You cannot go wrong by sending your children to Banner Elementary in Dunlap, IL. If we hadn't had a job relocation, we'd most definitely still be there. My child attended K-2nd at Banner and we have nothing but positive experiences to compare our new school to. I also know several families with children in grades 4-5 and all have had positive experiences as well. The building may need some TLC due to being built in the mid-80's, but you have to remember that it's the leadership and teachers INSIDE the school that counts. They're the ones teaching your kids . . . not the shiny new outside of a building. I was heavily involved in the PTO at Banner and found the wealth of fundraising ideas to be a refreshing change from other schools I've heard of. The principal is very involved as well and is most always willing to try a new idea. His leadership is a main reason the school is so outstanding. He takes the time to care about each child/family and to learn the names of the 400+ kids. He also keeps the kids in touch with the various other grades in their school by organizing "teaming events" which group together teachers and kids of all grades for fun activities a few times a year.
We moved to the Dunlap school district because of the top-rated schools. We could have moved anywhere, but like most parents, wanted the best for our child. Our child has been diagnosed with a developmental disability, and we've been told that there is no program for our child in Dunlap. The program is in a lower socio-economic school, bluntly, poverty-level majority. To me, a top-rated school needs to provide top-rated programs to all of its students, and provide those programs within the district. To be fair, typically-developing children would probably thrive in this school community. That's just an opinion, and not our experience.
The class sizes in Dunlap school district are extremely large 25+, which makes it almost impossible for the teacher to provide any one-on-one instruction. They do not have a specific program at Banner yet, like Rti, to help struggling students. The teacher's primary option is to keep students in from recess to help them. I would say my son missed over 1/2 of his recesses last year. He's starting to really not like school.