Chicago, Illinois, is America’s third-biggest city. About 3 million people call Chicago home, enjoying all that it has to offer, from Cubs, Bears, or White Sox games to a variety of theaters and festivals. 

Needless to say, there’s lots to do in this Illinois city. However, if you have kids, you probably have one big question on your mind besides the activities and amenities. 

That is, “How are the schools?” 

Today, we’re going to cover all you need to know about the different school systems, including where to find the best schools in Chicago, IL. Let’s get started. Shall we? 

Downtown Chicago Skyline

How do you find the best schools in Chicago?

Let us ask you a question first. Do you prefer a public or private school for your kiddos? It’s an important question because your kids may have fewer options on where they can attend school based on where you live in Chicago if you go the public school route. Private school is different that way. 

To locate the best schools in Chicago, here are some questions to mull over: 

  • Is the graduation rate at or equal to the graduation rate in the state of Ohio?
  • What percentage of kids are math and reading proficient? 
  • How are the academics, clubs, activities, and teachers? 

Now, let’s get a little more specific about Chicago’s schools. 

How are public schools in Chicago?

Per Public School Review, roughly 83% of students in Chicago who are in grades K-12 go to public school. That is about 5% less than in the state of Illinois as a whole. The math proficiency in Chicago is 24%, which is quite a bit less than Illinois’s average of 32%. 

The reading proficiency in Chicago is 27%, which is again less than the state’s average (38%). When it comes down to it, the Chicago public school system scores about a 4 out of 10, putting it in the lower half of schools in Illinois. Although, despite being lower on average, there are many highly rated schools in Chicago that far surpass the state average, including in areas such as the high-school graduation rate. 

Illinois’s graduation rate is 88% as of the most recent school year. The graduation rate in Chicago looks different for every school and school district. Chicago Public Schools, in particular, has an 82.9% high-school graduation rate. 

Top-rated public schools in Chicago

These are some of the best public schools in the Chicago area: 

Best Elementary Schools in Chicago, IL:

Best Middle Schools in Chicago, IL:

Best High Schools in Chicago, IL:

What private schools are in Chicago?

Chicago has many highly rated private schools, including but not limited to:

You’ll find more of the best private schools in Chicago below:

What are suburban Chicago schools like?

Suburban Chicago schools are generally highly rated and score well in areas such as teachers, classes, and college prep. While some of the suburbs don’t have a lot of diversity, there are still options out there that could work well for your kids. Think about what kind of school atmosphere they like (including clubs and activities), and narrow down your search from there. 

Of Buffalo Grove (one top-rated Chicago suburb for schools), a resident says, “Buffalo Grove is a great place for K-12 education, with nearby schools such as Aptakisic, Daniel Wright and Stevenson being in the top ranked schools of the country. The neighborhood is also very safe and welcoming, with a lot of small, individually-owned businesses.

You can find a great school for your kids virtually anywhere in Chicago if you look hard enough. Just remember to research the suburb first to make sure you will all be happy living there before you get your kids’ hopes up on a school. 

What suburbs have particularly good school systems?

Chicago’s suburbs are known for having great school systems. Where can you find the best schools in the Chicago suburbs? We recommend looking at Long Grove, Kenilworth, and Lincolnshire. According to Niche, Long Grove is even called the top place to raise kids in Illinois. Public schools, housing, and family friendliness all get As in this rural-style suburb, which has 7,907 residents. 

Like Long Grove, Kenilworth gets a #1 rating, being the top place to raise kids in Cook County. About 2,356 people live in this small suburb, which has top schools and great safety ratings. 

Then, there’s Lincolnshire. The population is approximately 7,694 people, and schools and kid friendliness both come out with As. One resident even says, “Having lived in Lincolnshire as both a child and an adult, I cannot imagine living anywhere else. The school districts, both 103 and 125, are top notch. I received an excellent education through these schools, so much so that I want my own children to receive the same quality education.

What are the best school districts in Chicago?

Here are some of the best school districts in the Windy City: 

Adlai E. Stevenson High School District No. 125

Adlai isn’t just a top school district in Chicago but in the U.S. In fact, it’s the leading school district in all of the U.S., according to Niche. That comes down to a number of things, including college prep, clubs, activities, academics, and more. Roughly 4,315 students attend this school district, which caters to grades 9-12. The math proficiency is 76%, and the reading proficiency is 75%. 

Glenbrook High School District 225

This impressive school district has been called the U.S.’s second-best school district. Much of the criteria you look at when evaluating schools (academics, teachers, administration, etc.) score an A+. The student population is 5,164 (grades 9-12), with 69% of students being math proficient and 67% reading proficient. 

New Trier Township High School District No. 203

New Trier Township is the third-best school district in the state of Illinois. According to Niche, everything but diversity gets an A or A+. About 4,030 students go to school there between grades 9-12. The math proficiency percentage is 80%, and the reading proficiency percentage is 81%. 

Good luck with your school search

Once you get a chance to choose a school from the best schools in Chicago, that’s when the fun starts, and moving is in session. Need a hand with the moving process? Bellhop is here for you. We provide convenient local and long-distance moving services in Chicago, providing all the help you need during this life transition. 

Book a move online today.

Tyler Brown
Latest posts by Tyler Brown (see all)