Four of my grandchildren currently attend RAB. Two of my four grandchildren are in the advanced or honor's programs and are excelling quite well. My other two grandchildren are average and RAB does nothing academically for average children. I believe smaller class size would contribute to a better learning environment for them. Their one size fits all teaching style SUCKS when it comes to average children. RAB offers nothing to stimulate my grandchildren from average to exceptional. My grown kids and I are currently pursuing private educations for the two average kids. RAB principle ( is not transparent when it comes to finances either). Hooray for my two honors grandkids. I will just pay for more individual help from the private educational institutions for my other two average grandchilds.
So you want the skinny? Black can be accurately described as one of the better "inner city" schools in the CPS system. However, the question remains do you want your child to have an "inner city" mentality.? The challenges we've experienced: classism amongst the students, discipline w/o communication, overcrowded classrooms and a lack of resources. These are issues you wouldn't experience in other neighborhoods, but the administrators deal with their reality as best as they can. I was excited to attend the school but have since become disillusioned with the quality of education and interaction we've received. We decided to continue the Selective Enrollment process to allow our child more diversity and accessibility to things that students at Poe, Lenart and other schools take for granted. Would I recommend Black? Yes....if you are short on options. I believe they care for their students, but they are dealing with difficult circumstances, and if your child needs more attention and nurturing than the other 32 children in the room...your best bet would be search elsewhere.
I drive my son across Chicago to attend Black everyday, because the schools in my neighborhood do not offer what he will need to have a successful academic career. I admit--because of it's location, and the fact that there are so many other magnet schools to which we applied with better reputations--this school was not my first choice. However, we found ourselves stuck with one admission letter from Black, and we knew we were not doing another year at his neighborhood school. He has now been at Black for since 1st grade and is now in 3rd and we are extremely pleased. He has gone from being a self-concious, shy, unexcited student to become student of the month this year and completely in love with reading and math. He also loves the computer class. Despite the school not having a real gymnasium, he enjoys his P. E. class and looks forward to seeing all of his teachers daily. The school's principal is highly involved. Most of the staff is extremely friendly, open and engaging. Overall the students are respectful, disciplined and focused, with much credit due to not only the school's culture, but also the involvement and character of the parents. Black is doing a great job!
My son transferred from another magnet school and the principal and staff have really welcomed him with open arms. I'm so glad we made the change to a smaller school. My son loves RAB and so do I. The teachers really care and the kids are so polite and intelligent.
I am really impressed with this school and I really like the staff they are so helpful and real easy to talk to and the teachers are very good as well,the children are intelligent and well behaved and they have alot of activities for the children to participate in.......I'd recommend this school for parents that want their children in a good enviorment and a great school !