Citing the tumult surrounding Illinois public school funding, Chicago Magazine published a ranking of the top 10 private high schools in the Chicago area Monday for parents considering an alternative for their kids’ education.

Here’s a look at their findings:

No. 1: University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

The proximity to University of Chicago and some of the “world’s foremast scholars” across the street from U of C’s Laboratory Schools in the city’s Hyde Park neighborhood provides opportunities for students to pick the brains of well-respected professionals, the magazine notes.

The school’s new director spent 11 years at the World Bank which enforces a belief in “real-world issues” on campus, the report says, like Lab’s civic engagement program. Students are put in paid internships where they focus on giving back to nearby South Side neighborhoods.

No. 2: Latin School of Chicago

The 130-year-old school in Chicago’s Near North Side neighborhood hosts diverse hackathons for students and mock Nuremberg trials,Chicago Magazine says.

The school’s head says it also uses simulations of the Russian Revolution and other historical events to educate.

No. 3: Francis W. Parker School

On Chicago’s North Side in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, students at Parker impressed staff when they were given the opportunity to re-design common spaces in the school, Chicago Magazine reports.

The school’s principal told the magazine there is an emphasis on thought-provoking seminars at the school which is known as one of Chicago’s “most innovative.”

No. 4: Lake Forest Academy

Students from 34 countries and 18 states filled the campus at Lake Forest Academy in suburban Lake Forest last year, according to the report.

The dean of students tells Chicago Magazine the school’s hope is to “inspire global citizens.” Five percent of the class of 2017 enrolled in schools outside the United States, the report says.

No. 5: North Shore Country Day School

This Winnetka campus boasts a small but encouraged student body at only 535 from junior kindergarten to senior year, Chicago Magazine says.

The school’s head tells the magazine there is a strong emphasis on building relationships between students and teachers. Some classes have only 13 students in them, the report says. Each student must also participate in at least two theater performances and play a sport for at least three seasons.

No. 6: St. Ignatius College Prep

In Chicago’s Near West Side neighborhood, multi-generational families carry an educational tradition by attending St. Ignatius.

The principal calls the academic experience “rigorous” with a ever-present Jesuit culture and a diverse student body. The school has 24 advanced placement options and a newly-emphasized STEM initiative.

No. 7: Benet Academy

In suburban Lisle, altruism is as important as academics. Relief trips to foreign countries are common, the report says. Sports and athletics are another high point.

No. 8: Morgan Park Academy

On the Far South Side of Chicago, Morgan Park Academy boasts its notable “project week” where students could find themselves exploring Iceland for touring Facebook’s headquarters, Chicago Magazine reports.

“We’re on the South Side trying to make our mark on the world, but we want students to leave understanding that the South Side isn’t everything, that we are part of a larger world that we have a responsibility to,” Mercedes Z. Sheppard, head of the school, tells Chicago Magazine.

No. 9: Rochelle Zell Jewish High School

This 16-year-old in suburban Deerfield aims to pair exploration of the Jewish religion with an “exemplary education” the schools dean tells Chicago Magazine.

This year saw 168 students enrolled and Rochelle Zell Jewish High School was ranked the best Jewish school in America by Niche.com.

No. 10: Loyola Academy

Wilmette’s Loyola Academy campus is the largest Jesuit high school in the United States, the report says. The North Shore school brings in 2,113 students who are required to take theology classes. Mass is celebrated every morning on the campus.

Published at 6:55 PM CDT on Aug 21, 2017 | Updated at 8:55 PM CDT on Aug 21, 2017

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