My daughter is a freshman and absolutely loves it here. It's a very open and creative environment. The kids definitely get the chance to express themselves, but never overboard. I was initially concerned that my daughter would have trouble adjusting as she comes from a catholic school environment. But thanks to their freshman transition program, she is adjusting very nicely. As for the work, she finds it to be challenging but she is doing very well so far. As a new parent, I also like that they have a very large and engaged parent network. I was able to quickly become involved. Overall, we are loving this school!
I was told that they would have 3 - 4 hours of work each night. That doesn't seem to be the case with my student. She seems to be finished in about 2 hours So, yes, I do think they should increase it. (sorry kids!)
I vacillate on the quality of this school. Having children at both Payton and Northside gives me insight into each. Both schools have unique pluses and minuses. Northside has some excellent teachers, and truly an amazing art and music department that positively affects all other disciplines. Where it really suffers is in college counseling. Parents should be throughly prepared to do 99% of the research and work themselves. The staff is overwhelmed, under qualified, and most unfortunately, often uncaring. The lengths we had go to to get information, recommendations, and transcripts delivered on time and with accuracy were crazy. Our child got into her first choice and several other fine schools, however, having been through the process at Payton, I know it did not have to be such a truly awful process. Up through junior year, I would have given Northside 4 stars, but the college office staff really soured our experience. Parents, do the work yourselves the staff doesn't know your child and they're willing to settle for almost any college.
Teacher's are not very good. Staff is very unhelpful. If you want to go to northside you better be prepared to teach yourself all 4 years because teachers won't teach you anything but expect you to just know it. Not a very collaborative school and its only number 1 because it takes the best kids in the city.
We attended the open house at Northside and were very disappointed. We waited outside for 30min (last tour). Finally we walk inside and were seated in the gym area. I didn't get the great vibe feeling we got from Whitney Young/Jones. The presentation was not impressive and lacked enthusiasm by the lady behide the podium. The kids and I spent the whole time looking at the screen behind her over and over agin. The presentation was boring. The tour was cut short because it was getting late. We only went into one room and the pool. We were sent to the first floor... The End
My daughter is a Junior at this school. I have watched an extremely intelligent and happy young girl turn into a stressed out and deflated human being in trying to keep up with the rigorous, exhausting and competitive environment there. Im sure there are some kids who are capable of handling this type of school. But all of my daughters friends hate it and many in therapy due to the stress and depression created from trying to be worthy of this place. Adolescence is so tough as it is. Please do your child a favor and find a normal school to put them in.
My child is a sophomore this year, and so far I've been very impressed with the depth and rigor of classes. I've also admired the recently departed, long-standing principal, Barry Rodgers and the A.P. Dr. Murphy (who is also leaving). I hope that the new administration, starting Nov. 1st, will continue the tradition of academic excellence and solid community building that has existed so far. I also hope this new administration will be able to work around the ridiculous mandates issued by CPS, and did Principal Rodgers. At the first freshman year Parent-Teacher conference, I found my son's teachers to be extremely caring, and observant about our son. They were quite familiar with the challenges of the teen years, and the pitfalls that can trip up students in a rigorous academic learning environment.. In several weeks I'll be meeting with our son's sophomore year teachers, and hope to be similarly impressed. While our son is extremely bright and talented, I believe that he is very privileged to attend Northside. It is a good fit for him, but would not be a good fit for his very smart sibling who happens to have some learning challenges.
Northside has proven excellent for my daughter who is entering her senior year. Its teachers are only outdistanced by its varied, yet well-rounded student body. It rightfully sets the standard for public education in Illinois..