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Getting Schooled on Location

When homebuyers are searching the market for a new home or condo, obvious things they typically look for can include stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, lots of space; mostly things that relate to the property itself. But what if the home has everything a homeowner would want and perfectly fits all of your living needs? What do people look for next? For young families, one of the top selling points is if the school district has a good reputation. And like nearly every other major city in the country, Chicago has a wide variety of public, private and parochial schools giving residents many different options. The Chicago Public School (CPS) system alone has over 400,000 students in 486 elementary schools, 107 high schools and 20 charter schools. There’s also the unique option of sending your children to a Chicago Magnet School, which usually do not have neighborhood boundaries. These schools generally focus the curriculum to one area of study such as math and science, arts and humanities, or world languages. So for example, if you prefer the industrial, lofty feel of the West Loop but have a child that really excels in mathematics, the magnet system allows for you to send that child to the Walter L. Newberry Math & Science Academy Elementary School in Lincoln Park or the LaSalle II School in Wicker Park-which now serves students in kindergarten through sixth grade. And speaking of Lincoln Park, this neighborhood is also home to one of the top private schools in Chicago, the Francis W. Parker School, which has all 14 grade levels and in addition, the Lincoln Park High School was recently ranked as the 90th best high school by U.S. News & World Report. As recent as a couple years ago, that same publication had the Northside College Prep High School and the Payton College Preparatory High School ranking in the top 50 magnet schools in the nation. So whatever your reason for moving may be, it is important to realize that Chicago has some outstanding educational options and that the suburbs are not always the solution for young and growing families. The Chicago Public School system has an excellent website that outlines school achievement levels and rankings within the city along with other detailed and crucial information for parents to research. Also, make sure to team up with a realtor that is familiar the area and has knowledge of the CPS, the Chicago Magnet system and private school options around each potential location, giving your family and the best possible avenue to be happy—and succeed. Search Chicago real estate by school

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