A Fine and Performing Arts Magnet Cluster School

Overview and History

Ravenswood Elementary is proudly a Chicago public fine and performing arts magnet cluster school. Tucked into the Ravenswood neighborhood on Chicago’s North side, our school is home to a diverse population of 500 preschool through eighth grade students, a thriving before- and after-school program, with many extracurricular activities and active parent groups.

School Hours

  • Start Time: 8:45 AM
  • End Time: 3:45 PM


Location map
4332 North Paulina Street
Chicago, Illinois 60613
Phone: 773-534-5525
Fax: 773-534-5775
Email: info@ravenswoodelementary.org

Leadership Team

Nate Manaen, Principal
Katie Welsh, Assistant Principal



Ravenswood School has been a part of the Ravenswood community since 1873, when Ravenswood was a subdivision of the Chicago suburb of Lake View, and was sending about 50 commuters into the city each day on the train. The community was originally designed as an exclusive commuter suburb, with large lots for sale and houses built farther back from the street for an aesthetically pleasing appearance. The community needed a schoolhouse for all its children, so the construction of Ravenswood School, originally called Sulzer Street School (Montrose Avenue was formerly called Sulzer), began at a cost of about $15,000. This makes Ravenswood School one of the oldest elementary school buildings in the city of Chicago!

Room No. 9, Sulzer School Sept. 26, 1892

In 1889, Ravenswood was annexed into the city of Chicago, and in 1893, a 12-room addition was made to the school and the name was changed to Ravenswood School.

Ravenswood Elementary School 1905

Land that must now be part of the south playground area was acquired in 1910, and was added in 1923.

The two wings on the north and south sides of the Ravenswood School were added in 1912 and 1913, adding twelve rooms and many stairs. These stairs became a point of contention much later in the 1970’s when parents and the school council complained that they made much of the space unusable and turned down $500,000 in rehabilitation work, because they said the stairs would make the work impossible. Hard to believe in today’s world of underfunded schools!

In 1929, Ravenswood School’s junior high students were moved to Stockton School (just a few blocks east on Montrose), which was then a junior high school. Because there was unused space at Ravenswood School, Lakeview High School used the space for their freshman students. At some point later in the 1930’s, the junior high classes were brought back to Ravenswood School.

For a more detailed history, see Elizabeth Patterson’s overview at https://chicagohistoricschools.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/ravenswood-elementary-school/.

Ravenswood has a very famous alumnus in Bob Fosse – Tony, Emmy and Oscar award-winning director (and choreographer), who graduated around 1941. More recently, Carlos Olivero, who graduated from Ravenswood in 2003, was a finalist on the popular Fox TV show “The X Factor” (2013).