7 answers

Looking for a Good Pre-k Thru 8Th Grade School

Hi. I live on the southwest side of Chicago (Beverly area) and I am looking for a good public school to send my son. I need an all day pre-k thru 8th grade school, since I work full-time. He's 3 now and I'd like to get him into a program fairly soon (am I already too late?!). He has been in day-care all his life and picks up his lessons very well. A school that lets out a little early would be okay, since his daycare has an after-school program. But, a good recommendation for a bus service would be great too. Please give me your top picks and why. Thanks for all of your help!

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Hi L.,
I am in Beverly as well. My son goes to Little Hands Learning Center and we are very pleased with the curriculum. They can go full time or part time. Part time is either 5 1/2 days or 3 full days. I visited several schools in the area and my gut just liked Little Hands the best. I'd say visit a bunch of different schools and go with what you like best. My son is 4 and he has a late birthday, so we will be there for another year. He has been there since he was 2.

Depending on where you are in Beverly, Sutherland is an excellent elementary school.

If you are looking for a larger tuition, Morgan Park Academy has a preschool program and a school that (I believe) goes all the way through high school. Its a hefty price, but I have heard excellent things about that school.

Feel free to send me a message if you would like to chat more.

my son attends a school in beverly not free though but very good. Council Oak (110 Longwood) is a very good school and my son started at 3 years old. they have a great morning and afternoon care available from 7am to 6pm. they also have a very warm family atmosphere and the things my son has learned is incredible. he is now six and doing exceptionally well.

little lamb academy is great. only goes to age 6. Morgan Park Academy is a good school, but expensive. What about the all day montessori school on 99th?

Keep in mind, the child's first teacher is the parent. Start now to lay the foundation for a head-start. Check out www.parenting247.org. I'm a greatgrandparent and I learned so much from this site and the resources it offers.

Most good CPS schools have an after care program until 6pm or so. Some have an early drop off around 7:30. I might not have the spelling correct, but Leonart (Lenart?) is a wonderful school not too far from Beverly. Your son has to test into it the winter before he starts kindergarten. The CPS publishes every October a booklet about all the magnet, classical, etc. schools and how to go about applying. Some are lottery-based, others have tests. You can go to any CPS branch and ask for this booklet, or go to the CPS main office on Clark and Adams. My son went to Skinner in the West Loop, which was wonderful. It's on par with Leonart. No matter where you get your son into, you can always find transportation to get him to school. My son had classmates in the West Loop who came from 105th Street. Good luck and be sure to get that booklet!

I have heard that Little Lamb Pre-School is excellent. They have a childrens boutique and other great stuff.

I don't know about grade schools because my kids went to a near north side magnet school, but for pre-K I sent mine to the Children's Developmental Institute, at 71st and Stony, which I think has a branch in or near the Beverly area. I know the name sounds institutional, but the staff there were loving and caring and the kids have a lot of fun. It's a very active program. The academics don't matter much at that age; they won't hurt but mostly what the kids need is socialization and things to do, which they will get.

Don't discount the possibility of a public school plus a Park District after-school program for kids K and older. You can check first, but many schools will pick up the kids at home and then bus them to an after-school program. That's what I did when my family became to numerous to afford private schools, and I was very happy with the arrangement.

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