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Northside Catholic Academy

Private | PK-8 | 354 students

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Living in Chicago

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $165,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $850.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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4 stars

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21 reviews of this school

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Posted January 15, 2013

Northside Catholic Academy is not only an excellent academic institution, it is a nurturing and enlightening environment. The teachers and staff are like family - they really care about each students. From my first encounter with the admissions office, I could feel the staff's deep committed to the school and the children. The learning envirornment encourages girls and boy to challenge themselves. NCA has wonderful school programs including physical education, music, art, foreign language, as well as an athletic program. Graduates of NCA go onto top high schools and colleges but the environment is by no means stressful. Northside Catholic Academy is outstanding and I am so grateful my children are learning in such a phenomenal environment.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 10, 2011

We have been parishioners at St. Gertrude for 5 years, and it was a natural choice for our first child to attend the preschool (enrolled this past fall). As others have mentioned, the sense of community is great. I have three friends/colleagues (everyone I know whose older children have graduated from the program) whose children have gone on to be accepted at their first choice CPS magnet high school, so I can't imagine that the academics are anything but stellar. We have no complaints so far with how our daughter is treated and taught, and she will be attending NCA, no doubt about it, from K-8. Her teachers are warm, compassionate, and very capable, and the whole place feels like an extended family. I can't wait until my daughter is old enough to become involved in more of the arts and civic activities.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 29, 2010

My children are thriving at NCA...both socially and academically. We are agnostic and would never have expected to have my children in a Catholic school. However, the teachers are nurturing and the community is very supportive; the principal is great. I feel NCA complements my choice to raise my children in a diverse, urban environment. They demonstrate respect for oneself and others.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 4, 2010

My son was accepted to Edison, but we chose NCA because of the community. He is currently in 5th grade, and we have never regretted that decision. He has always been challenged academically at NCA. The enrichment program works well within the classrooms. He is often given opportunities to do special projects and take a leadership role in the classroom. I have had the best teachers at NCA. Last year, my daughter's teacher diagnosed an eye problem that was overlooked by our ophthalmologist - a convergence problem was prohibiting her ability to read for any length of time. Without that teacher's attention to detail, she would still be struggling. My kids have a wonderful sense of self that has been nurtured and enhanced by NCA. It really is more than just a school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 2, 2010

NCA's academics are not challenging to the majority of the kids, and they use a lot of worksheets. That said, my kids wouldn't leave for anything! The teachers create a nurturing environment and have successfully reduced the bullying problem. The kids get religious instruction daily, with about an hour plus of mass per week. My kids really understand Jesus' teachings. The kids also spend A LOT of time learning songs for the seasonal musicals. Unfortunately, the principal fired many good, popular teachers and a vice principal, so that I don't like, sort of tyrannical. Art teacher is FABULOUS. We change Spanish teachers every year, so my kids haven't learned much Spanish. There are good after school activities, and parish families only have to donate about $2000 extra plus 10 volunteer hours per year. Great for Catholic values!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 16, 2010

The school has a very diverse and inclusive feel to it. The teachers really care about the students. It is a very vibrant community with several ways for parents to get involved and help shape the school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 7, 2009

I was very disappointed in the lack of cohesive curriculum from grade to grade as well as peer pressure (bullying) and nepotism
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 16, 2009

My children have been involved in NCA for 5 years now and I have been very impressed with the program. The families are committed both to building a supportive community and to high academic standards. The teachers truly personalize the learning and go above and beyond in terms of dedication. I have observed many schools in my own career as an educator and health professional. NCA competes with the best of them.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 17, 2008

We left this year due to inadequate curriculum for our child. We were told that an enrichment program was in the works, but as far as I know, its not done yet. I am very sad that the school is not living upto its capacity. I wish that they would focus more on academics vs. advertising. I am much happier in CPS.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 17, 2008

In one word...diasappointed.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 14, 2008

NCA is academically challenging and the students go to TOP high schools. I think the negative postings are submitted by competitive schools. The academics are very strong. I personally know a family this year whose child was accepted to gifted programs came back to NCA disappointed in CPS. The community and the special classes like art, music, Spanish, computer, PE, etc... are all icing on the cake. And the price is the same as other Catholic Schools and less than most private.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 7, 2008

I posted a positive comment about this school a few years ago, when I had a preschooler there. Unfortunately, the academics have not lived up to expectation. I must agree wtih the previous post. The curriculum at NCA is behind the curve of other Catholic schools in the area, but it is one of the most costly. There is enrichment and 'extras' in sports, art, religion, and community, but not in academics. There is just not a culture of academic innovation and achievement there.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 3, 2008

Very few students from this school made it into competitive high schools last year. It's a wonderful community of families, but the academics do not compare to other local options. We cannot justify spending the money on NCA for our other children as the return on investment is just not there academically.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 13, 2007

I've had two children graduate from this school and have a third currently enrolled. Both my older children were accepted into Chicago Magnet high schools, so obviously the academic program at NCA is strong. A big strength of this school is the amazing parent community. The support that you find here is exceptional. It's like a big extended family where everyone wants to help. Our kids are exposed to other familes with the same values so they not only get an education, they learn how to be better people. What more could one ask for!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 30, 2007

We had our children at NCA but left due to poor leadership on both the primary level and the board. The teachers are committed to instilling a strong academics, but the cliques made it impossible if your daughter is not part of the group. Why attempting to be a part of the solution, we learned that that was not their concern. Poor communication and honesty is holding this school abck from being all that it can be.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 1, 2007

I've had 3 children complete preschool through fifth grade at the NCA primary campus since 1994. There have been some teacher gems. Overall, the academics are unimaginative and very average. Often, there are incompetent teachers and staff members who remain employed by the school when they should consider career changes. The language program is particularly horrendous. The support staff is now paid to do what parent volunteers used to do. Tuition is over the top as a result. It's an expensive place for an average product. Furthermore, NCA is the result of the consolidation of seven Catholic parish schools. This consolidation has been a complete failure. Many, many families have suffered due to a lack of continuity in terms of administration and leadership. The school board is completely powerless, rendered such by pastors who consistently turn deaf ears to parent concerns.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 27, 2007

NCA academic programs are great and competitive. There are music, art and sports extracurricular activities. Parental involvement is wonderful!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 27, 2007

This is a fabulous school that invites parental involvement, provides an excellent academic experience, and promotes a sense of community.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 20, 2007

Our son is in kindergarten, and so far we are very impressed with NCA. Our son finds school to be stimulating, and we love the caring environment. Their extras, such as art and music, are fabulous. At the Christmas pageant the new music teacher had them singing excerpts from The Messiah! I can't say enough good things about this school
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 15, 2006

A warm, supportive community awaits your child. The Terra Nova scores show the acheivement at 2 and 3 grade levels above the national average. Children are expected to treat one another with kindness and respect. Bullying is not tolerated. Strong parent association.Truly a find for the reasonable tuition. Noncatholics welcomed. I moved out of the neighborhood, but kept our daughter at this great school.
—Submitted by a parent

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Debra A Sullivan
  • Coed
  • Roman Catholic


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6216 North Glenwood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60660
Website: Click here
Phone: (773) 743-6277


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