ITBS scores for Bell's neighborhood program are well below the top suburban schools which are much smaller in size. To have your child in an overcrowded school (ex. my 3rd grader has 33 children in his classroom this year at Bell) with only average ITBS scores is unfortunate. It is simple, the standard is against the CPS norm which is even worse than Bell. So, to say that Bell has a strong academic program is incorrect when compared to most state public schools especially those within 20 miles of Bell. But, compared to the whole city, it is a little better. Parents who think their child's school should only be compared against the whole of CPS have low standards. The comparison should be against all of the local suburban schools too.
This is one of the top schools in the city of Chicago. The administration and the teachers really care about the students and what they teach. Parents are actively involved and raise money to ensure that all students have the extras they need to succeed. The only problem is class size, which is determined through the City of Chicago.
The school is overcrowded. Actual class sizes in the lower grades are 30-32 per class and only one teacher. Playground supervision is inadequate. The school is constantly expecting parents to give money. When concerns are raised by a parent, the school does not adequately or efficiently respond. I heard so many wonderful things about Bell before I enrolled my son, but I have become very disenchanted with the school. I think they need a lot of improvement.
A wonderful city school with a great administrative and teaching staff and outstanding parent support. One of the last schools in the city with recess for kids - vital because Chicago is exempt from daily PE requirements. Has a neighborhood program; gifted magnet program; and a specialized program for hearing impaired children. Does a great job of bringing all three groups together and involving them in activities.
Although hard to get in if not in the neighborhood it is a quality school.
I am most pleased with the administration at Bell. I think that the programs offered are academically challenging and well researched by school staff. All parents I've encountered are kind and highly committed to the school's success as well as their child's.
We've had three children pass through Bell School over the past 14 years and we couldn't be happier with the results. All three were part of the neighborhood program and the foundation they were given has allowed them to the luxury of choice in high schools and colleges. Teachers, administrators and parents all work together wiht the needs of the students as their number one concern. You could not find a better, more inclusive environment anywhere.
Very pleased. My 4th grade daughter has been there since 1st grade and I see how much she has advanced. They also teach the kids sign language so they can interact with kids in other departments. Principal is wonderful, you always see him walking around and interacting with the kids and parents.
My daughter has been attending Bell for five years and is entering her final year there in September. She has always been a fabulous student but each year, she has performed more strongly than the last. She is in the neighborhood program and her ISAT scores were an average 99 across all subjects for 7th grade. Those who mentioned the neighborhood program as being substandard, clearly are not familiar with students, teachers and the curriculum in the neighborhood program. Almost all teachers my daughter has encountered expressed strong interest in the children they teach; the children the community trusts them with. Mr. Guercio is an energetic and involved leader who is very approachable and always warm. It would be lovely is CPS could provide him and Bell with more resources for languages and Arts. I am a single mother with biracial child, and guess what, diversity never means substandard!
The Bell Options program is excellent and provides an excellent start and the reason why the Bell School rates so well on the Standardized test. Put simply, the Options program brings the overall scores for the school up on the rankings. If the true scores separated out the neighborhood program scores, the school would be rated much more like an average Chicago Public School --well below National average that means. So, in short, the Options program is top notch but academically the neighborhood program academics are still struggling to even match an average suburban public school.
I graduated from Bell in 2000 and I am now in one of the best colleges in the country. I still use the techniques I learned from Bell today in many of my classes. Bell is one the best high school prepatory schools in Chicago. The principal is always there for you.
I graduated from Bell School. It is a very diverse school and I have to say Thank You to all of the teachers there. I have learned a lot. At the time, I thought the workload was too heavy, but now I realize how much Bell prepared me for high school (Lincoln Park IB) and college. When I moved on to high school, I was very much ahead of other kids in the school and I am very much ahead of my peers today. Highly recommended!
Bell School is overated. We had 2 children at Bell while living in the neighborhood. When we moved to a suburban school district we were much happier with the academic quality. I just wish that we had wised up earlier to the low academics at Bell. We were blinded by the 'diversity' thing that people kept talking about. We now understand that diversity is nice but academics is much more important to our children during their formative years. We know that open-mindedness to diversity is taught in the home not by just being in the same classroom with children who are bringing down the academics of the school. Our 2 kids academic education is much more important to us than anything; the other priorities are secondary period!
Bell school is a good school. The only caveat is that it is a good school as far as Chicago Public Schools go! The CPS system is horrific but this school is good when set against the rest in Chicago. Most Chicago suburban schools are above and beyond Bell school. But, for those who choose to remain within the Chicago school system for whatever reason, Bell is good.
Bell is an excellent school. One of the best schools by far. Teachers not only teach the child they care about the child. The Principal is very involved and makes it a point to get to know everyone. If you want your children to start out right in life and set high goals this is the school to put them in.
The school somewhat rests on its laurels. I don't think teachers are eagerly trying to improve their teaching but rather keep doing pretty much what they've done in the past. Which of course is pretty good.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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