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District Summary

Understand key findings about the current state of PK-12 public education across the city of Chicago.

2020 - 21 Report

The District Summary is a great introduction and guide as you begin to explore the information in the ARA.

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Quality

Insights

246 schools have been consistently Level 1+ or 1

5 out of 10 students attend a Level 1+/1 school

In the 2020-21 school year, there are 649 CPS schools including 477 elementary schools, 134 high schools, and 38 Options high schools. In the past three years, 246 schools have been consistently Level 1+ or 1, 99 have been consistently Level 1 or 2+, 104 have been consistently Level 2+ or 2, and 50 have been consistently Level 2 or 3.

51% of elementary students, 49% of high school students, and 25% of Options high school students attend a consistently Level 1+ or 1 school.

55% of Latinx students attend a consistently Level 1+ or 1 school. 26% of African American students and 87% of White students attend a consistently Level 1+ or 1 school. In the last three year period, all racial groups increased enrollment in consistently Level 1+ or 1 schools.

The Bronzeville / South Lakefront, Greater Stony Island, Pilsen / Little Village, South Side, and West Side regions all have the greatest capacity to serve additional students in consistently Level 1+ or 1 schools.

 
SQRP Consistency Rating (Levels)
1+/1
1/2+
2+/2
2/3
Inability to Rate
IR
Variable Performance
VP

Elementary Schools

2020-21 School Year

In the 2020-21 school year, there are more than 26,000 unfilled seats at consistently Level 1+ or 1 elementary schools. 91% of all consistently Level 1+ or 1 elementary school seats have no admissions criteria, 7% have some programs with admissions criteria, and 2% have schoolwide admissions criteria.

 

 

 

Seats.svg

Seats

 

Students.svg

Students

SEATS VS ENROLLMENT

 
SQRP Consistency Rating (Levels)
1+/1
1/2+
2+/2
2/3
Inability to Rate
IR
Variable Performance
VP

ADMISSIONS CRITERIA

 
 
No Admissions Criteria
 
Some Programs with Admissions Criteria
 
Schoolwide Admissions Criteria

High Schools

2020-21 School Year

In the 2020-21 school year, there are more than 4,000 unfilled seats at consistently Level 1+ or 1 high schools. 25% of all consistently Level 1+ or 1 high school seats have no admissions criteria, 27% have some programs with admissions criteria, and 48% have schoolwide admissions criteria.

 

 

 

Seats.svg

Seats

 

Students.svg

Students

SEATS VS ENROLLMENT

 
SQRP Consistency Rating (Levels)
1+/1
1/2+
2+/2
2/3
Inability to Rate
IR
Variable Performance
VP

ADMISSIONS CRITERIA

 
 
No Admissions Criteria
 
Some Programs with Admissions Criteria
 
Schoolwide Admissions Criteria

1. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated shift to remote learning, CPS suspended the School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP) for school year 2020-21. To learn more, see the ARA district overview, quality section. For more information on SQRP, visit www.cps.edu/sqrp. CPS is currently in the process of developing a new school accountability system to promote equity and excellence in schools. For more information, visit https://www.cps.edu/strategic-initiatives/accountability-redesign.

2. Includes all traditional neighborhood, selective enrollment, magnet, charter schools, Options/ALOP (alternative learning opportunities programs), and special education specialty schools.

3. CPS calculates seats using a set of space utilization standards. For more information, visit https://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Policies_and_guidelines/Pages/facilitystandards.aspx. The unfilled seats calculation does not include the effect of overcrowded schools.

Quantity

Insights

340,000+ students in the district

159,000+ unfilled seats

11,000+ Pre-Kindergarten students

In the 2020-21 school year, there are 340,658 students enrolled in CPS. Since the 2011-12 school year, district enrollment has declined by an average of 1.8% each year. Overall, enrollment across CPS decreased significantly from 2019-20 to 2020-21; impacted greatly by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The district has space to serve 480,171 students. At current enrollment, there are 159,387 unfilled seats including 31,902 unfilled seats at consistently Level 1+ or 1 schools. Since last year, the number of unfilled seats has increased by more than 11,000.

In the 2020-21 school year (as of the 20th day of school, October 5th), there are 11,494 Pre-K students enrolled in CPS, of which 7,370 are 4-year-olds in full-day programs. CPS is expanding access to free full-day Pre-K for 4-year-olds across the district.

1Enrollment data are from the annual 20th day count.

 
 
9 - 12
 
K - 8
 
PE & PK

Choice

Insights

54% of students choose to attend a school other than their zoned school

School choice (currently defined as choosing to attend a school that is not a student’s zoned school) has stayed relatively consistent over the last four years. In the 2020-21 school year, 54% of students chose to attend a school other than the one they were zoned to and 47% of students attended their zoned school.

In the Far Southwest Side and Greater Lincoln Park regions, 65% and 64% of students respectively attend their zoned school. The West Side and Near West Side regions have the lowest percentages of students attending their zoned school.

 
 
Attending School Out of Region
 
Attending Non-Zoned in Region
 
Attending Zoned School

 

Elementary Schools - 2020-21 School Year

1.5 miles and 15 minutes is the average commute distance and time for elementary students

Distance traveled to elementary school and commute time are the lowest in the Pilsen / Little Village region and highest in the Greater Stony Island region.

AVERAGE COMMUTE DISTANCE

 

AVERAGE COMMUTE TIME

 

High Schools - 2020-21 School Year

3.3 miles and 29 minutes is the average commute distance and time for high school students

Distance traveled to high school and commute time are the lowest in the Greater Lincoln Park region and highest in the Greater Calumet region.

AVERAGE COMMUTE DISTANCE

 

AVERAGE COMMUTE TIME

 

Schools with attendance area boundaries are also referred to as zoned schools. Every street address in the City of Chicago is assigned one attendance area elementary school and one high school. Students can attend their designated zoned school without having to submit an application. Pre-K students are not zoned to a school. For more information about schools, visit http://go.cps.edu.

Due to rounding, some charts may not add up to 100%.

Distance traveled and commute time are calculated based on the student’s home address and the address of their school. Commute time was calculated using Google Maps travel time estimations using the shorter travel time between walking and public transit.

Variety

Elementary Schools

Key Findings

Elementary International Baccalaureate (IB), Fine & Performing Arts, and Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM) programs are currently available in nearly every region. World Language and Personalized Learning programs are available in most regions. Dual Language programs are available in half of the regions. Each region has some mix of programs and may be reflective of school, community, and student interest.

ARA District Summary Variety Bubble Chart

High Schools

Key Findings

High school International Baccalaureate (IB), Military/ JROTC, and Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs are currently available in nearly every region. Selective Enrollment, Personalized Learning, Fine & Performing Arts, and Early College STEM programs are available in half of the regions.

ARA District Summary Variety Bubble HS

For more information about programs, visit http://go.cps.edu.

Elementary Other includes: Humanities, Math/Science, Math/Science/Technology, Montessori, Montessori/Fine & Performing Arts, Scholastic, and World Language and International Studies schools and programs.

High School Other includes: AVID, Dual Language, Journalism, Science, Three-Year HS, and World Language and International Studies schools and programs.