Ensuring your young ones attend a good school can be stressful and merits research. As a parent, you want to choose an environment that will encourage your child to excel and offer great learning opportunities. If you live in Oak Park, there are a multitude of options to pick from and it can be overwhelming. We’ve narrowed it down to the best-rated public and private schools.
Public Oak Park, IL Elementary Schools
Located in north Oak Park is the highest-rated elementary school, Horace Mann. This school is rated a solid eight out of ten, and has over 20 reviews on greatschools.org, most of them five stars. Populated by more than 400 students, Horace Mann is one of the larger elementary schools in Oak Park. Reports show that students of Horace Mann have above average test scores and excel academically quite strongly when compared to the rest of Illinois. The school has various activities including chorus, orchestra, student council, a talent show, a homework club, a reading club, and many school spirit events. Horace Mann boasts a community of diversity and dedication to the education of its students.
Recently expanded and updated, Abraham Lincoln Elementary School was originally opened in 1906 and is located in south Oak Park. It has great ratings on Great Schools and Niche, and has more than 26 reviews on other parents’ experiences on Great Schools alone. It is even larger than Horace Mann totaling to more than 600 students. Abraham Lincoln also scores above the state average and has a seven out of ten on the academic progress scale. However, one worried parent noted the school may have achievement gaps by writing, “disadvantaged students at this school may be falling behind other students in the state.” Students can enjoy various activities like the after school media program, world language, a book club, and endurance club.
Four years after Abraham Lincoln Elementary opened, Washington Irving opened its doors as a K-8 school. It also received a seven out of ten rating on Great Schools, and in addition to rating website reviews, has many reviews on Google. Washington Irving also has test scores reported far above the state average, which suggests most students are at or above passing grade level. Students can enjoy many school activities like the spelling bee, basketball tournaments, the craft fair, art fest, chess club, and outdoor ed club.
Private Schools in Oak Park, IL
Situated in central Oak Park, The Children’s School has great ratings across all reviews and ratings sources. According to Private School Review, The Children’s School,
“fosters a love of learning and critical thinking skills through an age-appropriate curriculum based on the children’s unfolding curiosity.”
The school boasts a small classroom setting with an average class size of 15 students. The Children’s School uses detailed student assessments rather than letter grades and standardized tests. Yearly tuition for the 2018-19 year was $10,000 and included more than 100 students. Noteworthy school activities at The Children’s School are running club, Spanish language club, chess club, and pottery building.
Close to downtown Oak Park, Alcuin Montessori School is one of our favorite private schools in Oak Park, IL. It emphasizes a small, close-knit classroom setting. Alcuin ranks consistently at five starts at five stars by most sources, with one source ranking it 4.5. At Montessori, they offer,
“a program that balances the social and emotional growth of children with the pursuit of academic excellence.”
Alcuin has a small population of 130+ and an average class size of no more than 20 students. Some extracurricular activities available to students are chess, engineering for kids, ballet class, piano lessons, and an ukulele program.
Near the far east side of Oak Park is St. Catherine – St. Lucy Catholic School, known for its diverse student population made up of more than 200 children. This school is noted as having personalized learning and well encouraging teachers. While this is the largest of the three private schools in Oak Park, IL listed here, this school has a well-balanced student-teacher ratio of 18:1. St. Catherine – St. Lucy offers many sports activities like basketball, volleyball, and flag football. There is also a choir group, chess club, Dominican University philosophy class, and test-taking prep classes for middle schoolers.
While you can never fully predict how your child’s elementary school experience will play out, doing your research will make you feel confident that you are providing for the best education you can. Furthermore, we like comparing public with private. We hope you find our experience and research helpful. Happy hunting!