My kids are graduating 8th grade this year, and South Loop has done an excellent job preparing them for high school. They got into the schools they wanted (selective enrollment & charter) because of the education they received in the best school of the city!! :)
This school does not only compete victoriously against other CPS schools or other schools in the city, but against the best schools in the whole Chigagoland. It is a hidden gem in the heart of the city!
I love the Early Childcare program at South Loop. I love Mrs. B. You can tell she just enjoys her job teaching the children. Her two TA are awesome as well. I will miss them when my son goes to kindergarden next year.
Great community of involved caring parents, and energized, motivated teachers in the heart of the city.
South Loop staffs and teachers are very concerned about their students education. They care about their students like their own child. They programs are more advance then other neighborhood school.
Over the past three years or so this school has begun a decline that can be measured by the number of students transferring out, particularly from the gifted program. The very active and involved parent community can only do so much. With a competent principal, this school might be able to get back on its previous upward trajectory.
Have been very disappointed with this school. There is so much potential, but something is lacking. Nothing innovative, and no sense of the joy of learning among the students, particularly when compared with other schools. It may sound good on paper but the reality is quite different.
How can a school be anything more than average when no foreign language is offered? This is a very strange area in which to cut back in our global world. After school activities are nice, but they don't make up for lack of the basics (and are only available at additional cost to parents.)
Led by Ms. Shelton, SLES is showing kids from all socioeconomic backgrounds that they do matter and they do have it in them to succeed! How the staff learns all these kids' (and parents') names is beyond me, but they do!
I have three daughters at south Loop Elementary school, my oldest started in the preschool back in 2001. This school was almost shut down but then parents elected a new local school council and a new principal and the scores went up 85% and now they are overcrowded, a good problem! We love things like the South Loop Way - 'be safe, be respectful, be responsible.' We love Mr. Gabe, Mr. Mitch, Mr. Butler, Mrs. Pierce, Ms. Shelton, Ms. Townsend, Ms. Garcia...the list goes on and on of caring teachers and administrators. This is a very diverse school and the parent volunteers are incredible! Our daughters are being nurtured in both the accelerated and neighborhood programs. They added volleyball teams this year. We are already looking forward to the drama perfomance. Our oldest plays basketball and volleyball. Our middle daughter is a member of the cheerleading club. Our middle and youngest are getting piano lessons in after-school. We are hopeful that Spanish will be added back to the curriculum soon. They're doing the best they can with the limited funding in Illinois. We wouldn't want our girls anywhere else in the city!
South Loop is a great neighborhood school. The kids are getting a great education and have access to many extra curricular activities.
I love the spirit of community and respect at this school. We know the teachers, administrators, other parents and students -- not just our children's classmates, but kids from all the classes! It is wonderful.
The teachers, administration, student and parent community are top-notch. The school has improved greatly over the last 5 years and continues to do so!
After a few years of dissatisfaction with this school, I decided to try another CPS school for my child. Now I'm just sorry that I did not make the move sooner! Until this school gets a principal with vision and some intellectual depth, it will remain average at best.
My child only attended the kindergarten before we had to move due to job changes, but I would like to report that this school is definitely good, and truly excellent by CPS standards. We found that the other children and parents we met were the highest quality of people, and serious about education. The teaching staff was very professional and the school functioned well. It is, however, a CPS school, and when there are any problems, things can feel a little cold and institutional. I honestly don't know how anyone can expect more from the behemoth CPS, and I think any child would be fortunate to attend South Loop.
Although this school isn't as bad in the lower grades, you will see many parents transfer their children as they approach the middle school. It's sad, because this could be a wonderful neighborhood school, supported by a very active group of parents, but the emphasis is on the very superficial. No focus on curriculum, be it innovative or traditional. More attention is paid to a school dance for first graders than to a serious academic environment. Parents can only do so much when there is a lack of leadership and focus on what is important educationally.
I would not recommend this school unless you have no other options. The 'gifted' program is no more advanced than any other middle-class school. There is no real leadership or vision by the administration who seem more interested in obtaining 'partnerships' with corporate interests which do not seem to benefit the kids, but rather provide publicity for the corporate interests. There are a surprising number of disciplinary problems which have continued year after year and diminish the already brief school day. Curriculum does not appear to be well planned or organized, substitute teachers are frequent, and a huge amount of time is wasted on non-academics. It's too bad because there are a large number of very involved parents who give generously of their time and resources. Their efforts would be better used to find a principal who strives for academic excellence instead of mediocrity.
As a parent of an older student that has been at the school when it was just starting to make the change I can tell you there is no other school I would want my child at. My child has gotten the best education at South Loop. The staff cares so very much for the kids, the parents give their all for the school, and the kids come everyday and it is a fight to get them to go home. No school is perfect but we have found as close to perfect as we could. I would send my child to South Loop again if I had to do it all over again. I have seen other schools and I realize what is truly important in a school that my child feels safe, challenged mentally, and supported emotionally. We get this here and we get the 3 R's also.
After several years at this school I see many of the students in the upper grades moving out to different schools. Why? Lack of academic challenge (this is tue in both gifted and neighborhood classrooms), safety/behavioral concerns and lack of diversity. The school is changing most at the lower grade levels. The principal and front office staff have not changed at all-don't expect friendliness or warmth either toward parents or students. As you can tell by test scores they are getting the job done. You must decide if your unique child will fit in this transitioning environment.
I have been very pleased with quality of education and parent involvement. I agree one school does not fit all but most parents in the neighborhood are choosing to send their children here. Wish those that were angry would try to change it and not just complain.
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