our child's classroom. If my son forgot his lunch, I could deliver to him. If my daughter had to leave early for an appointment, I could go to the classroom to pick her up. Now, when I come for whatever reason during the day, the new security guard blocks the way when answering the door asking what I am doing there. Now the kids are no longer allowed to dress up for Halloween. Recess has been shortened. I will be removing my kids next year.

- submitted by a parent
March 13, 2010
Having 2 kids who have gone through InterAmerican from Pre-K, I can say it's an amazing program. Many Inter American students have gone on the the best Selective Enrollment schools. Most of the kids tested out of high school freshman algebra thanks to Ms. Bruno, the amazing 8th grade math teacher. Once in high school, the kids can go on to advanced placement Spanish for college credit. No other school profides so many options for testing out of freshman classes. Most importantly, the progressive curriculum of the Americas gives the students a broad view of the world and a hightened sense of social consciousness.

- submitted by a parent
March 12, 2010
The school is very cultural/ spanish driven. The immersion in Spanish is to the point of teaching the kids the bare minimun in English.The teachers are very unprofessional and comfortable at this school.

- submitted by a parent
January 26, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
January 05, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
January 04, 2010
Our family loves being a part of the IAMS community. Yes, it can be difficult to be English only speakers, but if I am signing up for my kids to attend a school where they will become bilingual, I feel that it's my responsibilty to immerse myself into that world. And yes, there is a core group of parents that do a lot of the work, but I am grateful that they do. Every school needs ringleaders and I don't have the availability to put in that kind of time. They are always more than welcoming and are always encouraging parents to get more involved. My son has Mrs. Lopez this year and she is amazing. She is everything you would hope a Kindergarten teacher would be; warm, fun, energetic, accessible and organized. He is excited to go to school every day.

- submitted by a parent
December 03, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
October 07, 2009
I am now a single mother of three beautiful boys. Inter-American is not just a school to my family it is our family. We have been a part of this school for 15 years and yes we have gone through our up's and downs like every other schools. Inter-American is a great school it might not be for every one but it is a great school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 04, 2009
It is a great neighborhood school that is involved in the community and each student comes out bi-lingual.

- submitted by a community member
April 26, 2009
My daughter graduated from this school 4 years ago. She was well prepared to enter high school and is now graduating at the top of her senior class. She has been accepted at the UIUC and plans to go there. Yes, there were things I spoke up against when she was a student there, but it's the end result that matters.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 21, 2009
It feels like the Spanish and English dominant groups self-select / don't fully socialize, and that the same 10 parent people do everything at the school in terms of cheerleading, planning school-wide events, getting grants, etc. I agree 100%.

- submitted by a parent
April 20, 2009
My child is a student at this school. I have been underwhelmed by the teacher, by an inadequate responses from the acting principal and acting vice principal (to concerns expressed by parents), by poorly executed special events / field trips, and by the lack of community amongst families. It feels like the Spanish and English dominant groups self-select / don't fully socialize, and that the same 10 parent people do everything at the school in terms of cheerleading, planning school-wide events, getting grants, etc. Other families have raved about the school, but I haven't seen much to rave about. Also I have some concerns about the school being a bit rowdy (students not respectful) and not following CPS discipline rules.

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2009
And I forgot to mention that I feel like my daughter was not prepared well enough by IAMS for the level of competence in Spanish reading and writing that was expected by her new school. My second daughter has only attended the new school and is now reading and writing in Spanish in first grade--pretty good for a completely English dominant child!

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 26, 2009
I love this school, my daughter graduated several years ago and I have one graduating next year! this school is awesome it prepares them for high school and beyond. The teacher are caring and take time for each student. both my children have been there since PreK and I have no complaints!

- submitted by a parent
February 10, 2009
My son has been attending this school for 2 years now and he loves it there. I am very satisfied with the variety of programs offered there and the multicultural atmosphere is wonderful for our children! I could not ask for anything more from a school that teaches our children about different races and equality.

- submitted by a parent
January 08, 2009
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- submitted by a student
November 30, 2008
Great school. This is my 2nd year, there's no violence or crime. No gangs, best school I've seen.

- submitted by a teacher
October 29, 2008
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- submitted by a student
September 28, 2008
I love this school! Kids learn English and Spanish at the same time!

- submitted by a parent
September 12, 2008
Inter-american is an excellent school. My daughter is in seventh grade now and is doing exceptionally well. I give all the credit not only to her hard work but to the teachers who encourage in her ability to do so. She has been attending Inter-american since third grade and each year is better than the other. Thanks to the teachers who care for each and every student they have had.

- submitted by a parent
September 04, 2008
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- submitted by a student
July 21, 2008
Inter american is an amazing school. I am an 8th grader who goes there. For example in 8th grade they prepare us for high school math. It is a diverse cultural school.

- submitted by a student
June 11, 2008
My son graduated recently in this school. For me has been the finest education center my boy has ever attended. I am grateful to his teachers for caring about him.

- submitted by a parent
June 09, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
May 31, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
no rating May 27, 2008
This is my child's first year in IAMS and I could not be happier. She came from Telpochcalli where she attended K-4th. She learned more spanish in this one year than she did the 5 years at Telpochcalli which is the reason I put her there in the first school. I am really happy with the overall curriculum of IAMS as well as the outstanding parent involvement. It is so important that we, as parents, involve ourselves in our children's education because that means alot to a child. I just came back from my daughter's 5th grade trip where I was able to get to know other kids as well as other parents. Thanks IAMS for hanging in there despite all the changes they recently went through.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 30, 2008
My daughter is graduating this year from Interamerican. She has recieved a good bilingual education that will help her in the years to come. Considering the tranformation of the school and its leadership my daugher has been given great encouragement by her teachers. Mrs. Bruno, Ms. Larier keep up the good work. Your students may not tell you but they absolutely adore you. I am confident the skill aquired at Interamerican will only enchance her future education.

- submitted by a parent
March 03, 2008
i love this school. the bilingual program is amazing and has helped my child learn spanish and learn to love her culture.

- submitted by a parent
December 01, 2007
I took the time to read all of the reviews that were given about IAMS, and I must admit that they all have some truth in them. IAMS is definitely not a perfect school; however, it is a school that is constantly seeking improvement. Not to meet the needs of the teachers or those of the parents, but to meet the needs of the changing population of students that demand more day by day. If you would sit from the sidelines and watch a day at this school, you would be amazed to see a student body who rarely misbehaves, motivated teachers that are continuously seeking to improve the curriculum, but most of all a group of involved parents (sometimes too involved) that support the school's mission at all cause. You would see a caring environment that respects all cultures but most of all embraces its own.

- submitted by a community member
October 05, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2007
Inter-American can be a better school, if preparation became number 1. Here it is 1 1/2 weeks before school starts and no School Supply List. Everything is on sale now.

- submitted by a parent
August 03, 2007
I love Inter-American. Great curriculum, great teachers, and staff. The parent involvement at this school is phenomenal. My son has been attending IAMS since pre-school and I am very impressed at his continued progress both academically and socially. IAMS Rocks!

- submitted by a parent
no rating July 10, 2007
I am a former student of inter american magnet school (this was my last year). well, I hated moving into a new building, and I disliked some the new staff, but I love the fact that we now have more room. like most schools, I.A.M.S., was not perfect and there's some things that still need to be worked on. but overall, it was a good learning experience. it was more of a small private environment, so I got to know my peers really well. the teachers would provide individual attention for those who needed it and I got into the highschool of my choice, northside college prep. so I owe alot to inter american. I am proud to graduate from this school being a bilingual student. -

- submitted by a student
no rating July 10, 2007
I used to be a student at inter american magnet school. And i have to say it has been one of the best schools I have ever been to. The teachers there are great with their students they make sure they understand the work.

- submitted by a community member
June 30, 2007
IAMS has had two consecutive years(2006 & 2007) of the highest test score gains in the history of the school. We are at 85% in all areas. Over half of the 8th graders were accepted into the best selective high schools in the city. The school has contracted Dr. Sonia Soltero, a lead researcher in dual language to help teachers this summer strengthen the program. Two experienced lead teachers will be released to monitor and plan staff development for all teachers in the school.

- submitted by a parent
June 26, 2007
The long honored dual language program is GONE. More veteran teachers and students are leaving and IAMS is threatened with staff cuts that may drive classroom sizes up to 30 in certain grades. The acting principal must recruit teachers and students. She must maintain the class make-up of 50% Spanish-dominant and 50% english dominant speakers to maintain the necessary language proficiency that makes dual language work. The school may have a new building with nice art and mosaics but the core of the school, the dual language program is gone. Those staying are mostly new (teachers and admin.) and they don't get it.

- submitted by a parent
April 12, 2007
In 2006 IAMS moved to a new site in a building which has been completely renovated for our program. We have a beautiful auditorium, playground, library, science lab and next year we will have a computer room (presently we have laptops on a roving cart). In addition to academic instruction the children have art, music, gym, library and computer instruction. The dual-language program is still thriving with teachers and parents who are totally committed to the school's mission. The most important thing I can tell parents is to come and check it out for yourselves--I think you will be truly impressed. IAMS may be the only CPS school where every child enrolled is part of the Spanish dual-language program. IAMS has been around for many, many years and they get it!

- submitted by a parent
March 01, 2007
It used to be one of the best bilingual schools in Chicago; unfortunately some of the staff these days don't care anymore. A school that promotes multicultural respect can't afford such attitude.

- submitted by a parent
January 16, 2007
The school has gone a wonderful transformation, since its move from the last location. The school has teachers that truly want to be at Inter American. Parents are still active participants at the school. They received a beautiful auditorium and a well thought out play ground. Parents and students had a large input in the New Inter American at LeMoyne Campus. Wonderful school.

- submitted by a parent
December 18, 2006
I am not a parent at this school: I am an 8th grader at Inter American. I love my school, and I will be very sad to leave it. Actually, I feel like I have already left. Ever since the move to the new building and the hiring of many new teachers, it just doesn't feel the same any more. Now they have torn down the old building and with it all of the my past (It seems like) On a lighter note: I have learned so much from all of my teachers, and it is truly a wonderful gift to be bilingual.

- submitted by a student
November 29, 2006
It is true, this school took a blow when we lost our principal of 20 years, half our teachers and 20% of our student population left- and with them, a larger percentage of our parent volunteers. But InterAmerican is hanging in there, continuing all or most of the practices that made it such a great school in the first place. We have energetic new teachers continuing the dual language philosophy. This is a great school, a loving school and welcoming place. If you want your child s language skills to go to a high level in either Spanish or English, if you want to build their self esteem and pride in their heritage, their desire to help their fellow man, this is the school for you. Parents are welcome in the school and are partners in their children's education. And test scores continue to go up every year as well.

- submitted by a parent
June 18, 2006
Inter-American lost most of its extraordinary program when the principal who guided the school for over 20 yrs, retired last year. She was a beliver in the power of teachers and parents working hand on hand with the administration. Now all of that is becoming history.

- submitted by a parent
March 04, 2006
Our daughter is enrolled in the pre-k program and so far we are happy with our choice of cps schools. I have some concern as to the level to which she will be prepared for further education but it is too early to judge the school's ability to teach her. Parent involvement is very high at iams. I consider this a plus in many ways (community spirit, easy to monitor performance of the staff, etc) but it can lead to a sense of meddling by certain parents.

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2006
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- submitted by a student
December 26, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
December 07, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
December 05, 2005
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- submitted by a student
November 30, 2005
I belive this school is a wonderfull enviorment for children. The school teaches in a way most others dont. The focus on language is amaizing and rewarding for children. The school is a great place.

- submitted by a former student
October 21, 2005
The best school ever. Parents and teachers work together to provide the best education for our children.

- submitted by a parent
August 28, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
August 26, 2005
I actually was a student at Inter American for four years. I am now a college freshman and I have to say I still miss the school. The teachers are the nicest you will find, and the learning quality is great.Helpful teachers,friendly staff, and great students.The best thing about this school is that it has a great bilingual program.I highly reccomend this school, to anyone.

- submitted by a former student
May 27, 2005
Only send your child here if you don't care if the english language is the primary language of the usa. I am sick of math homework and assemblies conducted 100% in spanish! this school is a waste of tax dollars.

- submitted by a parent
February 15, 2005
We could not have found a better school in Chicago, in the country, or even on the planet!!! The teachers at Interamerican are truly the most dedicated and amazing I have ever seen. The school was founded by parents who wanted to create something new, different and wonderful for their children, and they did. Interamerican offers something no other school in the city offers -- a curriculum of the study of the Americas. It is also a dual language program, so the children not only learn a wonderful social studies curriculum of things about the original peoples of the Americas, but they learn it in Spanish!!! Additionally there is a strong sense of teaching children to be socially conscious and aware of what has happened in history, what goes on in the world today, and how they can apply socially conscious values to their everyday lives. Viva Interamericana!!! Long live Interamerican!!!

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2005
im not a parent i am a former student. i moved and did not get to graduate from this school. but believe me if you are considering sending someone to this school i recomend you do it because this school teaches your child how to speak spanish and that helps for better job oppotunities and get better pay in life. i loved it and i was sad when i left it so please consider it.

- submitted by a former student
June 10, 2004
great school and test scores. Parents and kids love it. Spanish-English duel language academy.

- submitted by a parent
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Inter-American Elementary Magnet School
851 West Waveland Avenue, Chicago, IL  60613
(773) 534-5490
Last modified Inter-American Elementary Magnet School is a Public school that serves grades PK-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 7 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Inter-American Elementary Magnet School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 70 reviews. Top