Bell Elementary School
Chicago, IL | Cook County
February 22, 2015
Adding to my last review, although the education students receive is fair, it's not completely great. There does happen to be a deaf and hard of hearing program at bell school, but personally I feel like the teachers for that program are completely unqualified. Bell is always holding in school events such as Spirit Week or Bullying Assembly's, but they never really address the bad topics about Bell School, they basically give their students a warning but when anything happens, it's brushed to the side. There is no diversity at Bell, what so ever. I hope I don't come off as rude, but bell is an over-privileged, white, rich school. They tell their students to be unique, but when we are we are looked down on and made fun of. At our recent dress-code assembly, our Vice-Principle was talking about what girls should and shouldn't be wearing and quickly ended with "because it could be found distracting." As soon as she said that everyone went silent and she quickly changed to a different subject. All I'm trying to say is, all of the misleading great things said about Bell are all phony lies. Bell will always be worse than it is perceived to be.
September 3, 2014
I am a 7th grader in the options department at Bell School and I am honestly very happy where I am. Although I do think that the new principal is not as included and well rounded as the old one, I still find Bell to be such an including and wonderful school. I've been here since I was in kindergarten and I have made great connections with the student and the teachers. I would like to make a shoutout to the seventh grade options teacher (Mr. Klein) I think that he has prepared many students to be able to reach their full potential and get ready for high school which is an extremely helpful pro to Bell. The academics are really good for what I am aware of and some of the reviews saying that they aren't, are not really looking at all of the different view points and really looking at the work that their kid is given.
May 13, 2014
I think this school has been a wonderful experience for my children! We moved in district just to go here and have not regretted it one second. It is a great community. The teachers are, on the most part, wonderful and caring and my children are thriving in their academic journey here. We have never experienced any bullying or elitist teaching staff as some have reported. I volunteer often in the school and feel I have a great rapport with the staff. They school encourages parent participation and volunteerism, a part that makes is so great.Submitted by a parent
May 9, 2014
If you scratch the surface of the hype surrounding this school, you will discover that all that glitters is not gold. I have had 2 kids at this school for the last 6 years and the truth is that this is the most over-rated school in Chicago. The environment is elitist and entitled. Bullying is rampant and not addressed. The "wonderful" education is mediocre at best. Unless you plan on donating a lot of money or spending hours volunteering, forget about your child being treated as anything more than a statistic. While there may be a few teachers who are wonderful, they are the minority and most teachers are extremely passive-aggressive in their attitudes towards the students especially in the upper grades. I moved to the neighborhood specifically for this school and wish I had stayed where we were. . There are a lot of other parents who feel the same way but are afraid to say anything for fear of repercussions.Submitted by a parent
April 17, 2014
I do not recommend this school for anyone who has a deaf child. The principal is very inexperienced and is just worried about the how everything looks to impress outsiders. They confuse children and families.
September 26, 2013
I am happy that my daughter, who is now in 8th grade, is able to attend and graduate from Bell. It has been mostly a great experience - good teachers, parental involvement, and culturally diverse.Submitted by a parent
August 29, 2013
With three different "schools" within the same building, Bell has an extremely diverse student population. Neighborhood, gifted and deaf/hard of hearing children have separate curricula but the faculty and administration are extremely creative in finding ways for the children to interact. On top of that, top notch staff, creative and dedicated teachers and an extremely strong parent organization have made Bell a consistently top ranked school not only within the Chicago Public school system but also the state. Academics, sports, fine arts, after school programming and more make this a welcoming school and deliver a great education.Submitted by a parent
August 19, 2013
Bell school is wonderful. My son has been there for two years and loves it. He has an IEP and we were very concerned about a school appropriately providing for his learning needs (after being at other good school, just to be disappointed). Not the case at this school. The community is wonderful and very supportive to all students.Submitted by a parent
June 5, 2013
I am currently an 5th grade student at Bell School and I am frustrated with all "spirit" and festivals. In my opinion, they don't really have a real effect on the students' positive thinking and are a complete waste of time. I get that the staff is trying to promote kindness and acceptance, but, really, if they want us to treat each other better, they should work on THEIR leadership skills. I do realize that only we as students can stop bullying and other issues, but, it's really their job to educate us and guide us. With all the "fun" events right now, I think they are taking this issue too forcefully. You can't really "party away" bullying and I think they should take a softer approach towards this issue. Instead of going about into lalaland and planning not-so-creative events, they should listen to the people who are actually being bullied. I just don't think they truly understand what's happening backstage in OUR reality.
April 8, 2013
I am currently an 8th grade student in the Bell school options department, and my experience with bell school has been, on a whole, very positive. I have had some issues with the new principle and slew of new hires - we had two 1st year teachers in three years, both of which had to completely rewrite a curriculum for themselves, leading to a good deal of organizational issues and frustration. (especially considering how wonderful the teachers we would have had were). However, the community involvement, many of the teachers, and the academic and after school opportunities are exceptional and I, as well as my classmates, are prepared for high school next year.
January 29, 2013
We have been at Bell (1st grade) for 4 months now and find it to be an exceptional school. We would love to get our daughter into the Options program but if given the choice between an option program in another school and staying in Bell's neighborhood program, i believe we would make the choice to stay at Bell. The teachers, faculty and community are wonderful and our daughter is thriving.Submitted by a parent
August 29, 2012
My son is in this school since 2011 and I am really happy to be a part of this school. Teachers are really really great. Their feedback is so helpful. Even Principle is so friendly and open to discuss anything. Good Education flow. Lots of helpful activities for Science, Maths and English. I must say its one of the best school. I took my daugher's admission also in this school ( Preschool), but somehow it not starting this year and we decided to let her go next year but will start with this school only. I do not have enough words but in short this is great school indeed.Submitted by a parent
April 7, 2012
As a parent with two kids at Bell I can say the school is excellent. All of our teachers, past & present, have been outstanding & truly care. One of the best aspects of the school is the open attitude of the administration and the way they strongly encourage parent involvement. Teachers are easily accessible and available to answer questions. Their personal recommendations for my kids have been on target and obviously geared towards my kids unique learning style. Community involvement is strong as evidenced by Friends of Bell fundraising that generates substantial dollars each year. This allows the school to stay on top of the latest technology. I m always impressed by the regular flow of new computers and AV equipment thanks to these discretionary funds. The bottom line is my kids are thriving in every way because Bell really is as good as it s reputation.Submitted by a parent
March 11, 2012
Things are changing at Bell and not necessarily for the better. The new principal is not being a leader so much as running away from parents. Parents are not welcome into her office as was the case with the old principal. I have yet to see her smile at anyone. When issues have been raised concerning new teachers or program changes barriers are put in place to keep the average parent out of the loop and forget about offering an opinion. As stated before - What does the options coordinator do? She just seems to be 1 more buffer between parents and the principal. She is definitely not an advocate for the program(kids or staff) she is 'coordinating.' Bell used to be ahead of it's time in the gifted program it offered. Now it seems to be stagnant and this is entiredly based on the lack of leadership from the top down. I hope someone in the admin sees this and starts to take the comments to heart.Submitted by a parent
July 30, 2011
I am a student at bell School. I will be going into the 7th grade options class this year. For me, all my teachers have been great every year. They truly do care about how we are doing academically. The teachers I have had also seem to care about how we are doing emotionally, as well. The one complaint I do have is that the neighborhood and options program seem so segregated. It is rare that the options and neighborhood students will engage in activities together, even during recess. Also, the neighborhood kids all know each other, despite their being 4 different classes because the classes are mixed up every year. In addition, I believe our previous principal was outstanding. But I don't believe the assistant principal that took his place is living up to our previous principal.
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