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330 West Webster Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614

School website
(773) 353-3000
(773) 549-4669
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Map of Francis W Parker School address.

February 03, 2015
I'm an alumnus. Francis Parker is the school for legends in their own mind. Parker had one National Merit scholar in each of the past two years. A selective enrollment Chicago Public School has about a dozen. At Parker, everybody thinks they're great, but standards are not particularly high. You can pay $40,000 a year for this, or you can get it for free at Chicago Public Schools. A bonus of the free version is diversity.

- submitted by a community member

January 31, 2015
I am a former student of Parker that was only there for a few years, but it did leave a lasting impression on me. If you are looking to go to a school with diverse people and an atmosphere in which you feel that you will be accepted no matter who you are, then Parker is not for you. If you are one of the elite in the world (white and rich) then by all means go to Parker. The tuition fee rivals that of some colleges. They pass it off as about 32,000 but in reality it is about 42,000. They make you give a mandatory donation, which, by the way, is the exact opposite of the meaning of donation. For the time I was there, there were about 7 kids in a grade of 72 that were not white, including me. And actually, that was a high demographic for the rest of the school which was about 99% white and rich. The kids there are very sheltered and have very limited knowledge of actual hardship and is very hard for them to accept anyone who is different from them. The curriculum is fairly decent but everyone there has a massive ego and acts with absolute superiority. Overall, this school is not that great. There is no diversity and shelters kids so they have no idea what the real world is like.

- submitted by a community member

December 29, 2014
As a 7th Grade student at Francis W. Parker, I am here to agree with every superlative that you have heard about Parker's educational experience. I commenced attending Parker fairly recently and the insults about it "not being academically satisfying" or "too cosy" are false. The alumni have attended prestigious universities like Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University along with smaller liberal arts colleges like Haverford, Amherst, Wesleyan, etc. Parker also offers clubs that other school do not have like Model UN, Astrophysics, Musicals, Wind Ensemble, Pop Vocal Ensemble, Private Instrument Classes, Jazz Band, Orchestra and Coding. From Middle School to Upper School, students are required to take either "Band" or "Choir". In band, you initially select an instrument of your choice after testing all of them and learn that instrument for the rest of the time, unless you decide later on to switch to "Choir" or switch instruments. The instruments include: flute, trombone, trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, tuba, baritone and percussion. Parker is known for giving both an academic and an arts oriented education.

- submitted by a student

August 24, 2014
I commenced my Parker experience in 6th Grade and I was fortunate to be part of a diverse and connective community. The school offers a variety of clubs and electives and provides state of the art facilities. I am just about to commence my 7th grade year and can't explain the bond I developed with the Parker community in a year. The abstract learning that is taught at school takes the students into different approaches. I love to support Parker by doing athletics. I loved to play soccer and basketball, athletics was a great way to simultaneously bond with your classmates and support your school. The school offers theater and other essential arts. There are many school plays that are performed throughout the year. Parker teaches many music classes. You are primarily given a choice of band or choir. In band, you rent an instrument and primarily perform twice throughout the year. I have family legacy at Parker (3rd generation) and the contagious passion that has ran through the school since my first relative commences his Parker experience is nothing short of remarkable. The energy and enthusiasm displayed every day is great. Parker is a second home, even for the alumni.

- submitted by a community member

March 27, 2014
I love my school. I came to Parker a couple years ago and love the school. I think that the teachers are super kind but also really good at their job. I like how relaxed everything while also making you want to learn. I think that there should be more diversity because there are really only two classes of wealthy: the super rich and the kids with scholerships. There would be more middle class if the tuition is lower. Aside from that it is a great learning environment with great people. Everyone thinks that at Parker everyone is friends, but there are actually the popular kids and things like that. It is definitely not as bad at Parker because everyone is still really nice to each other for the most part. I think that there are these cliques because the more popular people tend to be filthy rich and can just do whatever they want.

- submitted by a community member

May 16, 2011
An amazing school. I was initially a bit suspicious about the concept of progressive education -- having enrolled and excelled at a highly competitive "academic pressure-cooker" of a high school myself (and enjoying that experience) -- and found the Parker community a bit too warm-and-fuzzy for my taste. But I can see how it has transformed my child from a shy and reserved person to a vibrant, animated, creative thinker. She loves school and her friends, and she has made very deep connections with her teachers. College placement appears to be excellent (and, trust me, I'm picky about this). The students themselves are very polite, respectful, confident and seem to possess an unusually high emotional intelligence which carries through into their learning. All in all, a great school -- and I'm not easily impressed. Pros: Strong emphasis on writing and public speaking (most schools wrongly assume public speaking should be "extra curricular" -- Parker is the only school in the city to get this right) Cons: pressure to donate, the occasional trust fund parent trying to the soften the curriculum (attempts are unsuccessful, thanks to the rise in # of "tiger parents" in lower school)

- submitted by a parent

September 16, 2010
It's interesting reading the past two reviews. I graduated from Parker several years back. I was an ok student -- mostly Bs in a mixture of regular and advanced classes. I did not get into any IVY's, but I did get waitlisted at Northwestern. Hope that helps. And, yes, those boarding schools that were mentioned are more selective, but that may be because they attract a national/international audience.

- submitted by a community member

April 13, 2010
To the reviewer below me: any relatively capable kid at Parker who is even remotely focused on their academics *IS* heading to an Ivy League level college *IF* that is the path they want to take. I personally- did want to go Ivy League. Despite the fact that I was focused on sports more than academics (I had only a 3.3 GPA), I got into an Ivy (my SAT's were only 1440). Anyone who at least does their HW and can get B's in advanced classes (which is easy), will get into Ivy League if they want. If the student in question is not smart enough to get a decent score on their SATs then they SHOULD NOT go Ivy League because they will not enjoy themselves. Parker affords ambitious students to maintain a balance in their lives and STILL get into top Universities.

- submitted by a community member

January 11, 2010
Our daughter is enrolled in the Lower School. Unlike most kids who got in based on alumni and sibling connections, she got in based on merit. The school grounds are nice and the teaching quality is very good. However, there ought to be more diversity. And, the quality of the students, while strong, could reach the exceptional level of Exeter/Andover/Groton-types if FWP could make more room for merit-based enrollment. The vast majority of these kids (unlike the student body of those East Coast private schools) are not heading to Ivy League-calliber colleges.

- submitted by a parent

May 16, 2009
a great k-12 school. although it lacks diversity, it has a very progressive atmosphere. Teachers and students have great relationships throughout your Francis Parker experience. I have teachers I remember from lower school that I still know and say hi to. Parker also does a great job with combining the high school, middle school, and lower school. Parker also has a lovely assembly every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday where all students are brought together to see a speaker or student put on what we call a Morning Ex. Overall Parker has a very unique teaching style that can create, not only intelligent students, but great people.

- submitted by a student
no rating
March 06, 2009
As a parent of a couple Parker children I too agree that the education is good - but is it worth $25,00 a year per child with a need to give $2500 more per child (donation) annually - NO! The pressure to give give give is insane. And the demands to do do in this rough economy is disturbing. The tuition soars each year minimum of 6% with the care or end in sight. The principal has no concerns about where parents will find this extra money to pay.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
March 04, 2009
As a parent of a child at Parker, new parents have a right to a more balanced view of the school than the brochure-postings placed previously. Yes, the education is great but not the best - I have visited other private schools to check out the competition - others are good too. Parker also comes at a price. Parents have to constantly 'jump hoops' to stay part of the 'community'. There is a constant pressure to be active in the 'community', to constantly donate to various fund-raising efforts. Every week, there are requests for donations. There is also the indoctrination of both kids and parents that I find mildly disturbing - that there is nowhere like Parker, no where is as good, no where as wonderful. An almost mindless ra-ra-ra of self-congratulation that we have attained nirvana. Come on - we all need to get real.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
August 30, 2008
i love my school. it is a great open,relaxed atmosphere. the classes are great, the teachers are fun. And i am truly excited to going to school and learning.

- submitted by a student

April 17, 2007
Throughout their time at Parker my children have been challenged to maximize their potential. Academic discipline coupled with engagement in the curricula motivates them to achieve a depth of understanding far exceeding grade level expectations. Not insignificant to their education is the daily work of the Parker community in building character and citizenship in students. Alumni remain engaged and open worlds to current students. Faculty is accessible and accomplished. They really know who your child is and how they learn! My children have become skilled communicators and agile thinkers at Parker. Parents are a strong presence. Volunteer opportunities abound. As a parent, that is how you see firsthand the Parker educational values at work! Outstanding!

- submitted by a parent

May 11, 2006
My child was a student at this school for more than two years. In my opinoin the school was focused on issues they could not control. As an example, some feel that a child should not have a television in his/her bedroom. Well that decision is the decision of the parent not school administrators. The school attempts to control what happens outside of 330 W. Webster and it is not their right or decision to make. The schools focus should be on educating the child especially when the child is a good kid that is not disruptive or malice.

- submitted by a parent

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Last modified: February 03, 2015

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Francis W Parker School
330 West Webster Avenue, Chicago, IL  60614
(773) 353-3000
Last modified Francis W Parker School is a Private school that serves grades PK-12
Francis W Parker School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 15 reviews. Top