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Help! My family is moving this Summer to Chicago and I have no idea how to look for a school or how the magnet school enroll...


schmite7854 June 18, 2012

need help finding a school for my 1st grader, moving to Chicago this Summer so we don't have any applications in etc...

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schoolsparrow August 26, 2012

Make sure you live in the attendance boundaries of a good public neighborhood school, then you can apply to all the magnet schools you want knowing you have a great back up plan. This is hands down the best website to search for properties within school boundaries in Chicago: Good luck.


shayaanp July 29, 2012

Hi we live in australia , and are planning to move to chicago, i am looking for a prive school which is best in terms of acedmics and the best subUrbs to live in .would greatly appreciate the help.


HBerhalter July 14, 2012

I live in Lincoln Park, but I take my son to Urban Prairie Waldorf School in Pilsen. We love that the curriculum not only challenges him but really engages him. He loves to go to school every day. Starting in 1st grade, the children study Spanish, Chinese, painting, sculpting, music, and movement, as well as all the reading and math that you would expect. It is a private school, but when comparing it with other private schools, we found it to be pretty reasonably priced plus they offer tuition assistance. I cannot say enough about the wonderful community. When my 3rd child was born last summer, a lot people brought food and took my older children for playdates. It really is a warm and caring family environment, and there are a few places left in this year's 1st grade.

Please let me know if you are interested or have any questions. I'm happy to help.


ChiTownGal July 4, 2012

Don't sweat the magnet schools. Choose a good local school.

John B. Murphy is at Irving and Elston in the Irving Park neighborhood. Very safe location. Great involved families and healthy diversity in student body. Housing prices are reasonable too unlike in some other districts.

Teachers are amazing and this is no ordinary principal. She knows every kid and every family. Fine arts program has Ravinia connection etc etc.


Vera21 July 3, 2012

Hi Emily! I would very highly recommend Lincoln Park public schools - the best will be Lincoln Park Elementary, my friends and clients' kids went there and absolutely loved it, and it is not a selective enrollment school, you just need to live in the area, to be accepted. Other Lincoln park public schools are very good too - Alcott, Oscar Meyer, but Lincoln is the best. If you live in the area, they have to take you, you do not need to apply in advance, it's not a selective enrollment school. In Lincoln Park it is not easy to find a 3 bedroom under $3,000, but maybe 2 bedroom and a den could work for you...
Other good choice in downtown is Ogden International -really great school, please check its reviews, and it is in Gold Coast/Old town area.
Blaine is one of the best, and Roscoe village is more affordable, as well as NorthCenter and
Bell is great school too, and North Center has more choices in your price range. Otherwise, if you consider close suburbs on the North side, I would highly recommend New Trier school district - Wilmette, Northfield, etc, with great public elementary schools - Avoca and others, but it will be further away from your work.
i would be happy to e-mail you rentals in that areas, if you are not working with any realtors - I work with Coldwell Banker, and many of my clients base their searches on school districts, - please let me know if you need any help, I'll be happy to assist. My e-mail is


lvilchis June 21, 2012

Hi Emily - Here is a list from the Sun Times showing how the scores on the ISATs
2009 ISAT Composite
BELL 92.1
STONE 92.0
If you google the school and then its address, you can go into the map and zoom out a bit and it will show the name of the Chicago neighborhood. All the little blue boxes with an "M" on them are El train stops, of which you would ideally want to be no more than 4 blocks from, as this is the best way to downtown - With $3000 a month to spend, you should have no problem finding somewhere nice to live. Safe family neighborhoods would include Lakeview - further away from Wrigley Field, like by Southport, is better. Game day traffic is hateful and the fans act stupid. North of Addison on Southport you would probably like a lot, plus Blaine Elementary is over that way. Roscoe Village - very family - nice area - especially close to Roscoe Street (lots to do) I think Jahn Elementary seems nice - has a World Language Program - teaches Spanish - I think Audubon is supposed to be a good school. Lincoln Park (can be pricey) I looked on Craigslist in your price range - it can be done. More than likely you will find a decent school there. Lincoln Square, (Waters School looks nice) North Center (Bell Elementary is said to be one of the best) East Lakeview is fun - Also called "Boystown", as there are a lot of gay living people there it is a neat area - close to the lake - lots of restaurants and cute stores - Nettelhorst is a nice school too - a book was written about its transformation from crappy school to good one- I toured it once - It is a very artsy and nice environment. I hope this helps. If I think of anything else, I will let you know. If its easier to talk, let me know. Just didn't want to post my phone number here. By the way, where are you moving from?Take Care - Lisa


schmite7854 June 20, 2012

Hello Lisa, thanks for replying! I think we would like to live more North, in a family friendly neighborhood. Hopefully somewhere close to the Metro as I plan to work downtown, I have insurance background so this is probably my best bet. We need 3 bedrooms and are looking to spend around $3k, but hopefully not much over that. It looks like neighborhood schools will be our only option but I want to make sure he gets in a good one, he has a vision disability as well so does need some extra help. Any good recommendations for neighborhood schools, or good neighborhoods for families in general? Thanks so much for your help! We are super excited to be moving to Chicago! -Emily


lvilchis June 19, 2012

I have been researching a lot of schools, as I am moving to a new locale within Chicago I have lived here for 20 years and I know Chicago very well. Do you have any idea of where you may like to live? Where will you be working? What is your price range? How many bedrooms? Some magmet schools are open to area residents and some you have to enter the lottery, but that is already done for the 2012-2013 school year. You must apply by December of the previous year. There are a fair number of decent neighborhood schools. Let me know.

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