The Best Schools in the Chicago Suburbs – SchoolSparrow’s Top 30 Hidden Gems

Chicagoland is home to over 2,000 public schools and nearly 8 million people. The 2nd largest metropolitan area in the United States, Chicagoland contains more than 200 suburbs! So whether you’re moving to Chicago or you already live here, if the suburban lifestyle appeals to you, you won’t want to overlook these community schools. They are some of the best schools in the Chicago suburbs.

Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash

These suburban public schools are often underrated on the most popular school ranking sites, but the ratings you’ll see on sites like GreatSchools don’t tell the whole story. In fact, they tend to favor mostly white, privileged areas.

That’s because these sites leave out the single most influential factor when it comes to test scores: parent income. 

SchoolSparrow’s ranking system takes parent income into account when comparing standardized test scores, and that’s why our ranking system elevates socioeconomic and racial diversity.

(Want to learn more? Check out this great story from Chalkbeat that explains the biases inherent in many dominant school ranking sites. Then, contrast that with how we rank schools at SchoolSparrow.)

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For Reference: 

The test scores referenced below are the percentage of kids who meet or exceed state standards on the Reading/Language Arts (RLA) section of the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) standardized test.

So, without further ado, and in alphabetical order, we present SchoolSparrow’s list of the Top 30 Elementary Schools in Chicagoland that other ranking sites overlook.

Congrats to the students, parents and especially the hard working educators at these schools that are underrated by the popular school ranking systems. #schoolequity @schoolsparrow

SchoolSparrow’s Top 30 Chicago Suburban Schools

Avon Center Elem School, Round Lake Beach, IL (50 min to 1hr 10 min via car, 1hr 38min via Metra to Willis tower)
Image Courtesy of Avon Center School

Round Lake Beach is nestled between lakes and forest preserves located in the far northwest corner of Chicagoland. Wisconsin is closer than the City of Chicago for this sleepy suburb, but if wide open spaces and inexpensive real estate appeals to your family, then look no further than Avon Center Elementary, one of the best schools in the Chicagoland area.

Avon Elementary makes this list due to its impressive results on the Reading/Language Arts (RLA) section of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) standardized test. Although other school rankings sites discount Avon Elementary with a 5/10 rating, we know that these sites are biased towards schools in wealthy areas.

According to our metrics, Avon Elementary scores an A-, equivalent to a 9/10!

The educators at Avon Elementary are making the difference. At the family income level of Avon Elementary, the average score is expected to be a 39.6 (39.6% of kids meet or exceed state standards on the test. By comparison, the average score in the State of Illinois is 37%). But the kids at Avon Elementary are scoring a 47! That’s nearly 20% above expectations.

With a strong diversity score of 20/40, you can expect a vibrant inclusive community at Avon Center Elementary.

The median home price for homes that have sold in Round Lake Beach is $165,100, and this listing is a 3BD single family home for sale right now for $159,900 in the attendance boundaries of Avon Center Elementary.

Address:  1617 North Route 83, Round Lake Beach, IL 60073

Website:  http://www.d46.org/school-av.asp

Carl Sandburg Elementary School, Wheaton IL (35-50 min to Willis Tower via car)

Wheaton is a popular Western suburb of Chicago located between Naperville to the south and Carol Stream to the north. It is a large suburb with over 50,000 residents and 15 public elementary schools. 

Carl Sandburg is a high performing school, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at their 6/10 Greatschools score. SchoolSparrow ranks this school a B+, equivalent to a 9/10. This School is doing a great job at educating kids!

Image Courtesy of Sandburg Elementary

SchoolSparrow’s higher ranking is based on Sandburg’s standardized test score performance, when adjusted for parent income. The average or expected score at schools with similar parent income profiles is 46, meaning 46% of students meet or exceed state expectations on the RLA section of the NAEP

But the students at Carl Sandburg are scoring nearly 18% over expectations: 54% of students meet or exceedstate standards on the RLA section of the NAEP! Congrats to the students, parents and faculty at Carl Sandburg. Your educators are making a difference.

The median sale price of homes in Wheaton is $332,900, and this listing is a 3BD single family home for sale right now for $245,000 in the attendance boundaries of Carl Sandburg Elementary. 

Address: 1345 Jewell Road, Wheaton, IL 60187

Website: https://www.cusd200.org/sandburg

Chateaux School, Hazel Crest, IL (30-45 min drive to Willis Tower)

Hazel Crest is a south suburb located approximately 25 miles from Chicago’s downtown area.  The city was named to reflect the large numbers of hazelnut bushes that grew on a rise of land just south of town. (Nutella anyone?)

Chateaux School shatters test score expectations by over 47%! As a result, this school gets an A grade from SchoolSparrow, equivalent to a 10/10! Clearly, the 4/10 score you’ll find on GreatSchools does not accurately reflect the Chateaux community. We recognize the hard work and dedication that the administration and especially the teachers are putting forth at Chateaux Elementary.

Image Courtesy of Chateaux Elementary

Congratulations to everyone who has had a hand in educating students at this school!

Hazel Crest is a very affordable suburb, with a median home value of $115,378. This listing is a 4BD single family home for sale right now at $95,000 in the attendance boundaries of Chateaux School.

Address: 3600 Chambord Lane, Hazel Crest, IL 60429

Website: https://www.phsd144.net/chateaux

Clifford Johnson Elementary School – Warrenville, IL (36 minute drive from Willis Tower)

Warrenville is a city in DuPage County, Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 13,140.  It is a part of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor.

Image Courtesy of Community Unit School District 200

Clifford Johnson Elementary earns a diversity score of  20 out of a possible 40. Illinois schools with similar parent income profiles score around 34 points. But Johnson Elementary shatters expectations, scoring 39% higher and achieving an actual average score of 47.

SchoolSparrow awards Clifford Johnson an A (10/10) for their outstanding jobs educating their students. (Contrast this with Greatschools, which only scores Clifford Johnson Elementary a 6/10.)

Parents, don’t make the mistake of overlooking this school! Johnson Elementary ranks as one of the best in all of Chicagoland.

The median home value in Warrenville is $228,989. (For reference, Naperville is a suburb located just south of Warrenville, and its median home value lands around $400,000!) Check out this listing of a home within the attendance boundaries of Johnson Elementary.

Address: 2S700 Continental Dr, Warrenville, IL 60555

Website: https://www.cusd200.org/johnson 

Coolidge Elementary School, Lansing, IL (32 minutes from the Willis Tower)
Photo Courtesy: Google maps

Don’t be fooled by the 5/10 score you’ll see for this school on GreatSchools. Coolidge Elementary is anything but average. 

First, take a look at their diversity score: 30.0 out of 40.0 possible points! This high score means a diverse and inclusive learning environment where your child can learn and grow. 

What’s more, Coolidge Elementary scores a B+ overall on SchoolSparrow. (That’s like a 9/10 rating on GreatSchools.) It’s not hard to see why. Illinois schools with similar income profiles score an average of 31 points– meaning 31% of their students meet or exceed state standards on the Reading/Language Arts (RLA) section of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) standardized test. 

Coolidge Elementary exceeds this expectation by 6 points. This means they’re scoring almost 20% higher than expected. Congrats to all the educators at this school who are making a difference!

Looking for a home near Coolidge? This school makes its home in zip code 60438, where the median home selling price is $119,000. You won’t want to miss this 3-bed, 1-bath home currently listed at $80,000. 

Address: 17845 Henry Street, Lansing IL 60438

Website: https://www.d158.net/o/ces

Ernest Kolb Elementary – Oak Lawn, IL (28 minute drive from Willis Tower)
Photo Courtesy of Kolb Elementary

Ernest Kolb Elementary is less than a half hour away from downtown Chicago, making this a very attractive school for parents who work downtown. It gets an A- overall grade on SchoolSparrow, with an A- grade for 4th grade as well.

Kolb features a somewhat diverse student body, with a SchoolSparrow diversity score of 15 out of a possible 40 points.

As we mentioned earlier, SchoolSparrow adjusts test score expectations based on parent income, which is one of the biggest factors that contributes to student test scores. The expected score for Kolb students is 28.47, but the school’s actual score averages 37– 29% higher than expectations!

Kolb Elementary should be on your shortlist for suburban schools. Huge shout out to all the students, parents and especially the faculty at this school for your hard work! The success of this school is a testament to all the administration and staff. You really are making a difference.

The price per square foot of a home in this zip code is $153, and the average sale price of homes is $237,600. This listing is an example of a home you can buy within Ernest Kolb Elementary school boundaries.

Address: 9620 S Normandy Avenue Oak Lawn, IL 60453

Website: https://www.ridgeland122.com/Kolb

Frances B. McCord Elementary School, Burbank IL (28 minutes from the Willis Tower)
Photo Courtesy: Google Maps

Don’t dismiss McCord Elementary because of its average score on GreatSchools (5/10)– this school deserves a far higher rating! 

On SchoolSparrow, McCord Elementary gets a B+ score overall, which translates to a 9/10 rating. And it’s not hard to see why… 

With a great diversity score (20.0 out of 40.0 possible points) and test scores 6 points higher than expected, McCord Elementary deserves more recognition than it gets. Special shoutout to the 5th grade teachers, whose students scored at A+ level, according to the latest available data. 

Interested in a home near McCord Elementary? The median selling price for homes in this zip code (60459) is $212,300, and here’s a listing you won’t want to miss: this 4-bed, 1-bath home currently listed at $198,900.

Address: 8450 Nashville Avenue, Burbank, IL 60459

Website: http://www.burbank.k12.il.us/2/Home

George T Wilkins Elementary, Justice IL (27 minutes to the Willis Tower)
http://Photo Courtesy: @wilkinselementary

With a great diversity score (20.0 out of 40.0 points) and test scores 27.6% higher than expected (based on Illinois schools with similar parent income profiles), George T. Wilkins Elementary deserves a place on your school shortlist! 

The 5/10 score you’ll find on GreatSchools does not tell the whole story about this school. In fact, on SchoolSparrow, Wilkins Elementary achieves an A- rating overall. That means, this school rates closer to a 9/10! 

Illinois schools with similar parent income profiles score an average of 29 points– meaning 29% of their students meet or achieve state standards on the Reading/Language Arts (RLA) section of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) standardized test. 

Wilkins Elementary exceeds this expectation by 8 points, scoring a 37 overall!

We want to thank all the administration and staff at this school– your work really does make a difference for Chicago’s kids!

Looking for a home near Wilkins Elementary? Homes listed in Justice have a median listing price of $189,886. Check out this 3-bed, 2-bath home currently listed at $149,000.

Address: 8001 South 82nd Avenue, Justice, IL 60458

Website: https://wilkinselem.isd109.org/

Grant-White Elementary School, Forest Park (15 minutes west of the Willis Tower)

Don’t dismiss Grant-White Elementary because of their 5/10 score on GreatSchools– this school is anything but average! 

Photo Courtesy: Google Maps

For one thing, Grant-White offers a diverse and inclusive student body. (It’s diversity score is 20.0 out of 40.0 possible points.) For another, its students shatter expectations when it comes to test scores! 

Illinois schools with similar income profiles score an average of 35 points, meaning 35% of their students meet or achieve state standards on the Reading/Language Arts (RLA) section of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) standardized test. 

Grant-White exceeds this expectation by almost 35% and achieves an A (10/10) rating on SchoolSparrow overall. What a testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff and faculty at this school!

Looking for a home within Grant-White attendance boundaries? Homes in this zip code (60130) have a median listing price of $224,900, and you won’t want to miss this 3-bed, 2-bath apartment currently listed at $234,000!

Address: 147 Circle Ave Forest Park, IL 60130

Website link: https://www.fpsd91.org/grantwhite

Hazelgreen Elementary – Alsip, IL (31 minute drive from Willis Tower)

Located in Alsip, Hazelgreen Elementary scores a SchoolSparrow overall grade of an A-, and an A grade for 3rd and 5th grade.

Photo Courtesy of District 126

This is yet another school that is underrated by GreatSchools. A 6/10 score for Hazelgreen Elementary is simply too low, as this score should be at least 9/10. Hazelgreen is a diverse school as well, with a diversity score of 20 out of a possible 40.

The test scores make Hazelgreen Elementary stand out, and this especially true when you weigh them against the expectations based on parent income. The expected standardized test score for schools of similar parent income profiles is 39.64. Hazelgreen exceeds expectations by 31%, achieving a score of 52!

Hazelgreen’s zip code, 60803, offers affordable home options, especially compared to downtown Chicago. The price per square foot of a home in this zip code is $144. The average price of homes currently listed is $172,639. Here’s an example listing of a home you can buy within the attendance boundaries of Hazelgreen Elementary.

Parents should give a serious look at this school for their children. It is a great school in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, in a neighborhood far more affordable than downtown Chicago. In fact, it is one of the best schools in the Chicago suburbs.

Address: 11900 S Kostner Avenue, Alsip, IL 60803

Website: https://www.dist126.org/

Highlands Elementary School – Hazel Crest, IL (32 minute drive from Willis Tower)

Hazel Crest is a south suburb of Chicago with a population around 14,000. The Park District operates more than 200 acres of parks and provides recreational programming for the district’s residents.

Photo Courtesy of Highlands Elementary

Students at Highlands Elementary are expected to score a 21 on the Reading/Language/Arts (RLA) section of standardized tests. Yet, students here score 50% higher for an actual average score of 32!

SchoolSparrow rates Highlands Elementary an A (10/10) for their hard work and dedication to their students. (Compare that to Greatschools, which underscores Highlands with only a 6/10…)

The median home value in Hazel Crest is $115,378. The median list price per square foot in Hazel Crest is $74, which is lower than the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin Metro average of $165. Take a look at this listing, an example of a home you can buy in this school district.

Address: 3420 Laurel Ln, Hazel Crest, IL 60429

Website: https://www.phsd144.net/highlands

Jefferson Elementary School – Berwyn, IL (18 minute drive from Willis Tower)

Berwyn is a suburban city of Chicago. Two park districts and a recreation department maintain the city’s recreational facilities and organize leagues and programming for youth, adults, and seniors. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 56,657.

Photo Courtesy of Berwyn North School District 98

Illinois schools with similar parent income profiles score an average of 27 points (meaning 27% of their students meet or exceed state standards). Students at Jefferson go above and beyond this expectation, and their school scores an actual average score of 41 points, which is 51% higher than the average!

While Greatschools only scores Jefferson Elementary a 6/10, we believe this school deserves a far higher rating: 10/10. In fact, Jefferson scores at A level overall on SchoolSparrow.

The median home value in Berwyn is $219,853, and here’s a sample listing of a home available in this school district.

Address: 7035 16th St, Berwyn, IL 60402

Website: https://jefferson.bn98.org/ 

Karel Havlicek Elementary – Berwyn, IL (14 minutes west of the Willis Tower)

Don’t overlook Karel Havlicek because of its GreatSchools score. This school deserves far higher than a 4/10. 

Photo Courtesy of Havlicek School

Overall, Karel Havlicek achieves a B+ ranking on SchoolSparrow, meaning this K-5 school should get closer to a 9/10 rating. In fact, 4th and 5th grades scored at B level or above, according to the latest available data.

Thanks to all the educators at Havlicek Elementary! The work you’re doing really does make a difference.

Looking for a home in Berwyn? Havlicek Elementary is located in zip code 60402, where the median home value is $216,654 and the median list price is $195 per square foot. Check out this 4-bed, 2-bath home currently listed at $134,900.

Address: 6401 15th St Berwyn, IL 60402

Website: https://havlicek.bn98.org/

Kennedy Elementary – Chicago Heights, IL (43 minute drive from Willis Tower)

Located in Chicago Heights, Kennedy Elementary School has an A- overall grade on SchoolSparrow, and an A+ at the 7th grade level. GreatSchools only awards Kennedy Elementary a 5/10 score, but in reality it deserves closer to a 10/10.

Photo Courtesy Google Maps

Kennedy Elementary is also a diverse school, with a SchoolSparrow diversity score of 20 out of a possible 40.

Like the other schools on this list, Kennedy Elementary exceeds expectations on standardized tests when normalized for parent income. Illinois schools with similar income profiles score an average of 20.09. (In other words, 20.09% of students at these schools meet or exceed state standards on standardized tests.)

Kennedy Elementary, however, exceeds this score by 34%, achieving an average score of 27 across all grades!

Kennedy Elementary also makes its home in an affordable neighborhood, especially when compared to downtown Chicago. The price per square foot of a home in this zip code is $88, while the average price of homes currently listed is $114,900. This listing is an example of a 3 bedroom home you can buy for under $100,00 that is within the boundaries of Kennedy Elementary.

Parents, give Kennedy Elementary a close look, because it is one of the best schools in the Chicago suburbs!

Address: 1013 Division St. Chicago Heights, IL 60411

Website: https://www.sd170.com/site/Default.aspx?PageID=17

Lake Park Elementary School – Addison, IL (28 minutes west of the Willis Tower)

Don’t be fooled by the 4/10 score GreatSchools assigns to Lake Park Elementary. SchoolSparrow rankings show that this school deserves at least 8/10. 

Look for yourself at the test score data. Illinois schools with similar parent income profiles score an average of 31 points, meaning 31% of their students meet or exceed state standards on the Reading/Language Arts (RLA) section of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) standardized test. Lake Park exceeds this expectation by almost 6 percentage points. 

Shoutout to Lake Park’s 4th grade teachers, whose students scored at A- level, according to the latest data!

Photo Courtesy: Lake Park Elementary Facebook

Lake Park makes its home in zip code 60101, where the median home value is $261,148 and the median list price is $180 per square foot. Looking for a home near Lake Park boundaries? You won’t want to miss this elegant 2-bed, 2-bath condo currently listed at $107,000.

Address: 330 W Lake Park Dr Addison, IL 60101

Website: https://lakepark.asd4.org/ 

Laraway Elementary School – Joliet, IL (48 minute drive from Willis Tower)

Joliet is a city 30 miles southwest of Chicago, stretching across both the Des Plaines River and the DuPage River. The population for 2019 was estimated at 147,000, making Joliet the 3rd largest city in Illinois. 

Photo Courtesy of Legat Architects

Laraway Elementary School earns a diversity score of 20 out of 40. And when it comes to standardized testing, students score 85% higher than expected, achieving an actual score of 37. (In other words, an average of 37% of students meet or exceed state standards.)

And scores are only going up! In fact, Laraway increased standardized test scores by a 116% over the span of just one year! That’s just one of the many reasons they achieve an A grade on SchoolSparrow.

(Contrast this 10/10 score to the underrating Laraway receives on GreatSchools. The 4/10 score you’ll find there clearly doesn’t reflect their true potential.)

The median home value in Joliet is $178,139. The median price of homes currently listed in Joliet is $169,900, while the median price of homes that sold is $173,300. Take a look at this listing, found near Laraway Elementary.

Address: 1715 Rowell Ave, Joliet, IL 60433

Website: http://www.laraway70c.org/ 

Markham Park Elementary – Markham, IL (27 minute drive from Willis Tower)
Photo Courtesy of Markham Elementary

Markham Park Elementary is a school that gets an A overall grade on SchoolSparrow. It also has an A grade for grades 4 and 5.

Unfortunately, Markham Park is underrated on many traditional school rankings websites, such as GreatSchools. GreatSchools gives Markham Park a 5/10 score, when in reality this school deserves closer to be a 10/10.

At SchoolSparrow, test scores are adjusted based on parent income, which is the biggest driver of test scores. Illinois schools with comparable parent income profiles score an average of 23.62 (meaning 23.62% of their students meet or exceed state standards). At Markham Park, however, students score an outstanding 78% better than this expectation, winning their school an average score of 42.

Markham Park Elementary makes its home in an affordable zip code, with a median home value of $78,042. This listing is an example of a home you can buy within the boundaries of Markham Park Elementary.

Markham Park is redefining educational excellence for the south suburbs, and all the educators here deserve to be recognized for this!

Address: 16239 Lawndale Avenue Markham, IL 60428

Website: https://www.phsd144.net/markhampark

Nathan Hale Elementary – Lansing, IL (40 minute drive from Willis Tower)

Nathan Hale Elementary, located in Lansing, Illinois, is the next hidden gem on the list. This school has an A- overall grade on SchoolSparrow. This is yet another school that GreatSchools has underrated. It gives Hale Elementary a 6/10, when it deserves a 10/10. Take a look for yourself at the data.

Photo Courtesy Nathan Hale Elementary

Nathan Hale Elementary has a diversity score of 10 out of a possible 40. To go along with that, Nathan Hale Elementary students exceed test score expectations. The expected test score, when adjusted for parent income (one of the biggest factors that impact test scores), is 32.11 from Hale students. These students exceed these expectations by 18%, with an average score of 38.

This is another school located in an affordable zip code. The average price per square foot of a home in 60438 is $103. The average sale price of a home in this zip code is $119,200. This listing is an example of an affordable, 3-bedroom home you can buy within the boundaries for Nathan Hale Elementary.

Nathan Hale deserves to rank as one of the best schools in the Chicago suburbs. Parents, take a serious look at Hale Elementary if you are looking to move to or within the Chicagoland area!

Address: 19055 Burnham Ave, Lansing, IL 60438

Website: http://nhs.sd171.org/

Neil Armstrong Elementary – Richton Park, IL (36 minute drive from Willis Tower)

Yet another school with an A overall grade from SchoolSparrow is Neil Armstrong Elementary. Much like the other schools on the list, Neil Armstrong is underrated by GreatSchools with a 6/10. When you look at the data, it is clear that this school should be a 10/10.

Photo Courtesty of FourSquare

Neil Armstrong Elementary smashes expectations when it comes to standardized tests. Schools with similar income profiles score an average of 33.3, but Armstrong Elementary students exceed these expectations by 41%, winning their school an average score of 47.

Armstrong Elementary is yet another school in an affordable zip code. The average price of homes currently listed in this zip code is $132,400, and this listing is an example of a home you can buy within the boundaries of Neil Armstrong Elementary.

This school is one of the best, and its high scores are a testament to the great teachers and staff!

Address: 5030 Imperial Drive, Richton Park, IL 60471

Website: https://na.dist159.com/

Nob Hill Elementary – Country Club Hills, IL (29 minute drive from Willis Tower)

Nob Hill Elementary, located in Country Club Hills, gets an A grade on SchoolSparrow. GreatSchools, an inherently biased platform, gives this school a 4/10, but a closer look at the data reveals that this school really deserves a 10/10.

Image Courtesy PHSD144

It’s easy to see why this school gets an A grade. Schools of similar parent income profiles score an average of 20.53 (meaning 20.53% of their students meet or exceed state standards). Nob Hill students score a magnificent 56% better than that, with an average score of 32– a clear testament to the educational excellence you’ll find here!

To go along with that, Nob Hill Elementary is located in an affordable neighborhood. The average price per square foot of a home in this zip code is $86. The average price of homes currently listed is $133,200. This listing is an example of a home you can find within the boundaries of Nob Hill Elementary.

When you look at all this, it is easy to see why Nob Hill Elementary should be considered one of the best schools in the Chicago suburbs..

Address: 3701 W. 168th Street Country Club Hills, IL 60478

Website: https://www.phsd144.net/nobhill

Northwest School – Evergreen Park, IL (30 minute drive from Willis Tower)

Northwest Elementary School is a wonderful school located in Evergreen Park. SchoolSparrow gives Northwest School an A grade overall. Special shoutout to the 5th grade teachers, whose students achieve A level on standardized tests, according to the latest available data!

Image Courtesy of Northwest Elementary

Northwest Elementary is underrated on GreatSchools, with a score of 6/10. With an A grade on SchoolSparrow and a look at the data, it is clear that Northwest should be a 10/10.

Northwest School is a very diverse school, with a SchoolSparrow diversity score of 30 out of a possible 40.

This isn’t the only thing that makes this school stand out though. Students at Northwest Elementary School score 36% better than expectations on standardized tests. These expectations are calculated using the biggest influence on test scores: parent income.

Schools of similar parent income profiles score around 46 points (meaning roughly 46% of their students meet or exceed state standards). Northwest Elementary students, however, exceed this expectation by almost 50%, and the school scores an average of 62 points overall.

Homes in this zip code are affordable as well, especially when compared to living in downtown Chicago. The price per square foot in this zip code is $152, with the average sale price being $199,900. This listing is an example of a home you can buy in the Northwest Elementary School boundaries.

Northwest School is a gem, and educators here deserve more recognition for how well they are educating students!

Address: 3630 W 92nd Street, Evergreen Park, IL 60805

Website: https://northwestelementaryschool.d124.org/

Piper Elementary School – Berwyn, IL (20 minutes west of the Willis Tower)

If you only checked out Piper Elementary School on GreatSchools, you’d easily overlook it because of its average (5/10) score. Don’t make that mistake! 

Piper scores an A- rating overall on SchoolSparrow because it shatters expectations when it comes to test scores. In fact, for the past two years of available data, all grades at this school have performed at B- level or above! 

5th grade teachers deserve a huge shoutout— their students scored at B+ level according to the latest available data. 

Photo courtesy: ABC7 News

Interested in a home near Piper? Piper’s zip code is 60402, where the median home value is $216,654 and the median list price is $195 per square foot. Looking for a home in Berwyn? Check out this 3-bed, 2-bath home currently listed at $120,000.

Address: 2435 Kenilworth Ave Berwyn, IL 60402

Website: www.berwyn.net/list/member/piper-elementary-school-berwyn-854

Prairie Oak School – Berwyn, IL (15 minute drive to the Willis Tower)

Located in the suburban city of Berwyn (population: 57,000), Prairie Oak stands out from the crowd when it comes to educational excellence. 

For the past two years, 4th and 5th graders have consistently scored at B level or above on standardized tests. Overall, Prairie Oak scores an average of 4.7 points above expected. 

Photo Courtesy of Prairie Oak School

Don’t dismiss Prairie Oak because of its 4/10 score on GreatSchools! We think this school deserves closer to an 8/10. 

Thanks to all the dedicated educators at Prairie Oak– what you’re doing really does make a difference!

Prairie Oak makes its home in zip code 60402, where the median home value is $216,654 and the median list price is $195 per square foot. Looking for a home in Berwyn? Check out this 4-bed, 2-bath home currently listed at $219,900.

Address: 1427 Oak Park Ave Berwyn, IL 60402

Website: https://prairieoak.bn98.org/

Rhodes Elementary School – River Grove, IL (36 minute drive from the Willis Tower)

Meet Rhodes Elementary, a K-8 school located in River Grove, IL. This suburb, which is also known as “the village of friendly neighbors,” has a population around 10,000 and is home to Triton College

Rhodes Elementary makes our list of amazing-but-underrated public schools because it shatters expectations when it comes to test scores. In fact, students at this school score an average of 8 points higher than Illinois schools with similar parent income profiles. 

Special shoutout to the 4th and 7th grade teachers, whose students score at A level, according to the latest available data. 

Clearly, this school’s 4/10 rating on GreatSchools doesn’t tell the whole story. Overall, the school achieves an A- rating on SchoolSparrow, meaning they deserve at least an 8/10!

Photo Courtesy: West Cook News

Interested in a home near Rhodes Elementary? This school’s zip code (60171) has a median home value of $219,680 and a median list price of $181 per square foot. You won’t want to miss this 3-bed, 1-bath home currently listed at $185,000. 

Address: 8931 Fullerton Ave River Grove, IL 60171

Website: https://www.rhodes.k12.il.us/

Sieden Prairie Elementary – Matteson, IL (38 minute drive from Willis Tower)

Matteson, Illinois is home to another hidden gem, Sieden Prairie Elementary. This school has an A- overall grade on SchoolSparrow.

Unfortunately, this school is underrated on GreatSchools, with a 5/10 score. Still, a closer look at the data suggests that Sieden Prairie should have a 10/10 score.

Image courtesy of 3F Corporation

Sieden Prairie’s student body is also diverse, with a diversity score of 20 out of a possible 40. And when it comes to test scores, this school is smashing expectations!

Illinois schools with similar parent income profiles score an average of 26 points (meaning 26% of their students meet or exceed state standards on standardized tests). Sieden Prairie students exceed this score by 24%, achieving a score of 32 for their school.

This school is also in an affordable zip code, with average home prices at $93 per square foot. The average home sale price in this zip code is $157,100. This listing is an example of a home you can buy within the boundaries of this school.

This school is educating students really well, and everyone at Sieden Prairie deserves recognition for this amazing work!

Address: 725 Notre Dame Drive, Matteson, IL 60443

Website: https://sp.dist159.com/

Washington Dual Language Academy – Maywood, IL (16 minute drive from Willis Tower)

Maywood is a village in the Chicago metropolitan area. This early West Side suburb of Chicago was developed along the oldest railway line exiting the city. The population was 24,090 as of 2010.

Image Courtesy of Washington Dual Language Academy

Don’t be fooled by the 4/10 score you’ll see on Greatschools. This school is anything but average. In fact, SchoolSparrow ranks Washington an A (10/10) for several reasons.

For one thing, Washington Dual Language Academy earns a diversity score of 20. And the school scores well when it comes to standardized tests, too.

Illinois schools with similar parent income profiles score an average of 29 points (meaning 29% of their students meet or exceed state standards on standardized tests). Washington Academy students exceed this score by 55%, achieving a score of 45 for their school.

The median home value in Maywood is $165,548, while the median list price per square foot in Maywood is $102, which is lower than the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin Metro average of $165. The median price of homes currently listed in Maywood is $159,000 while the median price of homes that sold is $165,900.

Check out this listing, an example of a home you can buy in this school district!

Address: 1111 Washington Blvd, Maywood, IL 60153

Website: https://washington.maywood89.org/ 

Washington Elementary School – Glenview, IL (27 minute drive from Willis Tower)

Glenview is approximately 15 miles northwest of the Chicago Loop. As of 2010 the population was 44,692. Visitors to Glenview won’t want to miss the old Naval Air Station, which has been renovated into “The Glen Town Center” shopping hub.

Image Courtesy of East Maine School District 23

And, of course, you won’t want to miss Washington Elementary, either.

For one thing, this school earns a diversity score of 30. And when it comes to standardized testing, Washington Elementary is doing great as well!

Illinois schools with similar parent income profiles score an average of 45 points (meaning 45% of their students meet or exceed state standards on standardized tests). But students at this school exceed this score by 38%, achieving a score of 62 for their school!

SchoolSparrow awards an A (10/10) to Washington Elementary for everything they do to help their students succeed. (Contrast this to Greatschools’ underrating of this school. Washington Elementary deserves far higher than a 6/10 score…)

Special shoutout to 6th grade, which scores at A+ level according to the most recent available data!

The median home value in Glenview is $503,579. The median price of homes currently listed in Glenview is $499,900 while the median price of homes that sold is $437,900.

This listing is an example of a home you can buy in this school district.

Address: 2710 Golf Rd, Glenview, IL 60025

Website: https://www.emsd63.org/Domain/14 

Washington Elementary School – Schiller Park, IL (23 minute drive from Willis Tower)

Schiller Park is a village in Cook County, Illinois. The population was 11,793 as of 2010, and 33.3% of households in Schiller Park have children under the age of 18 living with them.

Image Courtesy of School District 81

Washington Elementary School in Schiller Park (not to be confused with the Washington Elementary in Glenview, which is also an amazing school) earns a diversity score of 20.

Illinois schools with similar parent income profiles as Washington Elementary score an average of 30 points, but Washington Elementary students outperform this score by 50%, achieving a score of 45 for their school!

SchoolSparrow awards Washington an A (10/10) for their terrific staff and students who work hard to improve their education. It’s clear this school deserves far higher than the 6/10 rating you’ll find on GreatSchools…

What’s more, Washington Elementary is trending 19% from last year. Shoutout to 5th grade for individually earning an A+!

The median home value in Schiller Park is $222,614, and this listing is an example of a home you can buy in this school district.

Address: 4835 Michigan Ave, Schiller Park, IL 60176

Website: https://www.sd81.org/ 

Westwood Elementary – Woodstock, IL (80 minute drive to Willis Tower)

Our next underrated school comes to you from Woodstock, IL, a suburb located 75 minutes to the northwest of Downtown Chicago. 

With a population around 25,000, Woodstock counts as a small city with many colorful attractions. When you visit, you won’t want to miss the Woodstock Square Historic District or the nearby Illinois Railway Museum— the largest railway museum in the whole country!

And Woodstock’s schools are too good to miss. Check out Westwood Elementary, which scrapes a 6/10 on GreatSchools. According to SchoolSparrow rankings, Westwood deserves closer to 8/10! 

Photo Courtesy of Westwood Elementary

In fact, Westwood students score an average of 8.7 points higher than expected, when compared to Illinois schools with similar income profiles. Special shoutout to the 4th grade teachers, whose students score at B+ level, according to the latest available data!

Westwood finds its home in zip code 60098, where the median home value is $204,001 and the median list price is $124 per square foot. Looking for a home near Westwood? Check out this elegant 4-bed, 2-bath home currently listed at $142,182.

Address: 14124 W South Street Rd, Woodstock, IL 60098

Website: https://www.woodstockschools.org/westwood

Whittier Elementary – Harvey, IL (29 minute drive to Willis Tower)

The next school on the list is Whittier Elementary in Harvey, Illinois. Whittier Elementary has a B grade overall on SchoolSparrow and an A- for both grades 3 and 6.

When you look at the raw test score data, the GreatSchools score of 4/10 is shocking and far too low. Whittier deserves at least 8/10.

Image Courtesy of Google Maps

Another thing that makes this school a gem is its proximity to downtown Chicago. It is less than a 30 minute drive from the city, so it’s perfect for anyone who works downtown. It’s affordable as well, with a price per square foot of a home of $44, The average price of homes currently listed in this zip code is $46,000. This listing is an example of a home you can buy within the boundaries for Whittier Elementary. 

What really stands out at Whittier, however, are the test scores. At SchoolSparrow, we adjust expectations based on a factor that plays a big role in standardized test scores: parent income.

Illinois schools with comparable parent income profiles to Whittier score an average of 19.65 points (meaning 19.65% of their students meet or exceed state standards on standardized tests). Whittier students go above and beyond, scoring a fantastic 63% higher than this average!

All of these factors combine to make Whittier Elementary one of the best schools in the Chicago suburbs.

Address: 16001 Lincoln Avenue, Harvey, IL 60426

Website: http://www.harvey152.org/whittierelementaryschool_home.aspx

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