I went to this school for 2 years (middle school) and it was just so-so. I had teachers ranging from good to awful (some making sure i'd succeed while others threatened to fail me for no reason). The atmosphere is slightly odd, and looking back I wasn't very happy there. There was a bullying problem in multiple classes that was not dealt with at all, the teachers and adults being completely unresponsive. Not the best school, could improve greatly with effort, communication, and a reevaluation of how things are done there.
After 5 years of my child at Pritzker and 20 years as a professional Educator I think I have a background qualified to "rate" this school. It is not a coincidence that their test scores have fallen consistently for the last 3 years. To this point my experience with the RGP has been disappointing. The bulk of the assessed work is being done at home. The standard of "Teach, Assess, Adjust" is unknown. The Admin. and Teachers commonly blame the students for problems. "How could whole gifted classes be a problem? I ask." For a parent and professional Educator to be disappointed in a gifted program that should tell you how severe the quality of the regular program is. The responsibility falls on the Admin. and their lacking leadership and integrity. I leave off with one word, Charade!
There are many anonymous complaints about the school and I have heard negative things about the Spanish teacher on other forums. However I disagree and think she is doing an excellent job with my son's Spanish development. He was having trouble earlier and it would be easy to blame her but I found that he was not putting the effort forward in class, forgetting to bring homework home and we as parents were not working with him. Fortunately there is Spanish spoken in my home so perhaps it is easier but I still will not blame the teacher. Edward Reagan parent
I have children in both programs at Pritzker and both are so happy. The fine arts classes are amazing, and rare at an elementary school these days. The music, art, drama, and dance teachers are amazing. All the homeroom teachers we've had have been dedicated and thoughtful. They take great care with the children and have balanced the different learning styles among the kids. The student population is more economically and racially diverse than most CPS schools. The Library and science lab are new. The technology lab is being reahabbed next. There is full A/C, many wonderful extracurricular activities, and many very involved parents. Every school has weak spots and Pritzker is no exception. There is friction between the parents of the two programs. Each side feels the other gets more attention. The administration can be slow to react to issues, often because it is trying not to exacerbate this friction. I've heard a lot of complaints about the Spanish teacher's ability to run a class and my child in Spanish does hate it. I wish that were different. Overall this is a great school and we are as happy as our children.
This is our third year at Pritzker and we are very happy there. Pritzker has an outstanding arts programming with amazing art and music teachers. They offer drama and dance to all ages. My child started at Pritzker in the 1st grade and we felt immediately welcomed by the community. This is also one of the truly diverse schools in the city and that is one of its assets. The front desk staff I have always found to be helpful. They know my child by name and know what classroom she is in without having to ask. Once, when my child forgot her lunch at home, the front desk staff went down to the lunchroom to make sure she took a hot lunch even though she did not have any lunch money with her. The parents have done amazing things at this school, including a recent library renovation, upgrading the auditorium sound system, purchasing an ipad cart and more. The school does 1-2 musicals every year which include all the children who want to participate. The PTO sponsors great activities, the highlight of which is Science Night which included viewing solar flares through a telescope. The teachers are great and really dedicated to the students.
This is my son's 2nd year . He had a wonderful teacher last year. I can only say positive things as I have an older son and have noticed the difference in learning . I see quite a lot of parents actively involved in the school. This to me means a lot. I hope that this school continues success .
As a parent who was involved with this school for over 3 years I am not shocked by the bad reviews of Pritzker! My daughter attended the fine arts program and I was shocked by the fact that there was very little supervision, bullying, yelling at students, unsupervised lunch and recess ( I became a volunteer because I was extremely concerned). The front desk staff and administration are rude, unwilling to answer/ address important questions about the level of violence/ bullying (yes! There is a lot of bullying and any parent/ person who says there isn't is a sorely mistaken!). If a parent raises concerns/ is too vocal about the problems in the classroom the administration blames the teacher or the parent raising concerns. I'm honestly not sure how someone could give this school a great review?? I wasn't impressed with my child's home room teacher ( music and art teachers where ok). I really wish I would have had a chance to observe the classroom/lunch/recess before we enrolled our daughter!
My children attend this school and have are in both tracks (fine arts and options) for several years now. They are both very happy with the school. Fine Arts opportunties are exceptional and available to ALL students, in all programs. Parent groups are open to ALL parents of all backgrounds and all parents are strongly encouraged to get involved with the school in any way they wish! No one is excluded. I The accusations of constant violence and bullying have not been our experience at Pritzker at all. Though of course statistics cannot speak to individual student's experience, those researching the school might want to check out the 5Essentials survey (completed by students and teachers, and developed by The University of Chicago Urban Education Institute. This survey has a lot of objective statistics and information on CPS schools. Pritzker's safety ratings (bullying, safe environment) were very strong, and well above CPS average. You can find out this and much more data about the school at the CPS survey link https://cps.5-essentials.org/2012/s/610229/measures/safe/
Pritzker school has awesome primary staff ( I would give this program five stars) and ancillary teachers and is an incredibly diverse school racially, and economically. One of the reasons our family chose this school. It has an incredible fine art program, with art and music full time teachers with a middle school student ability to focus on one area of the arts (drama, art, dance, band or keyboard classes). That is most positive thing about the Fine Arts middle school. Academically speaking, if your child can gain acceptance into an Academic Center, run don't walk away from the middle school program. With the exception of only three or four of the middle school teachers, these teachers can be extremely unprofessional in the classroom; bully, bait, curse and shame students while the admin looks the other way. Events happen at this school due to parent volunteers who organize and have hands in or run activities. Some parents have too much control given by the admin and exclude those who do not belong in the same tax bracket or ethnicity. Office staff is often uninformed or rude, esp if English is not your native language. Our family is glad to have left this school this year.
All those glitters is not gold. Music, art, spanish, dance, and theatre for the children is a promise. Principal does not know how to run a school with foresight. There are severe problems that leak into the education. Ex: The school went 2 semesters without a Spanish teacher so the kids had Spanish scheduled and were not taught Spanish. After years of Spanish my child could not even say, "My name is __." in Spanish. Principal is very good at shifting blame. Spanish teachers fault. Teachers cannot teach because the school won't uphold a basic level of behavior standards. I have heard things like, "that is just a bad class" which, again, the blame is shifted. Since when does an administrator get to blame the kids for running things? Children's fault. Do not try to discuss anything with the principal, she is always "meeting a deadline" and expects your children to communicate school activities with you. She will criticize you when you go in to clarify the disturbing things that your child reports for taking the word of a child. This school is pushing hard to fill slots, so ask yourself, if it is such a great school, why do they have so many openings so often? I volunteered often Ed.
My child is in his 3rd year in the options program. Largely I have been impressed with the quality of the teachers, some are phenomenal. We had some issues with bullying, but I was vociferous about the issue and it is resolved. The school has an amazing fine arts program -- the music and dance programs are exceptional. The choice program is adequately challenging but yes, class sizes are large (32). There is a great group of dedicated parents who are making improvements and fundraising. The weak link is the administration, particularly the principal. Pritzker is poised for a renaissance, but it needs a visionary to build a strong coalition of parents and faculty, not just a "manager". My child is happy there and loves his teachers, but I do agree the administration tends to be "reactive", not "proactive. I believe this will change in the near term. In the meantime, other parents that I know whose children are there are very pleased with the school. Pritzker contains an "options" program, a magnet program and a neighborhood program. It is a very diverse community, which I find valuable.
I am very happy with the progress my kids ae making. I was a bit apprehensive when I had to split them in to both programs RGC/FineArts. The teachers have made all the difference and the administration worked hard after the strike to do more with less. Now that we have the recess aides things have gotten better. Lunchroom atmosphere could be better, but I can honestly say it was about the same 30 years ago when I was a kid. I highly recommend the school.
This is my daughters first year here and at First i was very excited. I was looking forward to a rigurous curriculum and many after school activities to stimulate my child. She will be not attending this school next year.. One day she came home with a huge not on her head and the school failed to call me.. which is a huge laibility.. when i called the nurse she said that they had recorded my number being called but i carry my cell phone with me at all times and never received a call.. when i toldthe nurse that my daughter said that he did not even receive an ice pack but instead a wet paper towel to apply to her wound.. the nurse said " oh well thats because we are out..do you know how many kids get a injures a day"... are you serious.. also there was a boy who bullies my daughter and has ripped her luncg tray and thrown it away and etc.. when my daughter finally stood up to the bully because obviously the staff and monitors were unconcerened.. my daughter was given a wriiten misconduct...and yes sometimes the staff can be a bit rude..I pay so much to transport her to and from school and I am finding its not worth the extra stuggle...
My child had transfer to this school from a private school setting. Up too transferring him to this school he did exceptionally well. My child has lost interest in school and his teachers do not care to get it back. It took close to two months to get a meeting with his teachers. When I approached the school case manager she felt it was not her responsibility only the teachers. I didnt feel that I was supported by the staff at all. I feel its not fair for my child that here he has a parent that is very interested in his education and we were not getting the support we needed. May I add that I had to contact the assistant principle twice. Finally my child is getting back on track but I agree with a previous parent when your child is not in the gifted program it appears the average child does not get the support and they get lost in the system.
There is potential here but this school is far too uneven to receive high ratings. There are kids who do well here, but too many don't. For a gifted school, they are pretty bad at understanding truly gifted children. Kids who are smart, quiet and do fine with a lot of sitting/teacher lead instruction and testing will do fine. Everyone else... It's a roll of the dice. Administration is checked out, although that may improve as a few high profile parents put their children here. There is a dedicated and really wonderful group of parents who are a huge asset to the school, but their efforts are too often ignored or undermined by administration. We were here for two years before pulling our child out. The difference in this child in the new school is remarkable -a truly different and now happy and challenged child who is enjoying learning. The school may be on the upswing but it has a very long way to go and it's hard to justify having your child there while they figure it out or someone figures out how to get the LSC to do something about the principal. Now experiencing what a good school looks like at our new school I can definitely say you and do much, much better than Pritzker.
I am giving the school five stars but I am basing my rating on our child's class alone. We are lucky enough to have gotten into the RGC so the other students in our child's class create a challenging environment that our kid thrives in. The teachers have been hit or miss. Some of them have been great. The others have been lazy or just downright slow. But again it is tough for a child to do poorly when the class s full of bright kids. Now the worst part of attending Pritzker has got to be dealing with the principal and her staff. I have seen her bully parents, scream at entire classes of kids when one kid was doing something wrong. If you have ever attended an LSC meeting it is almost comical how much Dr Reese just ignores rules and does whatever she wants. It is just really horrible and there is nothing anyone can do about it as CPS has bigger problems than a bully principal. But then...how long will she really be there. Hopefully we get a new principal soon who installs an entirely new office staff. The current staff puts forward the least professional environment possible.
Every CPS School has challenges. True but If a child is being harassed by teachers due to a conflict with a parent, his/her educational needs are not being met. Visit the school...you will not see all those great things that the parent below described unless your child is in the gifted program. Pritzker School does not care about the below-average students. My daughter was humiliated two years ago at this school. I transferred her out and she is doing very well.
My family is entering it's 4th year at Pritzker and our teaching staff is excellent overall. A few examples: our music teacher recently completed her doctorate from Northwestern University -- our art teacher has an MFA from University of Chicago. Pritzker works hard to find ways to challenge students academically -- and integrates the arts into the core curriculum. A student's Fine and Performing Arts experience includes Art, Music, Dance, Drama, School Musicals and recently, a Visiting Artists program and Poetry have been added to the standard subjects. After and before school programs on campus have doubled this year! Many things make the school UNIQUE: A climbing wall in the gymnasium, Computer Labs/Internet Access, an Illinois Prairie & Fine Arts Garden, our On Site Pottery Kiln, a Library, Mobile iMac & iPad Computer Labs, a 400 seat Performing Arts Auditorium, a newly renovated Science Lab, a Festival of the Arts and a winning Stock Market Club. Every CPS school faces challenges. I am enthusiastic about the growing support Pritzker receives from the parent community and the Wicker Park neighborhood. Our potential is incredible.
I would not send my child to Pritzker School. The staff is very uncaring if you are not part of the cliche. My child's academic needs were not met at te school. The administration can be rude sometimes about voicing your concerns.. the middle school programs need to be revamped to meet the mathematical needs of middle school students.
Pritzker is a great school!! If you would like to find out more and talk to a variety of parents...Join us for Popsicle Pop-Ins on Saturday July 21st from 10 to 11 and Saturday August 18th 10 to 11 on the school playground (Evergreen). We all work together to make it work.
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