Top High Schools in the Chicago, IL Metro (page 2)
Below are profiles featuring the top 40 high schools in the Chicago Metropolitan Area. In order to be featured as a Top High School, the school must have a 2010 Education.com TestRating of 10 out of 10. The TestRating compares a school's standardized test scores for a given year with scores from other schools in the same state. Find your school and see how it compares.
Adlai E Stevenson HSD 125
Although Adlai E Stevenson High School has over 4200 students on campus, the school works to provide opportunities for each student to develop relationships and find their niche.
The school takes pride in its AP program, which offers 28 different courses, and 80 percent of the students take at least one AP course. However, it’s not all academics on campus. The performing and fine arts departments have reputations for being one of the best programs in the nation.
To help freshmen acclimate to high school, all ninth grade students meet four days a week in small groups with an adult as part of the Freshmen Mentor program. Each student is randomly assigned to one of three “houses” for their entire high school career. Student support teams in each “house” meet weekly to ensure that the school intervenes quickly when a student is having an issue, either academically or socially.
Community service is a focus at the school, which has recently been recognized nationally for their efforts in serving others. Students engage in a variety of projects from an annual Give-A-Thon to providing holiday gifts for needy families, collecting baby items for expecting mothers, and a food drive that bring in enough food to fill the local food pantry for six months.
Chicago Unified School District 220
Students at Barrington High School don’t need a hall pass to go the restroom or go back to their locker on campus. The administration treats students like young adults and gives them many opportunities to show responsibility. The school focuses on giving back to the community through ongoing efforts, like the annual student-run fundraising campaign that raised over 15K for a local charity.
On Friday nights in the fall, the surrounding community shows up in spades to support the team, watch the band, meet up with friends, and enjoy a pork chop sandwich. The athletic teams have a winning reputation and there is expectation of new state and regional trophies in the trophy case each year.
The popular AP program offers many courses and garners high participation. The foreign language department is strong, and even Chinese courses are offered. The school offers a wide range of electives including Jewelry Making, British Writers, Living Law, and 21st Century Issues. The visual arts program has the reputation as being one of the top arts programs in Illinois, and the performing arts program also has an excellent programs.
“One of the best things about our school it is that students live up to the responsibility that we give them and they create a great culture for learning.” said Stephen A McWilliams, Principal.
Batavia Unified School District 101
Homecoming at Batavia Senior High School isn't’t just a school event - it's one where the whole town turns out to watch the parade, and businesses even decorate their storefronts to celebrate. The community support continues throughout the year after Homecoming. Many of the graduates live in the community and many of teachers are graduates themselves. The school recently added a new field house and is currently building a large 875 seat auditorium on campus.
The administration focuses on being responsive to the students' needs and asks graduates for their thoughts on additional programs for the school. Based on student feedback, the school has grown from 4 AP courses to 15 AP courses in the past three years.
Many students participate in the school's popular drama and music programs. Even though plays are held in a cafeteria, every musical sells out multiple shows with the community and students showing up to watch. Over 2/3 of the students play a sport on campus and many teams are competitive.
“Our culture is that we are receptive to feedback and we listen and make changes,” said Lisa Hichens, Principal. “It’s not one program that makes us successful but the fact that we are truly a comprehensive high school.”
Township High School District 214
Buffalo Grove High School provides a comprehensive education for students with plenty of avenues for kids to pursue their passions. With over 2100 students on campus, the vast majority (94 percent) are college bound after graduation. Students can earn college credit by taking one of 21 different AP courses.
Many sports teams wear the Buffalo Grove Logo and the school has had recent success in Volleyball. Fine Arts are important on campus and win their share of awards as well. Another popular performing arts program is Orchesis, a dance team that is often invited to perform at events. A host of clubs and activities are also available on campus.
Principal Carol Burlinski writes on the school website “ Buffalo Grove is committed to preparing our students for the 21st century with not only the skills essential for productive work, but ensuring that our students are college ready and citizenship ready. Our mission is to connect students to college success and provide opportunity and access for all students. We believe we have the staff, programs, and community to maximize learning for all students within our school.”
Chicago High School District 99c
Community High School Dist 99 - North High School provides a balanced education through top academics, athletics, and the arts. Parents are active on campus and can find many ways to support the school. The Parents club provides overall support while there are booster clubs for the athletic department and the band.
The school offers a variety of AP and honors classes, enabling students to challenge themselves. Students can get a jump start on career skills through Career and Technical courses such as Business, Computer Technology, Cooperative Career Education, Family and Consumer Science and Industrial Technology. Students in these programs also have opportunities for internships and real world experiences.
Students are also successful outside of the classroom – the Cheerleading squad, Imani Steppers, Athenas, and Winter Guard all recently competed on the state level. Academic teams also took awards, including the Speech team, Math team, and DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America). Many students were also recognized individually at art contents.
Athletes are an important part of school culture, and there are over 1,000 student athletes on campus. Teams are often competitive on both a regional and state level, including recent successes by the badminton and swim teams.
High School District 113
Students and parents often comment that Deerfield High School feels like a family and that the campus is a like a second home to them. The school works to meet students where they are academically and challenge them to do their best. Students looking for a challenging can enroll in AP courses, which are offered in a wide range of subjects, while students who need assistance can find extra help in the Counseling and Special Education Department.
The Freshmen Advisory course helps freshmen transition to high school and selected seniors gain leadership experience through mentoring. To make sure that students don’t fall through the cracks, each student stays with the same homeroom class for their entire high school career. The school keeps class size to 18-20 students, which encourages personal interaction and relationship building.
Many students are involved in multiple clubs, sports, or programs. The school offers band, orchestra, and choir in addition to many varsity sports teams.
“The community of Deerfield is highly supportive of education. The high school is the “crown jewel” because of its academic excellence and its capacity to unify the community,” said Sue Hebson, District 113 Assistant Superintendent.
Geneva Chicago Unified School District 304
During recent grade testing at Geneva Community High School, only three students were absent. This is just one example of how seriously the students and parents take education and support the school. Community support is a cornerstone at Geneva, where football games are community events and large crowds coming out for all school functions. The school works with the local elementary and middle schools to provide a cohesive education from the first day of kindergarten to the last day of their senior year.
The school has high-level classes to challenge top performing students and focused support for kids who need some extra help. The school makes sure to adapts to its students' needs. For example, the faculty provided extended Algebra and Geometry courses so that students can still take the high level math courses but at a pace that allows them to be successful.
Students often earn recognition outside of the classroom with winning athletic teams and academic teams, such as the Math Team and Scholastic Bowl Team. The music programs, which include the band, choir and orchestra, have reputations for excellence.
“We are a community high school. It’s that community cohesiveness and support that has made us a successful school,” said Thomas Rogers.
High School District 87
As a small school serving several unincorporated towns, Glenbard South High School serves as a community hub and is a point of pride for the area. The school benefits from strong parental support through very active booster clubs for all areas that donated both financially and volunteer hours. Local organizations, such as Kiwanis and Rotary, work with the school on many projects to help create community partnerships.
In addition to being a comprehensive high school, the school is the home for the Guided Program for the district's cognitively disabled and autistic students. Through the Best Buddies Program, the most popular student club on campus, students work with those in the Guide program through weekly activities and special events, such as fashion shows.
A host of athletic teams are available for students to play on and the school is known for success in their Cross Country program. The music and choir program is also popular and attracts about 15 percent of the students. Service organizations, such as the active Key Club, are very prevalent on campus as well.
“Our parents are very strongly invested in the school. We have phenomenal parent support and they partner very well with us,” said Terri Hanrahan, Principal.
Glenbard Township High School District 87
The staff at Glenbard West High School is passionate about teaching and creating a safe environment in which students can explore and debate. The school has high expectations for students and clearly defines them in “The West Way,” a guide outlining expected behavior. The staff also provides positive reinforcement and recognition for their accomplishments.
When a student steps onto campus as a freshmen, the staff encourages them to find at least one activity to become involved in. The school offers 55 clubs and 27 different sports, so students have no shortage of choices. Students can choose from interest clubs, such as Anime, Foods Club, and Political Science or Service Clubs, including Key Club. Performing arts are also active on campus and include a wide variety of music, art and drama programs.
The parents and community provide support for all areas of the school and have raised nearly a million dollars for the school in the past decade. The school gives back to the parents and community through the monthly Glenbard Parent Series, where experts on various topics are brought to the school.
“Hopefully, the staff at West gives our students a sense not only of who we are, but more importantly, of who they are, and who they wish to become by imagining their legacy. We also guide, encourage, laugh, and we celebrate,” said Dr. Jane Thorsen.
Northfield Township High School District 225
Glenbrook North High School provides students with extensive program offerings. Parents are active on campus with organizations that support a variety of programs, including athletics and performing arts. Over 83 percent of the faculty holds advanced degrees and over 96 percent of students head to college after graduation day. The school uses an alternating day block schedule with four 90 minute courses each day.
While the school building was built in 1953, the school has been renovated through the years to include a performing arts center and learning space that integrates technology with collaborative learning. The foreign language program offers a wide range of languages, including Latin, Hebrew, German, Mandarin, and Russian.
Twenty-four AP courses are available and 92 percent of the students pass the exam. Over 70 clubs are available on campus, including community service performing arts and intramural sports.
Students can apply to be a part of the four-year the Glenbrook Academy of International Studies, which integrates learning through core academic areas. Another special program available on campus is the Advanced Honors Research Program, which allows selected upperclassmen to complete an extensive research project.
If you walk into Glenbrook South High School, you may notice students holding doors for adults and showing respect for other students. 26 different languages are spoken at the school, making the student body very diverse. The school gives back to the community through an annual telethon that raised over $106,000 in a recent year to help local kids with social and emotional needs.
The school makes an extra effort to keep each student in school and engaged, and less than five students drop out each year. Through the Evening High School program, students whose needs are not being met by the traditional high school experience can complete their education and graduate with a diploma.
The school's popular music program was designated as a Grammy Aware Signature school in a recent year, while the speech and debate program has recently earned the National Championship and is consistently competitive at the state level. The unique Horticulture program has a reputation for excellence also and has won the state title 19 different times.
“This is a place that really draws kids in and allows them to be part of things that are special. Because they know that they are valued, they work hard to make this a better school,” said Brian Wegley, Principal.
Highland Park High School, which recently celebrated its 121st graduation ceremony, takes pride in the long history of excellence at the school. Teachers focus on building relationships with their students and the school community works as a partnership to solve issues. The students also benefit from the diverse student body and learning from each other.
The various arts programs at the school have a reputation for excellence, and every other year the school hosts a multi-day festival in partnership with community with events and workshops in the areas of art, music, theater, dance, and writing. The drama department also performs several productions each year for both the school and community.
Students are very involved in the school's array of clubs, such as Cooking Club, Philosophy Club, and Italian Dance Club. Academic teams and clubs, including Chess Club, Mock Trial, Model UN, and Math Team are also popular.
“Highland Park maintains its legacy of excellence and the community takes great pride in their high school,” said Sue Hebson, District 113 Assistant Superintendent. “Students are invested in clubs and activities as well as sports and see this as an important extension of their school day. They have many opportunities to learn about themselves, leadership, goal setting, and collaborative problem-solving through these activities.”
Hinsdale Township High School District 86
If you drive around the neighborhoods near Hinsdale Central High School, you may notice that For Sale signs advertise that the home is zoned to the high school. This shows you how strong the school's reputation is. Many parents also pay out of district tuition so their kids can attend the school. Teaching positions at the school are sought after and the administration often has 900 applicants for a single position, enabling the school to hire top tier teachers.
The school puts students' needs first and will even hold a course that has 8-10 students in it to ensure the the needs of those individual students are met. Students interested in pursuing a career in education can participate in the Invitation to Teach program, where they work with students in other schools to get a feel for the profession.
Students are involved on campus and extracurricular activities, like the popular Harry Potter club, are important in school culture. The athletics program offers 31 sports, including bowling, badminton, and lacrosse. Many sports teams are no-cut, so any motivated student can play.
“Our school culture is one the things that makes families want to attend our school. Character counts at our school and we have a positive culture,” said Michael McGrory, principal.
Township High School District 214
If you visit John Hersey High School, you may see kids wearing T-shirts proclaiming that they scored over 30 on the ACT -- it's cool to be smart on campus! Through a layered curriculum and guest speakers, teachers help the students learn to think by presenting multiple perspectives on topics. The school has a large Advanced Placement program and a majority of the students participate.
Over half of the student body hits the playing fields after school to practice with one of the school's many teams. If sports aren't your thing, don't worry! A point of pride at the school is the performing arts program, and the band recently played in Carnegie Hall. Other ensembles, including orchestra and show choir, repeatedly receiving accolades. The school newspaper has an excellent reputation and has taken home national and state awards. Community service is evident throughout campus from the students visiting senior citizens, working with special need students, and organizing a very large canned food drive.
“Hersey is remarkable place and is most caring organization that I have ever worked at. We are the Hersey family and the Hersey heart is evident in everything that we do,” said Dr. Tina Cantrell.
City of Chicago School District 299
Jones College Prep's downtown Chicago location makes many community partnerships with other institutions, such as the Art Institute of Chicago, DePaul University and the Goodwin Theater, possible and accessible to students. Students are admitted to the Selective Enrollment high school based on grades and admission tests. The small school of 850 students is very racially, ethnically and socio-economically diverse – it has a 55 percent free and reduced lunch population.
The school draws from a wide variety of middle schools, so many students arrive on campus without knowing anyone, which creates a very accepting atmosphere. Students often tell administrators that they enjoy the closeness of the school and that they feel very safe at the school, both physically and emotionally. Before starting school, all freshmen attend the Freshman Connection over the summer where they have an opportunity to meet other students.
The school offers traditional high school activities and all major sports, except football, and many teams are competitive at the local and regional level. Students interested in the arts can display their work in the local galleries and work with local theaters through the school's partnerships.
“Through building relationships and providing rich content we help our students build the skills that they need to get into college and be successful at college.” said Dr. Joseph Powers.