Top High Schools in the Chicago, IL Metro (page 3)

Top High Schools in the Chicago, IL Metro

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Updated on Aug 23, 2011

Lake Forest High School

Lake Forest Chicago High School District 115


The Lake Forest Community supports the high school in a variety of ways including fundraising, purchasing equipment and volunteering time. The average faculty member has 10 years of classroom experience and 95 percent of faculty has an advanced degree.


The campus was constructed in 1935, but has been renovated over the years. Modern amenities include impressive labs, a media center and state of the art athletic complexes. Technology has been integrated throughout the school including multimedia productions rooms and the theater. An impressive 93 percent of the students earn college credit through taking an AP exam, and after the final bell, many activities are available including clubs, sports, and performing arts.


The school website states, “Emotional Wellness is an initiative threaded throughout the building curriculum and school community, which focuses on each student as a whole person - emotional intelligence and relational skills as well as intellectual and physical development.”




Lake Zurich High School

Lake Zurich Chicago Unified School District 95


If you want to go to a Lake Zurich High School home football game, be sure to buy your ticket ahead of time -- this team always plays to a sold out stadium! As the only high school serving the community of Lake Zurich, the local community provides a lot of support for the school, which is a focal point of the town.


Teachers view working at Lake Zurich High School as a destination job and teacher openings are rare. The staff also works to create a positive climate through student recognition on campus, where students are known for their high levels of school spirit.


Theatrical students perform on campus in one of the best theaters in the area and the other arts programs, including fine arts, choir, band and orchestra, are popular. Athletic teams are very competitive, and the football team is usually in contention for a state title.


Community service is important on campus, and a large event held each year to raise money for a charity. Many of the clubs and teams also have a specific charity that they support and sponsor.


“I am very proud to be the principal of our school,” said Kim Kolze. “Our climate and culture is one where kids are welcomed and have many opportunities to be a part of the school.”




Lane Technical High School

City of Chicago School District 299


Lane Technical High School provides students a well-rounded education that focuses on integrating technology into the curriculum. The school has a long tradition of excellence and has been graduating students for over 100 years.


The school hosts around 4200 diverse students, and over 90 percent of the students head to college after receiving their high school diploma. Students can apply to be a part of the Alpha Honor Program, which focuses on challenging curriculum in science, math, and English using a team approach. Athletics are an important part of school culture and the school has over 500 city champions to it's name. Many interest and ethnic clubs are available for students as well.


The website states that the school's mission is, “providing curricular offerings that optimize the college preparatory experience of students, establishing an environment where mutual respect and positive relationships exist between students and staff, empowering students to accept responsibility for their learning, building relationships with parents, and improving support services for special needs students.”




Libertyville High School

Chicago High School District 128


Students at Libertyville High School can often be found working individually across the campus, getting tutoring in the college center, working on a computer in the writing lab, or getting extra help in the Math and Science Room. The school has an active anti-bullying program to help create a positive climate on campus, and the parents and community are very invested in the school.


Students who are struggling can get individual help from core academic teachers and literacy coaches in the PAWS program during their study hall period. Other students attend the CAT table during half of their lunch period to help them with homework completion. Freshmen meet with upperclassmen two days a week to help ease their transition to high school.


Many students head to the playing fields once school's out for the day. State championships have been won in many sports and academic competition including debate and cheerleading. The fine arts program is also award winning on both a district and state level.


“Our kids tell us that there so many great programs at the school and so many people who care about them,” said Dr. Marina Scott.




Lincoln-Way Central High School

Lincoln Way Chicago High School District 210


Many of the parents of Lincoln-Way Central High School students once attended the school themselves. The school, which opened in 1954, has deep roots in the community and residents often move into the area specifically for the school. The school is well known for its district-wide discipline structure which has defined rules and expectations. This enables teachers to teach and students to learn in the classroom.


If you want to witness some school spirit, stop by Lincoln-Way where you'll hear the fight song playing on a Friday or wittiness a regular pep assemblies, which is described as “second to none.” The staff gives students an opportunity to take ownership of the school and listens to student’s ideas on everything from homecoming to ideas for the first day of school. In return, students take pride in their campus from picking up dropped trash to making sure the lunchroom is clean when they leave.


The school works to treat each child as an individual and meet their needs, which can be seen through programs like Academic Assistance. This program provides a room staffed with peer tutors and staff for extra help to extending science courses for kids who need extra instruction.


“We have competitive kids, both in the classroom and outside the classroom. They are proud that this is their school,” said Steve Provis, Principal.




Lincoln-Way East High School

Lincoln Way Chicago High School District 210


The community and parent support for Lincoln-Way East High School provides students with top notch programs and high level academics while still maintaining a sense of family. Community members can be seen on campus using sports facilities, such as the track and pool, during the day. Parent Booster clubs help support many programs on campus, including music and athletics. Over 22 different AP classes are listed in the program of studies for students to choose from.


The school building was recently renovated and 2.7 million was invested in providing the latest in technology for students and staff. The school also has a state of the art auditorium and new field house.


At a recent drama production an audience member assumed that the lead cast members were college kids and was surprised to learn that the high quality performance was comprised solely of high school students. Athletics are competitive with both the football and gymnastics team consistently ranked top in the state. Students can choose from over 50 different interest clubs and service organizations on campus. The school offers many different music programs for students, including band, orchestra and choir.


“We have a lot to be thankful for – our kids and our parent support. We really know how important they are to our success,” said Dr. Brenda Jensen, former Principal.




Lindblom Math & Science Academy High School

City of Chicago School District 299


Lindblom Math & Science Academy High School prides itself on community involvement both through community service and partnerships with local businesses. The school uses a modified year-round schedule with breaks instead of a long summer vacation, and operates on a block schedule. The school provides a rigorous academic program that focuses on math and science, but also excels elsewhere; the world language department holds strong classes in Arabic and Mandarin.


One of the hallmarks of the school is a partnership with Baxter International Inc that has created a Biotech center. The center provides hands-on opportunities for students and also trains teachers at other schools to create their own Biotech program. The students work on real world projects, such as modifying dialysis equipment for kids and redesigning drip bags, and present their results to professionals at Baxter.


Each year the school asks the local community how they can help, and then sets out to accomplish this task. The students restarted the local farmers market, which entailed getting $35,000 in grants, working with farmers, and even working with the government so food stamps could be accepted at the market.


“Our tag line is our history guides our future. We see the whole issue of service to a vastly undeserved community is congruous with providing with rich and deep learning,” said Allen Mather, founder.




Lyons Township High School

Lyons Township High School District 204


Lyons Township High School provides students with challenging academics and many extracurricular options to create a well-rounded education. The school's doors opened in 1888, and it has since maintained a long tradition of educating the students in the town.


To help make sure that each of the 4,000 plus students succeed, every student has an adviser throughout their time at Lyons Township as their primary contact. Many students take one or more of the 24 AP courses available and over 93 percent of students pass the exams. The staff at the school is highly qualified, with over 88 percent of the faculty holding advanced degrees.

The campus is bustling after school with over 130 clubs and activities available. The school newspaper has been in print for over 100 years and has been recognized for excellent journalism. Athletic teams have top reputation with recent state championships in boys soccer, girls volleyball, and girls water polo.


The mission statement of the school states: “Drawing from its long tradition and reputation for excellence, Lyons Township High School continues its commitment to making dedicated teaching and meaningful learning its highest priority. LTHS pledges to provide a comprehensive curriculum and co-curricular options that foster the full intellectual, physical, moral, and aesthetic growth of each student...”




Maine South High School

Maine Township High School District 207


Maine South High School has a tradition of winning, whether it is in the classroom, on the playing field, or in performing arts competitions. The administration credits the school's success to the parental involvement and partnership to help provide what each child needs. In this small town, many of the residents graduated from the school and the high school is a cornerstone in the local community.


Students can select from over 200 classes and students that are unable to find a course that meets their needs can enroll in distance learning opportunities. The staff at the school is highly educated -- over 80 percent of the teachers hold a Masters degree or above. A high percentage of students participate in the AP courses. Over 1,000 tests were given in a recent year and the school recorded an 85 percent pass rate on them.


The school has many trophies in their trophy case; the school's football team won state championships three years in a row, and the girl's basketball team has also been competitive at the state level in recent years. Academic teams, such as the Engineering team, has been competitive on the national level.


“I am lucky to work in such a supportive community. We have great parents and talented, highly qualified teachers, both of which are a key to our success,” said Shawn P. Messmer, Principal.



Naperville Central High School

Naperville CUSD 203


Naperville Central High School provides students with a well balanced education and impressive academics. A unique feature of the school is an exhibit of a restored Egyptian Mummy that has been featured on several TV shows.


The school operates on a traditional schedule with classes meeting five days a week and eight courses lasting 50 minutes. Almost 1,000 AP tests,with an 85 percent pass rate, were taken last year as a part of the school's popular AP program. The foreign language program offers traditional languages including Latin and Mandarin.


There are many athletic teams playing on campus and recent state championships have been awarded to baseball, swimming and diving, and water polo. Academics have had recent successes and the school newspaper has also received honors.




Naperville North High School

Naperville Chicago Unified School District 203


With 98 percent of students heading to college, Naperville North High School provides a solid college prep education for its students. The school has over 3100 students walking the hallways and offers many ways to get involved. School spirit is high among students -- homecoming week is a highlight and a bonfire, car show and dances are highly anticipated events.


The extensive AP program includes over 20 different courses. Over 1045 exams were administrated in a recent year and over 85 percent of the students passed the exam.


Students can socialize with other teens with similar interests in a variety of interest clubs, such as Anime, Ski and Snowboard Club, Rubik’s Cube Club and a Rock Climbing Club. Academic clubs, such as Mandarin and Physics club are also available. Academic teams, such as Math Team and Youth and Science in Engineering, have had much success in contests. A wide array of varsity sports are available, including several club sports like field hockey, lacrosse, and ice hockey.




New Trier Township High School

Winnetka New Trier Township High School District 203


Students at New Trier Township High School Winnetka have many opportunities to learn both inside and outside the classroom. To help ease the transition into the school, freshmen by starting off their high school career at the Northfield Campus, while the rest of the students attend class at the Winnetka Campus.


The Advanced Placement program is a cornerstone of the school. 1,939 tests were administered in a recent school year and 94 percent of the students earn college credit through the test. The school focuses on preparing students for college and it shows -- New Trier students have a 98% college attendance rate. Students develop relationships with adults on campus through an assigned adviser that stays with them throughout their four years on campus.


Students can apply to attend the Integrated Global Studies School program, in which students take courses in English, social studies, and science. These courses focus on a yearly theme, such as the recent theme of Justice on This Planet. Students in the IGSS program also apply their learning through real world activities, such as internships, community service and field trips.


The campus is very active outside of the classroom as well. Over 150 activities are available to students, including a nationally recognized fine and performing arts program. Athletics are a point of pride for the school, which has earned the bragging rights that come with winning the most state championships of any school in Illinois.




Neuqua Valley High School

Indian Prairie Chicago Unified School District 204


Although Nequa Valley High School is young, it has a long list of accomplishments to account for its 14 years.The school offers a large number of AP courses and has expanded its courses to select from in recent years. Students are known for high achievement with an average of 20-25 National Merit Scholars coming from the school each year.


To help freshmen adapt at the large school of over 4000 students, freshmen begin their college career in a separate building called the Freshmen Center. Seniors can get a head start on college through the Frontier program, where students can earn college credit without paying any tuition. These students enjoy a college-like atmosphere with block scheduling and an open campus.


Popular arts programs include comprehensive dance, fine arts and music. The school has been the only non- arts magnet, public school to receive the John F. Kennedy award for their arts program in the past ten year. The school was also a recent GRAMMY Signature Gold school for their music program, in which over 1/5 of the student body participates.


“We have both a high quality facility and high academic achievements,” said Robert McBride, Principal.



Northside College Preparatory High School

City of Chicago School District 299


Northside College Preparatory High School focuses on innovation and the humanities. Students must apply to the selective enrollment school and admission is based on criteria which includes an admission test and past grades. The school offers a diverse population with many different religious groups and cultures on campus, in addition to a third of the students qualifying for the free and reduced lunch population.


The curriculum focuses on constructivist learning, where staff gives students the tools that they need and students construct their own learning. For example, students learn about waves in physics through working with magnets, students in a law elective work throughout the year on a brief that they eventually present in a courtroom with local lawyers, and English students write and direct a play writing festival each year. In addition, students attend a weekly colloquium to focus on a topic of interest, such as alternative energy or starting a rock band.


Community service is a priority on campus, and many students tutor at nearby schools. Additionally, the school hosts a school-wide service day, and many clubs and teams sponsor specific charities. For example, the Volleyball team once raised over $10,000 for pediatric cancer!


“We get great kids, but we also expect great things from them,” said Principal Barry Rodgers.




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