A Fine and Performing Arts Magnet Cluster School


General FAQ

What are the school hours?

Beginning in the 2012-2013 year, school begins at 8:45 a.m. and ends at 3:45 p.m. for grades K-8. Tuition-based Preschool drop-off is as early at 8 a.m., with pick-up as late as 6:00 p.m. Preschool for All hours are 8:45 a.m. until 11:20 a.m. for the morning session and 1:10 p.m. until 3:45 p.m. for the afternoon session.

How many students attend Ravenswood School?

We currently enroll nearly 500 students from preschool through 8th grade.

What does it mean that Ravenswood School is a Fine and Performing Arts Magnet Cluster school?

Ravenswood School is a neighborhood school, accepting all students within its attendance boundaries. In addition, Ravenswood receives supplementary support from CPS for its arts program, and resources toward arts instruction. Students all receive visual arts, drama, and music instruction, as well as integrated arts units incorporated into core subjects.

How many students live in boundary vs. out-of-boundary?

Currently, 38% live in boundary, 62% out-of-boundary.

Is there before and after-school care available?

Yes. For the Tuition-based pre-K program, it is considered part of the day and built into the tuition. For students in kindergarten through 8th grade, Ravenswood School offers before and after-school care on-site through our partner Youth Guidance (this is called Before and After School Adventures, or BASA). Children can be dropped off as early as 7:30am and picked up as late as 6:00pm. BASA is tuition-based and has a sliding scale available for families qualifying for free or reduced lunch. In addition, Youth Guidance offers after school enrichment programs available through BASA or on an a la carte basis.

Is Ravenswood School affiliated with any colleges or universities?

Citing the excellent teaching staff, well-developed curriculum and strong leadership, the education departments at numerous colleges and universities in the region seek to place their student teachers at Ravenswood School. Ravenswood partners with major higher education institutions such as Northwestern University, DePaul University, Loyola University, University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) and the Art Institute of Chicago to host many student teachers and countless university observers each school year.

Do siblings receive preference for acceptance to Ravenswood School if there are class openings?

Yes, if you live outside the Ravenswood School attendance boundaries, through the “sibling lottery” option on the CPS Standard Elementary application, siblings do receive preference over other applicants in the lottery. If you live within Ravenswood School attendance boundaries, your child is guaranteed a space at Ravenswood School.

Are there any sports teams? Academic clubs? Band and/or choir?

Ravenswood School has boys and girls basketball teams for grades 5-8. We also have a Girls on the Run program for girls grades 3-8. Band is offered for students 4-8 (brass, percussion and woodwind), and choir is offered for students 3-8. In addition, there are other clubs students can participate in, such as Math Club, Gardening Club, and Chess Club. Students also have the opportunity to participate in seasonal activities like the school play and the talent show. For more information about extracurricular activities, see this page.

How do you take advantage of being in the city to enhance learning opportunities?

Throughout the year, Ravenswood students take field trips around the city, including museums, theaters and other educational Chicago institutions. In addition, Ravenswood School partners with arts organizations such as Old Town School of Fold Music and Lyric Opera to bring an arts dimension to traditional curricula.

Are parents active in the school?

Ravenswood School believes that parents are children’s first true teachers, and invites partnerships with parents. Our parents are involved in many different ways, from our fantastic attendance at school events such as our assemblies, school play, movie nights, literacy night, and open house, to their involvement in organizations such as Friends of Ravenswood School (FORS) and the Local School Council (LSC) to the time they volunteer in the classroom or at events such as Field Day or helping to plan our annual gala, Spring Forward. Volunteer opportunities are plentiful and we encourage parents to be active participants in their children’s education.

Preschool FAQ

What’s the difference between the Preschool for All (also known as State-funded preschool or PFA) and the Tuition-Based Pre-Kindergarten (TBPK)?

The basic difference between the two preschool programs is that Preschool for All is funded by the State of Illinois, is free of charge and is a half-day program, while Tuition-Based Pre-Kindergarten is a full-day program for which tuition payments are required.

What are the hours for the preschool programs?

The Tuition-Based Pre-Kindergarten hours are 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., with early pick-up options available. Each Preschool for All session meets for two hours and 35 minutes; the morning session meets 8:45 a.m. – 11:20 a.m. and the afternoon session meets 1:10 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

How many teachers are in the preschool classrooms?

In the Tuition-Based classrooms, there are always two teachers present (the lead teacher and an assistant), although there are three teachers assigned to each classroom. In the Preschool for All classroom, there is a lead teacher and an assistant teacher always present.

How do I apply to the Ravenswood preschool programs?

Applications are available in the school office or online. You can submit an application as early as the first day of the school year prior to the year you are applying for. Only an application is necessary for the Preschool for All program. For the Tuition-Based program, a completed application accompanied by a deposit is required. The school does not cash the deposit until classroom spots are filled and you confirm acceptance of your child’s space in the class.

What are the requirements for acceptance into each preschool program?

Students are admitted to the Preschool for All program based on a CPS-mandated protocol, which prioritizes children according to age and need. For the Tuition-Based Pre-Kindergarten program, applicants are accepted on a first-come, first served basis.

How many preschool spots are available for each of the preschool programs?

There is room for 40 children in the Preschool for All program (20 morning slots and 20 afternoon slots), and room for 40 children in the Tuition-Based program (2 classrooms of 20 children each). However, the number of seats available for fall enrollment is dependent upon how many students return for the following year (some will go on to kindergarten).

Kindergarten FAQ

If my child participates in either preschool program at Ravenswood School, will he/she be able to enter kindergarten at Ravenswood, even if we live outside the school attendance boundaries?

Attending preschool at Ravenswood School does NOT guarantee a space in our kindergarten. If you live within our attendance boundaries, your child is entitled to a kindergarten space. However, if you live outside our attendance boundaries, you must apply through the CPS lottery with the Standard Elementary application.

If we live within the Ravenswood School boundaries, will my child be able to attend Ravenswood School?

All kindergarten through eighth grade students who can provide proof of residency inside the Ravenswood School attendance boundaries will be admitted to Ravenswood School.

What if we don’t live within the established attendance boundaries for Ravenswood School? Will my children be allowed to attend?

Students who live outside the attendance boundaries can submit a “Standard Elementary” application to participate in the CPS lottery to have a chance to be awarded a space at Ravenswood School. Siblings of current Ravenswood students are placed in a “sibling lottery” and are given preference over others who live outside the attendance boundary but do not have a sibling currently attending Ravenswood.

Does Ravenswood School offer full-day kindergarten? Is there a part-time option?

Ravenswood School offers a full-day kindergarten, which follows the regular school day. We do not offer a part-time option.

Curriculum FAQ

What ancillary classes do Ravenswood students attend?

Ravenswood School students at all grade levels attend visual art, drama, music, and gym at least once every week, with the exception of Preschool for All students (a state mandate). Please see our Fine Arts page for more details.

What kind of math, reading and science curricula do you use?

The foundation of the Ravenswood curriculum is literacy-based, with an approach called Balanced Literacy. Preschool through 5th grades use the Everyday Math curriculum and our 6th through 8th graders use the MathThematics curriculum. We use the FOSS (Full Option Science System) curriculum for all grade levels. Please see our K-8 curriculum page for more in-depth information.

Is recess part of the day at Ravenswood School?

Yes, all students have a mid-day recess break. When weather permits, recess is held outside.

If my child is performing behind or ahead of grade level, what resources are available to address this?

First, our teachers are trained to differentiate instruction, which is a technique used to meet each child at his/her level. This is a fundamental component of our Balanced Literacy curriculum. It makes it possible for students to continue to be challenged no matter their level. In addition, we have an excellent Special Education department and staff, for students who may require additional support in the form of an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

What is the academic focus at Ravenswood School?

The Ravenswood curriculum is built on developing literacy through Balanced Literacy, which encompasses strong reading skills as well as literature study, writing and vocabulary. Ravenswood students develop strong comprehension and fluency skills; they learn to understand and clearly express novel ideas and opinions. Strong literacy skills lead to strong student learning in other key subject areas such as math, science and social studies. Of course, as a Fine and Performing Arts Magnet Cluster, we also have a significant focus on the arts, as seen in our phenomenal arts classes, through our arts integration units, and with the partnerships we have formed with various arts organizations that come to interact with and instruct our students.

Do the middle school students switch classrooms for different subjects?

Yes, our middle school students switch classes for Math, Science and Social Studies. Our middle school teachers are all certified in their subject areas. The students learn language arts with their homeroom teacher.

For Additional Questions:

If you have more questions about Ravenswood School, we invite you to contact us at:

Ravenswood School information: info@ravenswoodelementary.org
Friends of Ravenswood School (FORS): fors@ravenswoodelementary.org