Best Public Schools in Chicago and the Suburbs

Despite the strains on public schools right now—especially in Chicago—the best ones still deliver a terrific education. But which ones are the best? Check out our rankings of the 133 top elementary and high schools in the area. PLUS: Read how to get your child into the best CPS schools and our methodology for ranking the top 133

Top 20 elementary schools in Chicago
  School Neighborhood Grades Enroll-
ment
% Low
Income
Spending Per Pupil Class
Size
 
ISAT
1 Decatur Classical School West Ridge K-6 283 17.7 $7,946 26.5 100
2 Edison Regional Gifted Center Albany Park K-8 269 8.9 $7,946 28 100
3 Skinner North Classical School Near North Side K-3 165 28.5 $7,946 28.5 100
4 Keller Regional Gifted Center Mount Greenwood 1-8 244 15.6 $7,946 29 100
5 Poe Elementary Classical School Pullman K-6 192 47.4 $7,946 26 99.2
6 Lenart Regional Gifted Center West Chatham PK-8 322 28.3 $7,946 34 100
7 Skinner West Elementary School Near West Side PK-8 718 26.7 $7,946 29 99.3
8 Edgebrook Elementary School Edgebrook K-8 455 11.9 $7,946 26 97.5
9 McDade Classical School Chatham K-6 196 34.7 $7,946 29 98.9
10 Andrew Jackson Language Academy University Village K-8 550 32.2 $7,946 29 98
11 Bell Elementary School North Center K-8 947 20.3 $7,946 27.8 96.2
12 Hawthorne Scholastic Academy Lake View K-8 561 17.3 $7,946 32 97.6
13 Blaine Elementary School Lake View PK-8 915 22.3 $7,946 26 95.1
14 Lincoln Elementary School Lincoln Park K-8 742 14 $7,946 30 96.3
15 Oriole Park Elementary School Norwood Park PK-8 646 16.7 $7,946 23.3 94.7
16 Mount Greenwood Elementary School Mount Greenwood PK-8 837 30 $7,946 28.8 95.1
17 South Loop Elementary School South Loop PK-8 693 35.4 $7,946 30.7 95.4
18 Burley Elementary School Lake View PK-8 566 25.8 $7,946 26.5 94.7
19 LaSalle Language Academy Old Town K-8 571 22.1 $7,946 32 95.2
20 Sauganash Elementary School Sauganash K-8 551 29.4 $7,946 29.5 94.9
Top 15 high schools in Chicago
  School Neighborhood Enrollment % Low
Income
Spending Per Pupil Graduaion
Rate
ACT PSAE
1 Northside College Prep High School North Park 1,086 34.8 $7,946 100 29.2 100
2 Walter Payton College Prep High School Old Town 893 33.1 $7,946 98.8 28.3 95
3 Whitney Young Magnet High School Near West Side 2,160 38.5 $7,946 96.2 26.6 96.1
4 Jones College Prep High School South Loop 844 53.2 $7,946 92.9 25.2 92.8
5 Brooks College Prep Academy Roseland 764 85.3 $7,946 94.1 21.7 70.5
6 Lane Technical High School North Center 4,161 60.6 $7,946 88.5 23.3 88
7 Lincoln Park High School Lincoln Park 2,273 56.1 $7,946 90.6 22.1 61.2
8 Devry Advantage Academy High School North Center 221 75.1 $7,946 100 19.7 68.4
9 King College Prep High School Kenwood 925 72.2 $7,946 86.6 20.2 56.9
10 Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center North Park 1,659 74.9 $7,946 86.5 20.4 55.6
11 Lindblom Math and Science Academy West Englewood 878 69.8 $7,946 81.5 21.6 76.8
12 Noble Street College Prep West Town 5,330 88 $7,946 89.7 19.9 50.4
13 Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences Mount Greenwood 586 52.6 $7,946 82.5 20 59.1
14 Chicago Virtual Charter School N/A 564 61.7 $7,946 81.8 20.1 43.8
15 Kenwood Academy High School Kenwood 1,829 78.2 $7,946 85.1 18.9 45.4

NOTES: All data are from 2010-11. Class size is for first grade. Low income is the percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. ISAT is a composite percentage of students who meet or exceed minimum state standards on the Illinois Standards achievement Test. ACT is an average for student performance on the ACT college entrance exam (36 is the highest possible score). PSAE is the percentage of 11th graders who meet or exceed minimum state standards on the Prairie State Achievement Examination. SOURCE: Illinois State Board of Education

Top 20 elementary schools in Cook County
  School Town (District) Grades Enroll-
ment
% Low
Income
Spending Per Pupil Class
Size
 
ISAT
1 Joseph Sears School Kenilworth (38) PK-8 544 0 $10,064 11.9 99.4
2 Middlefork School Northfield (29) PK-3 207 1 $14,874 11.3 98.1
3 Greeley School Winnetka (36) PK-4 293 0 $9,967 12.6 98.2
4 Marie Murphy School Wilmette (37) PK, 6-8 258 7.4 $9,015 10.4 98.2
5 Greenbriar School Northbrook (28) K-5 376 1.9 $10,895 11.9 98.1
6 Wescott School Northbrook (30) 1-5 376 2.1 $9,212 13.4 98.2
7 Romona Elementary School Wilmette (39) PK-4 501 2.6 $8,067 15.7 98.4
8 Washburne School Winnetka (36) 7-8 483 0 $9,967 12.6 97.5
9 Maple School Northbrook (30) 6-8 409 5.1 $9,212 13.4 97.6
10 Greenbrier Elementary School Arlington Heights (25) PK-5 286 5.2 $6,847 17.6 98.6
11 Avoca West Elementary School Glenview (37) K-5 397 7.8 $9,015 10.4 97.3
12 John Laidlaw Elementary School Western Springs (101) K-5 433 0 $5,819 18.4 98.1
13 Willowbrook School Glenview (30) PK-5 337 1.8 $9,212 13.4 97
14 Central Elementary School Wilmette (39) K-4 544 0.4 $8,067 15.7 97.2
15 Lincoln Elementary School River Forest (90) PK-4 389 4.6 $7,697 15.7 97.4
16 Chippewa Elementary School Palos Heights (128) 1-3 217 3.2 $6,041 18.3 97.8
17 Harper School Wilmette (39) K-4 421 0.2 $8,067 15.7 97.1
18 McClure Junior High School Western Springs (101) 6-8 530 0 $5,819 18.4 97.6
19 Highcrest Middle School Wilmette (39) 5-6 806 1 $8,067 15.7 97
20 Hoover Math and Science Academy Schaumburg (54) PK-6 439 3.6 $7,881 16.5 97.1
Top 20 high schools in Cook County
  School Town (District) Enrollment % Low
Income
Spending Per Pupil Graduaion
Rate
ACT PSAE
1 Glenbrook North High School Northbrook (225) 2,123 5.6 $11,224 98.2 26.3 86.4
2 New Trier Township High School Winnetka (203) 3,097 3.9 $12,043 96.3 27.5 89.8
3 Prospect High School Mount Prospect (214) 2,161 8.4 $10,515 96.1 25.2 79.4
4 Glenbrook South High School Glenview (225) 2,639 18.1 $11,224 97.9 24.7 75
5 John Hersey High School Arlington Heights (214) 2,056 11.1 $10,515 95.4 25.2 78
6 Maine South High School Park Ridge (207) 2,596 7.7 $11,364 93.3 25 78.3
7 William Fremd High School Palatine (211) 2,876 11.3 $9,263 95.8 24.8 76.4
8 Buffalo Grove High School Buffalo Grove (214) 2,125 16.1 $10,515 96.6 23.4 65
9 Riverside Brookfield High School Riverside (208) 1,440 17.5 $10,117 94.7 23.3 76
10 Oak Park and River Forest High School Oak Park (200) 3,241 20.3 $10,600 94 24.1 69.9
11 James B. Conant High School Hoffman Estates (211) 2,424 19.5 $9,263 98.1 22.9 69.8
12 Carl Sandburg High School Orland Park (230) 3,599 7.1 $8,102 96.8 23 70.5
13 Lyons Township High School La Grange (204) 3,885 13 $9,452 89.8 24.1 73
14 Proviso Math and Science Academy Forest Park (209) 769 45.3 $7,583 100 21.5 72.2
15 Lemont High School Lemont (210) 1,485 6.4 $8,693 91.2 23 71.8
16 Victor J. Andrew High School Orland Hills (230) 2,288 9.6 $8,102 95.8 22.8 68.2
17 Niles West High School Skokie (219) 2,560 30.1 $12,563 91.1 21.9 63.8
18 Niles North High School Skokie (219) 2,170 31.6 $12,563 90 22.2 62.6
19 Schaumburg High School Schaumburg (211) 2,486 26.3 $9,263 95.6 21.9 62
20 Amos Alonzo Stagg High School Palos Hills (230) 2,516 22.9 $8,102 95.3 21.1 59.7

NOTES: All data are from 2010-11. Low income is the percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. ISAT is a composite percentage of students who meet or exceed minimum state standards on the Illinois Standards achievement Test. ACT is an average for student performance on the ACT college entrance exam (36 is the highest possible score). PSAE is the percentage of 11th graders who meet or exceed minimum state standards on the Prairie State Achievement Examination. SOURCE: Illinois State Board of Education

Top 10 elementary schools in Dupage County
  School Town (District) Grades Enroll-
ment
% Low
Income
Spending Per Pupil Class
Size
 
ISAT
1 Brook Forest Elementary School Oak Brook (53) PK-5 267 3.7 $11,431 9.8 99.7
2 Butler Junior High School Oak Brook (53) 6-8 149 3.4 $11,431 9.8 98.3
3 Clarendon Hills Middle School Clarendon Hills (181) 6-8 629 3.2 $8,619 17 98.7
4 Hinsdale Middle School Hinsdale (181) 6-8 782 4.5 $8,619 17 97.6
5 Lane Elementary School Hinsdale (181) K-5 382 2.1 $8,619 17 97.6
6 Gower Middle School Burr Ridge (62) 5-8 420 8.8 $8,066 15.4 97.7
7 Monroe Elementary School Hinsdale (181) PK-5 443 1.8 $8,619 17 97.5
8 Walker School Clarendon Hills (181) K-5 311 4.2 $8,619 17 97.4
9 Prospect Elementary School Clarendon Hills (181) K-5 436 3 $8,619 17 97.1
10 Madison Elementary School Hinsdale (181) K-5 449 2.9 $8,619 17 97
Top 10 high schools in Dupage County
  School Town (District) Enrollment % Low
Income
Spending Per Pupil Graduaion
Rate
ACT PSAE
1 Hinsdale Central High School Hinsdale (86) 2,740 4.3 $10,910 97 26.4 87.7
2 Naperville Central High School Naperville (203) 2,941 6.6 $7,458 97.8 25.2 81.5
3 Neuqua Valley High School Naperville (204) 4,302 6.9 $6,637 99.1 25.2 83.2
4 Naperville North High School Naperville (203) 3,186 12 $7,458 92.7 25.6 77.9
5 North High School Downers Grove (99) 2,171 16 $9,659 91.9 24.3 76
6 Wheaton North High School Wheaton (200) 2,173 24.8 $7,271 87.9 24.4 73.3
7 York Community High School Elmhurst (205) 2,646 13.3 $7,694 90.1 23.5 72.7
8 Wheaton Warrenville South High School Wheaton (200) 2,310 21.3 $7,271 91.7 24.1 70.7
9 Lisle High School Lisle (202) 581 20.7 $9,716 90 23.1 70.6
10 Waubonsie Valley High School Aurora (204) 2,951 17.6 $6,637 96.2 23.6 69.2

NOTES: All data are from 2010-11. Low income is the percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. ISAT is a composite percentage of students who meet or exceed minimum state standards on the Illinois Standards achievement Test. ACT is an average for student performance on the ACT college entrance exam (36 is the highest possible score). PSAE is the percentage of 11th graders who meet or exceed minimum state standards on the Prairie State Achievement Examination. SOURCE: Illinois State Board of Education

Top 10 elementary schools in Lake County
  School Town (District) Grades Enroll-
ment
% Low
Income
Spending Per Pupil Class
Size
 
ISAT
1 Braeside Elementary School Highland Park (112) K-5 273 2.2 $8,959 14.4 98.8
2 Everett Elementary School Lake Forest (67) K-4 376 0.5 $7,638 12.9 98.8
3 Cherokee Elementary School Lake Forest (67) K-4 359 0.8 $7,638 12.9 98.1
4 Lincoln Elementary School Highland Park (112) K-5 282 5.7 $8,959 14.4 97.4
5 Daniel Wright Junior High School Lincolnshire (103) 5-8 791 1.4 $8,703 14.8 97.4
6 Ravinia Elementary School Highland Park (112) K-5 327 5.5 $8,959 14.4 96.8
7 Twin Groves Middle School Buffalo Grove (96) 6-8 569 3 $7,492 15.9 98.5
8 South Park Elementary School Deerfield (109) PK-5 508 0.4 $8,599 15.4 97.9
9 Wilmot Elementary School Deerfield (109) K-5 593 0.3 $8,599 15.4 97.1
10 Kildeer Countryside Elementary School Long Grove (96) 1-5 524 2.1 $7,492 15.9 98
Top 10 high schools in Lake County
  School Town (District) Enrollment % Low
Income
Spending Per Pupil Graduaion
Rate
ACT PSAE
1 Deerfield High School Deerfield (113) 1,718 1.5 $10,849 97.2 27.1 88.4
2 Lake Forest High School Lake Forest (115) 1,739 3.6 $12,008 94.2 26.8 82.1
3 Libertyville High School Libertyville (128) 2,037 5 $11,178 95.8 25.2 80.6
4 Adlai E. Stevenson High School Lincolnshire (125) 4,253 4.2 $9,696 93 26.2 86.8
5 Vernon Hills High School Vernon Hills (128) 1,354 9.4 $11,178 92.5 24.8 80.8
6 Highland Park High School Highland Park (113) 2,026 13.5 $10,849 90.4 26 75
7 Barrington High School Barrington (220) 3,037 14.5 $7,757 92.2 25 78.3
8 Lake Zurich High School Lake Zurich (95) 2,235 7.7 $6,480 100 24.3 74
9 Lakes Community High School Lake Villa (117) 1,415 11.8 $8,709 89.3 22 67.3
10 Grayslake Central High School Grayslake (127) 1,354 11.6 $7,284 88.9 22.7 66

NOTES: All data are from 2010-11. Low income is the percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. ISAT is a composite percentage of students who meet or exceed minimum state standards on the Illinois Standards achievement Test. ACT is an average for student performance on the ACT college entrance exam (36 is the highest possible score). PSAE is the percentage of 11th graders who meet or exceed minimum state standards on the Prairie State Achievement Examination. SOURCE: Illinois State Board of Education

Top 5 elementary schools in Kane County
  School Town (District) Grades Enroll-
ment
% Low
Income
Spending Per Pupil Class
Size
 
ISAT
1 Mill Creek School Geneva (304) K-5 389 0.8 $6,248 18 95.8
2 Bell-Graham Elementary School St. Charles (303) K-5 571 2.6 $6,332 18.4 95.5
3 Haines Middle School St. Charles (303) 6-8 1,109 5.2 $6,332 18.4 95.4
4 Geneva Middle School South Geneva (304) 6-8 725 3.6 $6,248 18 95.3
5 Geneva Middle School North Geneva (304) 6-8 724 5.5 $6,248 18 94.8
Top 1 high school in Kane County
  School Town (District) Enrollment % Low
Income
Spending Per Pupil Graduaion
Rate
ACT PSAE
1 Geneva Community High School Geneva (304) 1,979 5.2 $6,248 96 24.1 76.2
Top 5 elementary schools in McHenry County
  School Town (District) Grades Enroll-
ment
% Low
Income
Spending Per Pupil Class
Size
 
ISAT
1 Prairie Grove Jr. High School Crystal Lake (46) 6-8 380 14.2 $6,308 16.4 96.5
2 Woods Creek Elementary School Crystal Lake (47) K-5 656 10.1 $6,059 17.5 95.1
3 Algonquin Road Elementary School Fox River Grove (3) PK-4 283 15.9 $6,425 15.3 92.7
4 Heineman Middle School Algonquin (158) 6-8 790 10.1 $4,622 18.7 95.1
5 Conley Elementary School Algonquin (158) 3-5 712 12.5 $4,622 18.7 93.2
Top 1 high school in McHenry County
  School Town (District) Enrollment % Low
Income
Spending Per Pupil Graduaion
Rate
ACT PSAE
1 Cary-Grove High School Cary (155) 1,820 12.5 $8,600 94.7 23.4 74
Top 5 elementary schools in Will County
  School Town (District) Grades Enroll-
ment
% Low
Income
Spending Per Pupil Class
Size
 
ISAT
1 Fry Elementary School Naperville (204) K-5 798 3.1 $6,637 18.7 97.6
2 Eisenhower Academy Joliet (86) 1-5 283 30 $5,607 22.4 98.2
3 River Woods Elementary School Naperville (203) K-5 452 2 $7,458 19.1 97
4 Gordon Gregory Middle School Naperville (204) 6-8 986 7.5 $6,637 18.7 96.4
5 Robert Clow Elementary School Naperville (204) K-5 427 8.7 $6,637 18.7 96.3
Top 1 high school in Will County
  School Town (District) Enrollment % Low
Income
Spending Per Pupil Graduaion
Rate
ACT PSAE
1 Lincoln-Way East High School Frankfort (210) 2,271 8 $6,509 92.3 23.6 76.3

NOTES: All data are from 2010-11. Low income is the percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. ISAT is a composite percentage of students who meet or exceed minimum state standards on the Illinois Standards achievement Test. ACT is an average for student performance on the ACT college entrance exam (36 is the highest possible score). PSAE is the percentage of 11th graders who meet or exceed minimum state standards on the Prairie State Achievement Examination. SOURCE: Illinois State Board of Education

PLUS: How we ranked the schools

 

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comments
9 months ago
Posted by Munster, IN Resident

Given the high taxes in IL, can you also compare (and include) Northwest Indiana schools as part of the "Chicago suburbs". There has been a large influx of IL residents moving into Northwest Indiana and it would be great to have similar statistics on the best schools. Thanks.

3 months ago
Posted by jessi

FYI - Looks like you have a code typo above the header of this page. It says "how to get your child into the best CPS schools and our methodology for ranking the top 133">".

3 months ago
Posted by Cramer

I hope we can get good schools going again

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