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Schools in Flossmor

My family is looking to move to Flossmor this spring. Our daughter will be starting Kindergarden in the fall. When looking at homes, I'm narrowing our search by school districts and wanted to get to know more about Western Elementary and Infant Jesus of Prague. Are there any facebook groups or parent groups I should know about? What have your experiences been with these schools? Thanks. Julie
Pamela Walker January 15, 2014 at 07:46 AM
Hi Julie, I am a resident of Flossmoor for over eight years. My husband and I have four children. I am an educator and my children attended Morgan Park Academy most of their educational tenure. When the economy turned our business folded and we were forced to use the local public schools in Flossmoor. My son attended Flossmoor Hills and my twin daughters attended Homewood Flossmoor High School in their senior year. Personally and professionally I was not impressed with how the school system prepared the children. We have very high expectations in our home and the experience did not prepare them for greatness. All three of my girls received academic scholarships but I must say it is the private school that really developed their portfolio for college. They were able to do a lot of field project service work abroad which prepared for winning their scholarships. In summation, the schools are not bad but they are not great. It is probably the best in this area. I was told Western Avenue continues to have a stellar curriculum. Additionally, I was told the curriculum was the same at all schools but that is not true because at Flossmoor Hills, some of the students who attend are behind and the district is forced to water the curriculum down to meet the needs of the students. If your child is a high achiever, you may want to explore other options.
Cameron Nelson January 15, 2014 at 09:46 AM
See https://www.facebook.com/groups/sd161parents/ and sd161blog.org
NJB January 15, 2014 at 01:18 PM
I would have to strongly disagree with Pamela. I am a native of Flossmoor as is my husband, we are now currently raising our four children here. I attended Western Avenue and my husband Flossmoor Hills many years ago. We have nine nieces and nephews who have all attended Flossmoor schools and all attended top colleges and work in successful careers today. Our high school continues to be rated as one of the top in Illinois and ranked nationally. I think it's absurd to think that private schools will prepare your kids any better than our public schools. HF now has an international baccalaureate program which very few schools in our state currently have. Did you know that three of Chicago's successful newscasters came out of HF's broadcasting program which continues to be top in the country? Flossmoor has a lot to offer and the schools are as strong as they've ever been. Good luck to you as you prepare for your move to this wonderful community!
morsk8z January 15, 2014 at 02:16 PM
Hi, Julie, I went to Western Avenue School as a child. My son went to the local junior high and high school and my daughter went to Western Avenue, then Flossmoor Junior High (they call it Parker now), and Homewood-Flossmoor High School. All of us acquired decent educations that allowed us to earn a living, raise our children and do well in life. Like most education institutions, your children will get out of their education, what they put into it. And that "college portfolio" stuff is just nonsensical puffery. My daughter was granted scholarships from several colleges and I am a graduate of an elite private college in Illinois. I will limit my further commenting to a note about avoiding the graduation ceremony at the local high school at all costs. People cannot seem to behave themselves these days. "Hold your applause until all the students have graduated" does not seem to work. My children graduated 10 years apart and the behavior of the parents at the ceremonies got worse every time. If HFHS does not get a handle on the behavior of these people, I don't know what will become of the graduation ceremony.
Jennifer January 15, 2014 at 02:30 PM
I am not a native of Flossmoor. We moved here from the city when our kids approached school age. My kids are now 19, 17 and 14. All went through Western Avenue, Parker, and are currently attending or recently graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor High School. They have all received excellent educations. I agree with the comment above that your kids will get out what they put in, but the teachers and programs at each of these schools have been excellent. My older kids have all received scholarship offers to many prestigious schools. They are well-rounded, independent and responsible young adults, in large part due to their academic experience. I would urge you to contact each of the schools your children may attend, set up an interview with the principals, and tour the schools. Relying on biased feedback will probably not get you the most helpful information. Visit and form your own opinion!
Julie76 January 15, 2014 at 02:45 PM
Thank you everyone who has commented thus far. We are in the process of scheduling visits at all of the schools (public and private) we are considering and realize everyone has their own experiences to draw from and appreciate you taking the time to share with us.
bethmaclin January 15, 2014 at 03:27 PM
Hi Julie. My children attend Infant Jesus of Prague (my husband did as well!). Excellent school, great teachers and a wonderful community of parents. Not sure how far away you are, but we are hosting an information coffee this Saturday at 10am for prospective families. Wishing you the best of luck w your decision.
Kate Duff January 15, 2014 at 04:20 PM
Hi Julie, I would also encourage you to look at Homewood in your house search. The Homewood schools are very highly rated and strongly supported by the parent community. I have been extremely pleased with the education my kids have received in Homewood. The teachers are exceptional and there are curricular and extracurricular programs to support every kind of learner and every child's interests. Homewood's schools are set up as grade centers, which is a different approach then Flossmoor's and one that I personally much prefer, as it allows each school to focus its resources on a particular age range. Homewood's schools also feed into HF High. Good luck with your decision, and welcome to the community! Kate
Jon Azavedo January 15, 2014 at 09:13 PM
Hi Julie, I attended Infant Jesus at the same time Father John Hefferan was abusing and molesting my classmates. Here is a link: http://bishop-accountability.org/priestdb/PriestDBbylastName-A.html
Hernendo RevolveR January 16, 2014 at 12:56 AM
I went to the Flossmoor Public Schools and wouldn't give you a plug nickel for them. Many of the teachers did not care one bit about the kids. It was just a political junkyard with teachers gossiping about the kids behind their backs. The taxes in Flossmoor are insane and you will not get what you are paying for in the HF schools. They spend the taxpayers hard earned money on meaningless bling and very little on actual educational expenses.
Juvenal January 18, 2014 at 12:25 AM
Flossmoor 161 is a case example of educational apartheid: all the resources go to white Western Avenue. But it's a great community and will be even better when they go to grade centers soon. IJP is also very good, won lots of awards...
Patrick K January 18, 2014 at 12:33 AM
https://www.facebook.com/IJPschool
Deb Hartung January 18, 2014 at 12:17 PM
Julie, My husband and I moved to Flossmoor 25 years ago. All four of our kids went to the public schools, Western Ave., Parker and H-F. We are thrilled with the education they received. All four graduated from H-F with AP credit. They were accepted to great colleges and thrived there. They all stated that college was easier than the tough curriculum at H-F. Of course kids only get out of school what they put into it. So many people think just moving into a great school district insures that their kids will succeed. There is much more to it than that. Since you are taking the time to research your decision I'd say you are taking the steps to help your daughter succeed. Good luck to you and if you decide to move here, welcome to the neighborhood! The schools aren't the only great thing about Flossmoor. We love the downtown, the library and the parks!
Deb Hartung January 18, 2014 at 12:26 PM
A comment to Morsk8z regarding the high school graduation ceremony - I don't know when the last one you attended was but my youngest graduated from H-F last year and it was impressive. They asked everyone to hold their applause until the end and there was only one instance where a sibling yelled out.
Deb Hartung January 18, 2014 at 12:33 PM
A question for Juvenal - What do you base your comment on that "white" Western Avenue gets all the educational resources? Each school in District 161 has highly qualified, dedicated teachers. They all receive the same curriculum and resources. The District even redistributed teachers from Western Ave. to the other schools. Just curious what exactly you're talking about?
NJB January 18, 2014 at 08:30 PM
Juvenal, you should take a look at the Illinois Report Card which reports demographics before you make racial comments which are inappropriate. Western Avenue has an African American demographic of almost 38% percent and a 48% Caucasian demographic. So I'm not even quite sure how you can call it "White Western" when it has almost an equal makeup of both cultures. The reason many of us love this area is because of the diversity which many other Chicagoland suburbs lack. As for grade centers, they will never happen because it doesn't make sense financially. Aside from that, our community takes pride in offering our families the opportunity of living near their neighborhood schools where kids and parents can enjoy walking to school with their siblings and friends. I'm a Flossmoor native, and that's how this town has always been. If you aren't happy with it then you should move, but don't share your negative opinions with people who are actually looking for a great, diverse and academically strong school system and community.

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