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PK-6
Public district
Chicago, IL
Students enrolled: 643
Before care: No
 

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5631 South Kimbark Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

(773) 535-0970
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Map of Ray Elementary School address.
Develops empathy: Strongly agree
May 29, 2015
The administration and teachers have been actively working to treat students and each other with respect, create positive behaviour expectations and use restorative justice.

- submitted by a parent

May 29, 2015
Both my children love Ray school. I do too. The teachers are strong and make learning fun and engaging to the kids. My high energy children energize and are energized by group learning, projects, songs and great friends. I love the hour after school where kids are playing in the area surrounding the school. The diversity is great. The principal and ap are both stellar and and work hard strengthen the teachers and the school.

- submitted by a parent

March 30, 2015
After a real struggle with poor interrim principals etc. in the past two years, Ray is now again the fantastic school that it used to be when my oldest daughter first went to Ray kindergarten in 2009. Our children, now in 1st, 4th, and 5th grade, all love going to school, an accomplishment of great teachers that work in a stimulating environment. We owe this to our new principal, Megan Thole, who restored all the things that the children, and the parents, appreciated so much about Ray, including: *) diverse curriculum that is NOT teach-to-the-test based, *) appreciation of physical activity during recess and PE and play-based education in younger grades, *) differentiated learing (walk to math, walk to reading), *) spanish, *) involvement of University of Chicago volunteers (tutors etc.), *) childrens' choir, and *) many many more great things...

- submitted by a parent

March 24, 2015
Ray Elementary has a rich environment for academic, social and cultural learning. It is truly an amazing place to become learning partners with people from all over the world and all the various demographic groups in Chicago as well. The diversity strength is also a challenge...how to unify the school and meet all the various needs? The teachers are incredible and the administration has renewed energy to take on the tough issues that face Chicago Public Schools. Many parents are involved in various volunteer capacities to help guide positive change.

- submitted by a parent

March 23, 2015
Ray is on the right path in 2015! After a few difficult years under a couple of less than stellar principals, the school is finally on the right track! Principal Megan Thole and Assistant Principal Gayle Neely are terrific leaders and are working overtime to return to Ray to its former excellence. We have had wonderful and dedicated teachers all along, but no guidance at the top. With the new administration, we have seen a surge in parent enthusiasm and involvement and the atmosphere of cooperation in the building is evident. Teachers are happy. Students are better behaved. We've increased physical education time and arts instruction. We are among a minority of schools in CPS that still has a librarian. My son's special classes include Spanish, art, music, library and PE. Ray also has incredible before and after school programming, including Chicago Children's Choir, robotics, coding club, ArtShould (a U of C student-led arts enrichment program), chess, athletics, Lango, dance, Ray Progressive Ensemble and more! Last but not least, Ray School offers your child the opportunity to interact with a truly diverse community of students. Come to Ray! You will love our school.

- submitted by a parent

June 01, 2014
This year this school is a joke! Classroom management bad, some of the teachers is terrible, and the principle worth of them all.

- submitted by a parent

March 22, 2014
This school is the worst school since 2010. The principal do not care less about the special education students. Please think again about sending your child to this school

- submitted by a parent

February 18, 2014
Preschool is going well for my twins, love to teachers! Communuication efforts have been awesome.

- submitted by a parent

September 16, 2013
While we ended up not having the pre-K program here as planned, I wanted to say a few good words about Ray's new principal. She was completely communicative, considerate, and proactive during the process of determining what might have to the tuition based pre_k. She went out of her way to return multiple phone calls, reach out via email, and get info from CPS admin for parents. I was VERY impressed with her engagement for parents.

- submitted by a parent

July 07, 2013
I cannot believe that more parents have not posted poor ratings for this school. My child never felt that any of the adults at the school cared about the children.. My child suffered greatly academically but received high grades, possibly because there was such little expectation for the students in terms of growh and capabilities. There were practically NO hands on projects, material in language class was too advanced for younger children, and the librarian showed too many movies. The new leadership's plan to crack the whip academically does not include a plan for nurturing children, fostering a love for learning, and creating an environment where children will feel that they have a voice. I think the school is a disgrace. As in most schools, it's possible to luck up and get a good teacher here and there, but even they are stressed and barely able to focus on reaching each child in the class. If you have other choices, definitely try them before Ray. Also, NOT a nurturing environment for black children...boys in particular.

- submitted by a parent

January 21, 2013
My daughter is currently in the 6th grade and has been at Ray school since she was in 1st grade. Her first 4 years at the school were excellent - not perfect - but on par with any strong elementary school in the country. This exprience significantly changed when a new principal was hired for the 2011-2012 school year. The administration initially appeared to be energetic, visionary and intelligent. However, it was clear that her "visionary" goals for the school lacked planning, funds and overall competency. The principal has become a divisive figure in the school and the now defunct Ray University has nearly exhausted all school funds. Teachers report significant discontent to LSC and CPS board members and parents feel unwelcomed in the school. My strong hope is that a new administration will be able to lead the school back to previous strength and parents and students who left because of the poor leadership will consider returning to the school. Otherwise, I do believe that the school will continue to decline

- submitted by a parent

January 17, 2013
The new administration is completely incompetent. There are so many problems allover,but especially in the higher grades. The new measures of security are laughable because there only recently has been action to make sure the students are supervised at ALL times. Many parents do not feel welcome. much work needs to be done or this school will absolutely end up on probation.

- submitted by a parent

December 27, 2012
This school suffers academically and many of the teachers lack professionalism and character and are bad role models for students. The 2012 test scores for the most part went down considerably which is a reflection of the teachers ability to teach the children. Perhaps more focus should be on the classroom and not so much on recess.

- submitted by a parent

June 01, 2012
Ray School has had stagnant scores in the ISAT and NWEA for the past year. It is due to the majority of students that transfer out at the 3rd, 4th grades. And as for the ESL population, Ray School has a very small number of these students. It is a known fact within the department of Language and Culture. I wish parents would look ay data before posting such uninformed remarks

- submitted by a teacher

May 21, 2012
I have two kids at Ray and I've been pleasantly surprised with the school, despite my initial reservations. The new principal, Dr. Tatia Beckwith, is wonderful, an exceptional leader. I really think she's moving this school in a great direction. As for those who don't understand why it's rated a 5, the school has a large population of ESL students, which I think affects the scores, but the principal has been implementing great programs to address so many needs and issues, I think we'll be seeing some great improvements in the coming years.

- submitted by a parent

October 12, 2011
Ray is a school with a diverse (racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically) student population, a dedicated professional staff, and a determined new Principal. Class sizes can be big but somehow the amazing teachers make it work. Ray has always had recess because the teachers have supported a longer school day which includes recess -- the new Principal has renamed recess "Brain Boost" because she understands the importance of recess for student learning. There is strong parent involvement at Ray. If you want a democratic and diverse school and you can deal with the challenges Chicago Public schools face, consider Ray. Ray families are great!

- submitted by a parent

September 06, 2011
I don't really understand how do parents rank a school with 5/5 stars when the test scores are so average.... Ray school is on the campus of Univ. of Chicago. It should be doing at least a 8/10. I don't think some of the parents are aware or they are just fake reviews. There is a new principal so we will see. THe review I am giving is for 2010-2011 school year. THis is a new year so we will see.

- submitted by a parent

May 14, 2011
A great school has cooperation, collaboration and a strong sense of community. From the outside, Ray looks like it does, but it doesn't. The discipline problems in the upper grades are persistent. The staff has a few outstanding teachers, but the remaining are extremely rude and unprofessional. This new principal does have great challenges ahead of her.

- submitted by a parent

May 12, 2011
I have been so impressed by Ray Elementary. I couldn't ask for more in a neighborhood school. I love that my daughters go to school with kids in their own neighborhood. The classes are incredibly diverse, with children from all over the world. Their teachers are excellent, I can't imagine they could be better at a private school. Discipline is positive, and the teachers have independently chosen to stay longer in order to allow the children to have recess. Field trips are just often enough and not only fun but very educational and various. The administration is friendly and open to parental input. We've never had an issue abuot safety, either. We love Ray!

- submitted by a parent

May 12, 2011
I have been a parent in this school for the last 4 years, and I am convinced that this school is far away above the average. If the class size is not small (30 children average), classrooms are big enough to hold the actual groups. Teachers are really good professionals, from a wide ethnical and cultural diversity, as well as the students. This school is located into the University of Chicago Campus, and try to attend children from student parents at uchicago, but most of the university buildings for families are located outside the boundaries of Ray school district, this is something to be taken in count. Children Behavior at the school is very good, few disruptive events are well controlled.

- submitted by a parent

May 12, 2011
My daughter went to Ray School from the 2nd to the 5th grade. She had great teachers while she was there, and her social system revolved around smart kids who were working hard in school. In sixth grade we moved to the western suburbs (Glenbard) and my daughter started middle school. Teachers seemed less motivated, and social groups revolved more around appearance and popularity than academics. I can highly recommend Ray School. You can get a great education there. Also, Ray is one of the few schools left in the city with recess! Kids can go out on to the playground and play instead of just sitting in their classrooms during their breaks.

- submitted by a parent

April 23, 2011
BTW Ray used to go up to 8th grade for the person who did not know that.

- submitted by a parent

March 09, 2011
I am very familiar with Ray, though no longer a parent. The quality of teaching in all grades is very high. The atmosphere of the school is outstanding with little commotion in the halls and very little fighting. Students play together well, an have the opportunity to do so because the school still has recesses. My son went there from 1st through 8th grades. That was long ago but I would be happy to have a grandson there today. The principal is certainly good. I have never figured out why many parents do not like her. Their experiences must be very different from mine.

- submitted by a community member

March 07, 2011
The teachers are good upt to about 3rd grade. Then a lot of things seem to fall off. There are a lot of cliques and parents who seem to be "in the know." If they do not consider you a part of the crowd, you and the child will have a lonely existence outside of the "neighborhood" school. The administration has been terrible the 4 years we have been there. If you have a child who has any challenges or concerns, send them elsewhere! A big disappointment!

- submitted by a parent

June 18, 2010
My child just finished the tuition based pre-school program at Ray and he loved the program and learned a lot. The teachers of the program are very caring and innovative, and really make the concepts that they are teaching come to life for the kids.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
September 16, 2009
Our son attended the school. The teachers and the principal were interested in the students, and created an enviornment conducive for learning.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
November 06, 2008
My daughter just started Kindergarten at Ray, and my wife and brother-in-law attended Ray as kids. So far, Ray has exceeded my expectations. My daughter enjoys attending school and has made friends quickly and easily in spite of being shy by nature. My wife wishes things at Ray were a little better organized but is satisfied with the academics and learning environment. So far I'm very happy with Ray. Even if I could afford to send my daughter to lab, I'd save the money for college. The combination of good academics with a uniquely rich multicultural environment make Ray a better choice than many of Chicago's homogeneous private schools.

- submitted by a parent

June 09, 2008
I find the teachers at Ray innovative and caring and they welcome parent involvement. We loved the diversity at Ray and found the school and parents very welcoming.

- submitted by a parent

June 02, 2008
I have been extremely disappointed with Ray. I am amazed at how teachers seem to be so uncaring and only concerned with their own welfare. Many decisions that are made are not made in the best interest of students. The PTA is the worst I've seen anywhere! I would not recommend Ray for parents who really care about their child's education.

- submitted by a parent

October 16, 2007
Ray school is a part of the Hyde Park community. The parent involvement make this one of the richest schools on Chicago's south side. The learn-through-play curriculum supports social and academic growth. The diverse student body is almost one of a kind in district 229. The principal has great vision and is cooperative.

- submitted by a parent

November 18, 2006
this school is okay my child learned a lot in it. The teachers are nice and encourage my child to learn. Most of the kids are well mannered and the school is really diverse. All the worried parents should know this is the best school in hyde park

- submitted by a parent

September 22, 2006
Ray is a wonderful school in many ways -- the diversity is great, most of the teachers are very good, and the programs offered are high quality. It is great to have Spanish taught at every grade level, Latin for all 2nd grade students and available for grades 3rd through 6th. The music program and the music teacher are good, but Ray needs an art teacher, a theater teacher, or a dance teacher. Ray does lack a lot of extracurricular programs that exist at other schools - there should be more sports teams for all grade levels, not just the upper grades. There should be a drama club and a choir. Overall my two children are having a good experience, but they both could be more challenged academically.

- submitted by a parent

January 30, 2006
Ray School has a great diversity of students and families, which makes it such a wonderful school but still needs a lot of improvement with discipline and better treatment with students. It needs an art teacher and consistency with substitute teachers. Parent involvement could be better but always has great families doing great things for the school! Excellent Latin program and great third grade team! Primary grades have great Spanish classes but it worsens by intermediate and upper grades. AR program really works at Ray and is a plus!

- submitted by a parent

September 27, 2005
The learning environment appears to lack creativity and innovative energy. The teaching staff seems very complacent in their attitudes toward teaching and nurturing young minds. No enthusiasm.

- submitted by a parent

September 09, 2005
Ray is an excellent school with a strong academic program. Reading is strongly emphasized. The teachers really care about the students. They work with the children when they see a child having a problem. Parental involvement is incredible. My children are being challenged, which I appreciate greatly. They have various extracurricular activities to choose from. My kids are very happy there.

- submitted by a parent

August 29, 2005
Ray provided a quality education for a public institution. I think the students can compete sucessfully with many of the private schools.

- submitted by a parent

August 25, 2005
great spanish program for 1st grade - 6th grade, excellent staff.

- submitted by a parent

March 07, 2004
Ray is a multicultural school that truely balances the needs of the multiple communities that it serves. Each of my three children have different personalities and learning styles and Ray has found a way to meet the needs of each. Cydney Fields deserves a president's medal of honor, when we get the right president -- one who abolishes no-child left behind, which only ads a layer of bureaucracy without funding. Ray does not teach to the test, however our kids have all tested above average to exceptional. Ray is what every American school should be.

- submitted by a parent

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Last modified: May 31, 2015

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Ray Elementary School
5631 South Kimbark Avenue, Chicago, IL  60637
(773) 535-0970
Last modified Ray Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades PK-6. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 5 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Ray Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 50 reviews. Top