This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Chicago Grammar School1
Posted January 12, 2015
- a community member
My kids used to go here and in recently retelling stories to others, I realize how bad this place is. If you have a ton of money and want to be coddled, you will LOVE it! However, my kids were subjected to bullying (by the director, not just fellow students) and berating. Their scores for reading were in the 20th percentile and thankfully they have improved at public school since pulling them. There is no board or accountability and they routinely take kids kicked out of other schools (because money is still green, right?) for behavior or other issues. Please move on and don't be fooled by the sales and the hype. Your kids are better off in a public school. I started out LOVING this place and invested THOUSANDS of dollars here (have more than one child) and really regret our time here.
My daughter, who is generally shy and who we would not categorize as brilliant, is in JK (junior kindergarten) and was in preschool half days last year. To give you a sense of her personality, she's a typical 4 year old girl; she cares a ton more about princesses and Barbie than puzzles, and she is quiet in class. She came home this week and out of the blue explained to us how chlorophyll works in plants and how water evaporates in the atmosphere and creates clouds. The art projects are fantastic, and the art projects always relate to what the class is learning. She has a bunch of good friends from the school, even in different grades. All of the schoolchildren, regardless of their age, seem to be all around good kids. All in all, a great experience.
Chicago Grammar School is outstanding. In the three years my son has attended, the school has moved forward and each change has added to the quality of the facility and educational experience. The curriculum is the best offered by any private or public school in Chicago (in my opinion and that of educators I consulted). The kids absorb the content of this amazing curriculum from wonderful teachers who subdivide the already small classes by ability so that each child is challenged and can succeed on his or her level -- whether that is far above, at, or below grade level. Despite the finely tuned teaching and testing by ability level, the kids study and play together across age groups and grades. As my son says, he knows everyone in the school. The comment from 2009 regarding the principal only teaching his son's grade is not accurate now, and has not been at least for the past 3 years. Phillip Jackson is an amazing educator who teaches multiple grades and subjects each year. The kids love him and love every subject he teaches. Communication from and to the teachers and administrators is constant (through the intellishare web site) and easy (through e-mail or a phone call).
This is our first year at CGS after transferring from another private school. We wanted it all. Art, music, daily physical ed and top academics. We found it at CGS. We continue to be impressed with the positive atmosphere and our daughters progress in these two months has been amazing. The class sizes are half of other private schools and she loves going to school every day much more than last year.
Our daughter has recently begun her second year at CGS and we are happily secure in our certainty that this is the right school for her. It is so important to us to have the serenity of knowing that each morning we leave our daughter in an environment where she is understood, stimulated and engaged with respect, kindness and sensitivity. We were immediately impressed with the intellectual and cultural level of the school's leadership and staff. CGS truly offers a well rounded education stemming from a classical curriculum.
Chicago Grammar offers a first class education. My kids are now entering their third year at the school. Their progress has been amazing. The teachers are great at reaching very student students, and the administration has some really innovative ideas.
When we were looking for a school, we wanted one where the children were at the center" and their individual needs / abilities were considered, supported and developed. CGS is such a school. It instills an amazing love of learning and encourages the children to think and express their opinions and thoughts. CGS surrounds their students in an integrated program so what they do in Language Arts flows onto Ancient History, then Art and so forth. The specific needs of the children are considered and the school is committed to working with the parents and the children in a professional, caring and honest manner. Communication is open and reliable and the extended school community is friendly, kind and diverse. The teachers are amazing! They are caring, thoughtful, enthusiastic, fair and really smart. CGS is a unique school. Consider it as your child is also unique.
Incredibly impressive up-and-coming PK-8th grade school. I'm convinced this school will soon be impossible to get into. Academically it's already on part with Latin, Lab, and Parker. Their test scores are unbelievable! Every single child scored above grade-level in math (some were up to 4 grades advanced). Yet somehow they also find time to do art every day, go on field trips, and have fun while learning (our child loves it!). The emphasis here is on learning, not memorizing. That's why the curriculum is so integrated. All subjects relate to each other and are based on different periods of history. It's brilliant, and the kids learn so much. The school just expanded into new space, and while it's still small, it's got lots to offer. If you want a Latin, Parker, or Lab-caliber education without the social pressures, you can't beat CGS.
We did a ton of research into private schools, and came away feeling that CGS was one of the very best--if not the best--private school in the city. The teachers are caring, incredibly smart, and highly motivated. The school has hired several fantastic new teachers recently, and it shows. Then there's the curriculum. It's amazing--easily the best in the city. Reggio in the early years, then classical after that--it combines the best of progressive and rigorous approaches. Singapore math (by far the best math program in the city--check out their test scores and talk to PhD mathematicians, as I did), integrated history, classic literature, Latin, formal logic, art every day (taught by a working artist!), music by a renowned jazz musician--this school has it all except for a large facility and some of the "bells and whistles" that are frankly not important anyway. The administration is warm and caring and incredibly communicative--they truly love this school, and it shows. Our only initial hesitation was its small size, but we now think of the size as a blessing--our son gets unmatched personal attention. The school recently expanded its space and looks terrific. A true gem!
This school is wonderful and unique in Chicago. Classical education (see school website to learn more), small class size, integration of coursework and INCREDIBLE art/project work. All of our expectations have been met, and even surpassed. The history program is amazing! The topics are woven into art/project time, literature, music, even science. The math program is very strong and the children have been testing at the gifted level. Due to the small class size, the teachers can and do work one-on-one with each child and accommodate strengths and weaknesses so the child is not bored or overwhelmed. Each child gets special attention. Outstanding teachers. A composer for music, a working artist for art/project time (what these kids produce is unbelievable!). A program that ensures the child is developing and using all parts of the brain. And the kids have so much fun!! My child LOVES going to this school.