Updated: Nov 11, 2021
Choosing the BEST high school for your loved ones is an exciting time!
Whether your child just finished middle school or you're looking at their academic career and need a change… your choices are endless!
Your ideal high school can be anywhere online, down the street, in the next town, and the list can go on and on.
How exactly do you choose the BEST high school for your child???
Great question! And often asked by many of our Be Able Learning parents.
So you’ve come to the perfect place for guidance in your child’s next career step.
Let’s look at some factors to consider when choosing the BEST high school in the Chicagoland area for your child.
As we all know, high school is an essential right of passage and sets the stage for the rest of your child’s academic and professional future. So we completely understand that simply sending your son or daughter to just any high school just won’t do.
I know I just went to my neighborhood school down the street.
But let’s face it… high school is definitely not how we remember it, and not every child’s path to high school is the same.
At times, neighborhood schools are not the right fit, and you may want to look elsewhere. Like
magnet schools, selective enrollment schools, catholic schools, or independent private schools.
And that’s completely okay.
Because your sons and daughter deserve the very best!
Yet, for many of our parents, high school admission is completely new. It can be overwhelming to try and decide which schools would be right for your children.
When it comes to choosing the right Chicago high school, there are two main factors you should focus on - size and learning supports.
Below is a list of some of the well-known high schools in Chicago in which we discuss size, learning support offered, and other aspects of each school.
Small Scale High Schools
1) Beacon Academy (Evanston & Chicago)
This bite-size high school is small but packs a mean punch in education. Beacon Academy is the smallest high school option, with just over 200 students in the school. Smaller enrollment numbers mean smaller class sizes; this can provide more attention for your student. In addition, beacon’s academic philosophy is based on Montessori Principles--this means that learning should be more flexible and choice-based. This is an excellent option for some students, but others need may more structure to be successful.
While around 1,200 students are enrolled at Latin, the high school only has about 500 students; Latin has a lower and middle school. Latin's high school curriculum is centered around the standard preparatory subjects: literature, history, biology, chemistry, physics, algebra, etc. However, Latin takes those base subjects and tries to make the classes and activities student-centered. This way, students learn the material but have a unique way of creating and expressing their understanding. In addition, Latin has a learning resources department and counseling services that provide student support; they also offer college counseling.
Medium Scale High Schools
Parker is a private school that educates students from K-12. The high school currently has about 950 students enrolled. Parker's curriculum combines core educational concepts with how to apply these in the real world. In the first two years of high school, the focus is on providing students with a strong academic foundation. Then, in the 11th and 12th grades, they allow students to take electives and civic engagement classes to show kids how to use their knowledge to succeed after graduation. Parker also has a learning support team to provide academic assistance to children with learning differences.
DePaul is a medium-sized high school with around 700 students enrolled. DePaul College Prep is a Catholic high school, but they welcome students of all denominations and faiths. DePaul Prep partners with DePaul University, so they also offer dual enrollment classes with the university. In terms of learning supports, they employ learning specialists that are available to students both inside and outside the classroom.
Large High Schools
Lane has about 4,500 students, and the student-to-teacher ratio is 19:1. Lane offers all of the standard college preparatory classes, but they also offer the city’s largest selection of AP classes. These include STEM classes, GEMS classes (Girls in Engineering and Math), Science & Technology, Journalism, etc. They also offer over 100 electives for students to choose from, including sports, drama, the arts, and athletics. Lane also has both a writing center students can go to for support and a college and career center for guidance as they start their college selection process. In addition, Lane offers set tutoring times each day in a variety of subjects for students who need extra help; they also offer learning support services for students with learning differences.
Whitney Young is a middle school and high school. It currently has around 2,200 students total, about 1,950 students comprising the high school. Young is a college preparatory school that offers students a wide array of classes and electives. They also partner with Loyola University and the University of Illinois to allow students to take college courses, earning credit for both high school and college. For students with learning differences, Young offers both resources and self-contained options; the learning specialists provide assessment and instructional services and coordinate with the rest of the learning team to support students. Young also has a counseling and guidance department to provide extra emotional support and provide help when choosing the correct academic path.