« Back to compare
/ / School Profile
K-4
Public district
Wilmette, IL
 

Contact this school

649 Prairie Avenue
Wilmette, IL 60091

(847) 251-2295
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Mckenzie Elementary School address.

August 14, 2015
Most amazing community and staff. So many types of families are embraced here. We are blessed to attend this school!

- submitted by a parent

May 28, 2015
Both of my daughters attended McKenzie and I couldn't be happier with their experience there. While there were teachers we liked better than others, all were extremely skilled, caring and dedicated. The administrators were responsive to our inquiries and, above all else, the community was incredible. While very different in temperament and personality, each of my daughters was extremely well prepared, academically, socially and emotionally for the next steps in their education. I cannot imagine them having had a better elementary school experience.

- submitted by a parent
Amount of homework: Just right
May 27, 2015
This was a concern of ours given the reputation of the "North Shore" for overscheduling and overworking kids. The amount of homework and out of school activities has been PERFECT.

- submitted by a parent

May 27, 2015
Great school - great teachers and administration. We have had nothing but positive experiences with our 3 boys that went through McKenzie.

- submitted by a parent
Develops honesty: Strongly agree
May 26, 2015
The principal pioneered a social-emotional curriculum that is now used district-wide. They practice and model this fabulous program for the kids. Consequently the kids learn to navigate friendships, identify when they need help, and practice ways to deal with uncomfortable situations. My kids are practicing how to be good citizens, not just good students.

- submitted by a parent

May 26, 2015
The principal and staff are amazing! They know and practice a large variety of A+ teaching practices, including a powerful social-emotional curriculum. Differentiated teaching occurs at all grades, helping kids learn in ways that work for them. Consequently, the kids enjoy school, do well, and like each other. I can't imagine a better place for my kids!

- submitted by a parent

May 25, 2015
Our experience at McKenzie has been positive. One of our children has ADHD, some processing issues and social challenges. This is a student who started off at McKenzie in kindergarten with an IEP. Teachers and administrators worked with us and with each other collaboratively with a focus on successful learning outcomes. This same student met all agreed goals by Middle School, outgrew the need for an IEP, and is now earning As and Bs in highest honors classes at New Trier. We attribute much of that success to early intervention and the McKenzie school experience. We have another child who has always been a quick learner, highly social, and with very few challenges. McKenzie teachers differentiated well, with flexible learning groups in math and reading. And, if a student typically excels at math, but (for example) finds fractions a harder nut to crack, then the student may be placed in fast-moving math groups generally, but an in-depth and easier paced group for fractions. We are impressed by the school’s assessments and reports with attention to individual growth of our children, rather than emphasizing standardized comparisons on statewide tests. McKenzie is a school that has been well-equipped to teach two of our children who are very different learners. And, we are really glad to part of a friendly and welcoming parent community.

- submitted by a parent

May 25, 2015
We are new to McKenzie and have had a wonderful experience with the school programs, teachers and administration. The parents and PTA are all involved and it's a wonderful community.

- submitted by a community member

May 25, 2015
I am a former 3rd grade classroom teacher in District 39. Having taught in four different states, I have seen many, many different kinds of schools. McKenzie's reputation among both teachers and parents is outstanding! There is strong leadership, an immensely satisfied parent community, and an emphasis on implementing current research on technology, non cognitive skills, and differentiation. As teachers are often known to be the pickiest of parents in dealing with their children's education, I chose to raise my own children in Wilmette, specifically McKenzie. I am now a full time mom of three children- one child went through McKenzie, one child currently there, and one headed that way. We have been overwhelmingly pleased and would not send our children to school anywhere else. Lastly, as seen by reviews on YELP, a random individual negative review is not an accurate representation- an angry person is the one likely to seek revenge on a review site. There are thousands of positive experiences at McKenzie.

- submitted by a parent

May 25, 2015
We've had a great experience at McKenzie, and can't imagine sending our kids anywhere else for elementary school. We have a student who will be heading to middle school next year, and he is already feeling nostalgic about his time at McKenzie. He has been supported socially and academically, and we're happy to call this school our home. I seriously question the perspective and motivation of a couple negative reviewers on this site, and can't help wondering if they have a twisted personal vendetta against someone. There are a couple negative reviews cited here that are simply not representative of the student or parent experience at McKenzie. I understand and respect constructive criticism, but the couple negative reviews I see here do not seem to have any productive or objective goal in mind. I genuinely hope that potential parents researching schools understand that there are 400+ families at McKenzie in any given school year, and a couple spiteful and questionable reviews should not be afforded meaningful significance. I wholeheartedly and confidently recommend that prospective parents visit the school, take a tour, meet with a PTA school-visit representative, and see firsthand that McKenzie is a fantastic place.

- submitted by a parent

May 25, 2015
We have our first and second son at McKenzie now, and it's amazing, as well as the overall community for families with young children. A nurturing community and all of the opportunity you could ask for in a school.

- submitted by a parent
Develops grit: Strongly agree
May 25, 2015
This school, and District 39 generally, has made a visible and strong commitment to social-emotional learning. The characteristics of successful learners, including perseverance, grit, resilience, and determination, are top of mind and integrated into the curriculum and the school day. The district supports and helps facilitate a "Community Review Committee", which is a district-sponsored initiative comprised of parents, administrators and teachers who research, report and make recommendations on a different educational topic each year. For several years, this committee has highlighted the importance of characteristics of successful learners.

- submitted by a parent

May 25, 2015
We moved to Wilmette almost 4 years ago from NY. I have to admit: I read the negative reviews at that time and as a consequence I did not want to enroll my boys at McKenzie. I tried very hard to find a house in any other neighborhood and we almost bought a house in front of Romona school. But it did not go through and we were left with only two choices for rentals in the McKenzie neighborhood. I was very concerned at having to register my 5 and 7 y.o. kids in a school whose rating was 8 out of 10, the lowest in the district, with bad reviews from the reviewing parents. I had this thing in my stomach until school started a few months later. And when it started I saw my boys blossom, all the fears disappeared and I have turned in a super proud McKenzie community member! Not only the school works in a wonderful way, the administration and teachers are awesome... but also the community is warm, tight and caring. Someone said there are two ways to experience life: one is through accumulation, the other one is as a spiritual journey. My personal response to this is "balance" leaning on the latter, and McKenzie school is the perfect expression of this balance offering great academics and loving fun environment. I would appreciate more diversity but this is not as much related to McKenzie as to Wilmette and the North Shore in general.

- submitted by a community member

May 25, 2015
I find these negative reviews to be perplexing. We moved to this district from the City (grew up here but lived in City for 20+ years) where our son was enrolled in one of the "better" private schools - Catherine Cook. We were disappointed in our three year experience there and moved here in response. It's like night and day. First, the McKenzie community is fantastic and the people are warm and welcoming. In fact, friends in other areas of Wilmette often express the envy of the strength of our community. Frankly, I've been surprised by how strong the spirit of community is here. Second, the school has been amazing. The McKenzie principal is the model for what a principal of an elementary school should be. When we've approached her from time to time with concerns about our son, she has responded exactly the way everyone should wish a principal to respond. Teachers have been caring and creative. Parents are always concerned with the classroom and the community so they are very active. In short, while we too were also reulctant to move here, we feel so grateful that we wound up here.

- submitted by a community member

May 25, 2015
The community is absolutely wonderful. We've been very impressed by the teachers and staff. We're so glad we moved into the McKenzie neighborhood. I couldn't ask for a better school for my three kids!

- submitted by a parent
Amount of homework: Just right
May 25, 2015
You can always get more if you want for your child, but it is a good amount to start

- submitted by a parent

May 25, 2015
Both of my children have loved the school. When one of them needed more advanced content they were always given it and pushed to do more. The community is extremely strong and the self esteem the children build at McKenzie will serve them well in life.

- submitted by a parent

May 25, 2015
We have two kids at McKenzie and have had a great experience! Class sizes are small; teachers are kind, attentive and challenging. The community is fantastic!! We have enjoyed McKenzie and are excited for the years ahead!

- submitted by a parent

May 25, 2015
Seriously a gem of a school. McKenzie has a heart!! So special and unique. Parents involvement is wonderful, you feel a community spirit and the teachers love the support too. A++

- submitted by a parent

December 10, 2014
McKenzie has been great for all three of our children -- each of whom have distinctly different personalities from one another. The teachers, staff and administrators have been very responsive to our requests and concerns when they arise. The resources at the school are top notch, and the academic learning well prepares the students for middle school, junior high and high school. My youngest is currently receiving differentiated instruction in reading and math, which appears to be taking place quite seamlessly. Finally (and sometimes most importantly), the community is fantastic.

- submitted by a parent

October 30, 2014
We have never experienced such an inept staff in all our lives. The school teachers may be great but the administration is honestly one of the worst. Numerous phone calls that they never return simply asking for records then they flat out LIED to us that they don't keep them. It's law that they have to keep them until the child is 21yrs old! An issue that we wanted to discuss regarding switing classes and they kept telling us for over a month that they would get back to us and never did. A principal that is almost never there and when she is she doesn't return phone calls or have any time to deal with parents. Isn't that your JOB? We had to go in several times just to try and talk to her and she insists on you calling her "Doctor". How pretentious can you be?

- submitted by a parent

September 30, 2014
Not what you'd expect when your hear the hype. Nothing exceptional is happening here. Do your research before choosing District 39! Certainly not worth the hefty tax burden.It's easy to maintain high test scores with this student population. The district and school are not serving students with nontraditional learning profiles, at least 20 percent of the population, instead expecting parents to pay for outside tutoring (thousands of dollars a ). The one plus is the community, it's wonderful!

- submitted by a parent

August 21, 2012
I have had three children go through McKenzie and have sat on their Executive Board. This is a very special place, I have experienced schools in different states and consider this a prime example of what an elementary school should be. The teachers are strong, the environment loving and the administration outstanding. This school always has a parent run variety show that unites the school like no other. Someone in an earlier review used the term family and I think that is spot on. I should mention my child received an IEP that was proactively given form the school. They worked to make sure my child was given the resources they needed to succeed. I don't think I have ever heard a school where they try to give your child extra resources. You could only consider yourself blessed to attend McKenzie school.

- submitted by a parent

January 30, 2010
I have a child at McKenzie and we are very pleased with the school. Our child has a wonderful attentive teacher who comes up with great creative ways to engage the kids. The McKenzie PTA is more active and involved in the school than any other PTA. They put on many great fundraisers that involve the kids including an amazing parent run variety show designed to entertain the kids. Money from fundraisers goes to school equipment--smartboards, playground equipment and so forth. Our child is excited to go to school and is learning new things daily and I hear the same from other parents. You and your child will have a great experience at McKenzie. Submitted by John, a parent

- submitted by a parent
no rating
October 22, 2008
The school is average and, frankly, not on par with what we expected from the North Shore. Our child is an advanced learner and has been bored through three years there. The attitude is that since she's smart, well, she gets it already. No need to do anything more eventhough she's craving --and her parents are asking for for-- more work. Not impressed.

- submitted by a parent

April 01, 2008
I was a classroom teacher at McKenzie for the past few years. I accepted the position, believing it was going to be the most progressive, resourceful, and dynamic district that I had ever taught in! Unfortunately, I was unaware of District 39's poor reputation in the North Shore, and I decided to leave. In the years that I taught at McKenzie, teacher/administrator turnover was extremely apparent. Teachers would resign, not because they were asked to, but because they believed the district was poorly run (materials were scarce, compared to where I am now, things were so unorganized, new teachers lacked proper mentorships)...The last year I was there, about 5 teachers, my principal, and my superintendent left District 39 in a matter of months. Please look into other North Shore districts, like Winnetka, before committing to this one. On a high note, the parents are sensational! I really miss them!

- submitted by a teacher
no rating
March 06, 2008
I have two children at McKenzie and I think the school is fabulous. The teachers are fantastic and there is a tremendous amount of parental involvement. One of my children has special needs in reading and the school has no lack of funding to help her. They offered her special services before any testing was completed. The school did a great job of testing her. My other child is extremely stimulated and challenged in the regular curriculum.

- submitted by a parent

May 07, 2007
We are moving out of state and I can only hope that we find a school as great as McKenzie. The McKenzie 'family' is truly special in that it makes each family and child feel a vital part of the school community and community at large. At McKenzie, 'character counts' and it shows! There is a high level of parent involvement and the PTA is just amazing in what they give back to the school. I have not been highly involved in the PTA, but focused my time at the school on helping in my son's class for parties, field trips, art projects, etc... But I am very impressed with the events they put on, the money they raise, and the way they spend the money on the betterment of the school with everything from enrichment programs to computers to playground equipment. You will love McKenzie.

- submitted by a parent

Profile Completeness

INTERMEDIATE

Want to improve this school's profile?

All schools on GreatSchools begin with BASIC completeness, which includes important information like contact details and test scores. It’s up to the school community to take the next steps. As a parent or community member, you can share what you know with other families by writing a review or answering a few questions about what the school offers. As a school leader, you can upload photos, describe school programs, and more with an Official school profile.

The completeness meter moves to INTERMEDIATE, then ADVANCED, and finally HONOR ROLL as you complete the following: 10 or more reviews, at least 1 photo, and 9 program questions parents find helpful.

Want to improve this school’s profile? You can!
for Parents
for Schools
 
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery

Media missing

Uh oh! No photos. This frame will look much better when you upload photos »


Facebook

Find out what parents are saying about Mckenzie Elementary School

http://www.facebook.com/pages/McKenzie-Elementary-School/127061830673186

Nearby homes for sale

     

Last modified: August 14, 2015

Sign up for email updates

Connect with us

Translate this web page

About GreatSchools

Our mission is to help millions of parents get a great education for their kids. GreatSchools.org is an independent nonprofit and the leading national source of school information for families.


GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

©1998-2015 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

Mckenzie Elementary School
649 Prairie Avenue, Wilmette, IL  60091
(847) 251-2295
Last modified Mckenzie Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-4. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 8 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Mckenzie Elementary School Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 91 reviews. Top