School Systems In Our Neighborhood


When researching the schools in Bronzeville, we found that the schools vary in type and rating. However, they are typically similar in size. Most primary schools have an average of two hundred and ninety students and are predominately black. The ratings vary depending on parental values or societal opinions. Typical parents noted that the schools were typically better in standards than the atmosphere in the area called for. But society disagreed, rating the schools on the location rather than the education, giving it a lower rating.

Hyde Park:

Hyde Park is surrounded by many educational landmarks, such as the University of Chicago and The Museum of Science and Industry, which greatly impacts the children living in the area. Parents are very involved in the education of the students that live in the area. Hyde Park has developed an organization called Parents United for Responsible Education that improves schools and encourages academic expectations and the building of trusting relationships. The parents of the students have created local school councils to aid in the betterment of the neighborhoods and society. There are a variety of schools in the area including: Public Schools, Magnet Schools and Private Schools.  Magnet schools are open to children all around the Chicago area through an application process but do not provide transportation.  The standards of the public schools in the area are also very high and many successful people have attended the schools in Hyde Park.


Douglas has a variety of schools in its less than two-square-mile area. Young families with children age elementary to high school won’t be disappointed at the varied academic options within this south side Chicago neighborhood. One of the most famous schools from the area is Dunbar Vocational Career Academy. It is named after the poet Paul Dunbar, but is currently more famous for its recent celebrity graduate, Academy Award- winner Jennifer Hudson. At Dunbar, students start to focus on career paths during their sophomore year of school. At this point, students choose from 22 vocational programs from liberal arts to sciences that will help direct and guide their studies to a career or further education in a college setting.


The Oakland area has a lot of college prep schools. Many of them required an admissions process and had high success rates. We believe that this is due to the rigorous academic curriculum and the activities provided by the school. The demographics were overwhelmingly African American and almost every school had ninety percent or more students partaking in their free or discounted lunch programs. The average class size was between 800-900 students for high schools and 450 students per elementary school, with the average student to teacher ratio falling at around seventeen. We found that most communities had positive comments on the schools and the students appeared to do well. ACT scores varied, but ISAT scores were outstanding.


Woodlawn is small area with predominantly magnet schools near the Hyde Park area. The schools located in Woodlawn have a large population of African Americans. Due to the closeness of Hyde Park we have come to the conclusion that the students travel there to go to school because of the better programs offered at those schools. The grammar schools that are directly located in Woodlawn lack the education that other neighbor hooding schools offer.

So what does this all mean?

It means that the schools in the South Shore area are helping students to succeed and make it in the real world. It shows us that despite the label, “South Shore,” and it’s association with the South Side, the neighborhoods of Oakland, Woodlawn, Hyde Park, and Douglas all have stable educational systems. Bronzeville is the only shaky neighborhood in the area. So how can tutor-mentor programs help? Read our next blog to find out.


One Response to “School Systems In Our Neighborhood”

  1. Dan Bassill Says:

    As you write about schools I encourage you to try to include pictures and maps, showing the location of the neighborhood in the city, and showing the density of schools and the number of poorly performing schools in each area. You can create such a map using the interactive features at

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