School Details

Payton College Preparatory High School

1034 North Wells Street, Chicago, IL 60610
(773) 534-0034

(out of 10)

Public Grades 9-12 884 students 14 students/teacher (IL avg is 17)

Test Scores by grade


Prairie State Achievement Exam Results (PSAE)

In 2011-2012 Illinois used the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) to test students in grade 11 in reading, math and science. The PSAE is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Illinois. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.
  • This school in 2013
  • City Of Chicago Sd 299 average
  • Illinois state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

Payton College Preparatory High School is a public high school in Chicago. The principal of Payton College Preparatory High School is Timothy Patrick Devine. 884 children attend Payton College Preparatory High School and identify mostly as Multiracial; White, non-Hispanic; and Hispanic. 0.6% of the Payton College Preparatory High School students are "limited in English proficiency." 31% of the 884 students here are classified as "economically disadvantaged", and 32% have subsidized lunches. The student to teacher ratio at Payton College Preparatory High School is 14:1. Cornerstone Academy is one of the nearest high schools.

Extracurricular activities


  • Band
  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Dance
  • Drawing painting
  • Orchestra
  • Photography
  • Theater drama
  • Video film production

Languages Taught

  • Arabic
  • Cantonese
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Latin
  • Mandarin
  • Russian
  • Spanish


  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Crew
  • Cross country
  • Fencing
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Lacrosse
  • Martial arts self defense
  • P.E. classes
  • Rock climbing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
  • Yoga

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Multiracial 6% %
White, non-Hispanic 33% 9%
Hispanic 26% 41%
Black, non-Hispanic 24% 47%
Asian/Pacific Islander 17% 4%
Asian 10% %
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.4% 0.2%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.2% %

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 32% 73%
Limited English proficiency 0.6% 14%
Economically disadvantaged 31% 85%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (1 year ago)

    I'm a recent graduate (2011) and I have very mixed feelings about the school. Sadly many of these are negative. I chose Payton over many other great high schools because I wanted a challenge and good reputation which many high schools in CPS just can't provide. When I got there I was pleased with my teachers and the programs but extremely unhappy with the school. The students here are extremely condescending elitist and unwelcoming. Expect to be around people with no interests outside of school and activities that look good on transcripts. For some students this will be okay; for most it won't. As someone who did not come from a privileged caucasian background or well represented minority group I endured four years of hell to get a good education. I am now at a highly ranked East Coast school on a wonderful scholarship and while I can say it prepared me very well for challenging math and science higher education I would never repeat the experience in a million years. In addition if you have ANY learning disabilities DO NOT GO HERE. It's bad enough that "regular" students are overlooked but the support for my friends with learning differences was tragically low.

  • (2 years ago)

    Graduated class of 2008 and didn't appreciate Payton until I got to college. It is exactly what it's named a college prep. And if you can't deal with the course load or the "unsympathetic" teachers then go to a school that doesn't prepare you for what lies ahead. I went to Depaul and felt that my Payton experience prepared me for a much more challenging institution. Aside from the demanding curriculum I loved and still love Payton. I still talk with current teachers and students. All of my best friends attended Payton as well. And as far as the comment about Payton not balancing intellegent and great people that's completely inaccurate. Only a Payton graduate can understand the ways in which Payton made us great. Love the teachers. Love the opportunites. Love the school.

  • (3 years ago)

    What a great school and curriculum. What fantastic teachers. What nice chairs laptops and equipment. They should all be like this. They aren't as this is the flagship they take out-of-towners to where even the private sector invests with internships cool arts and activities; and it just happens to be in a gentrified area in the shadow of the now-defunct Cabrini Green. I love it and I hate it I suppose; after seeing the neglect of many potentially good neighborhood schools in order to create a showpiece like Payton; and after seeing how many outside organizations participate in the deceit. A few of them should consider partnering with other schools just as deserving. I'm rating them average if only because there's no telling how others would compare with the same outsized political and economic support.. (And I meant that about the teachers).

  • (3 years ago)

    All I heard is the school is a great school if you really want to get your kids to the Ivy's. Not sure what the school vision is but definitely they are attracting parent care about their kids academic (PERIOD). This drive the school focus but I doubt they can balance between making an intellgent individual and a great person. A school full of highly competitive (IQ) intellgent body definitely lack of the diversity and most importantly lack of an environment for young people to dvelope their element of PASSION. IT IS THE CHOICE THE PARENT HAVE TO TAKE; BUT RATHER IT IS A GOOD CHOICE FOR THE KID then it is also a choice.

  • (3 years ago)

    im a sophmore right now at walter payton and i have to say i really do love my school. sometimes the work is challenging and i feel stressed but its all worth it in the end. Not to mention I have great teachers and friends that can help with my problems im having. Its alot of hard work but when you see you test results and you score higher than 87% of the kids in your state you feel a sort of accomplishment and know that its because of WPCP. GO GRIZZLIES!!!!!!! Class of 2013 <3

  • (4 years ago)

    I graduated from Payton i love my school. They have awesome curriculum students who want to learn and amazing opportunities. I saw fellow students travel to Ghana; Granada Spain; Prague; Hungary; France; China; Japan and the list goes on

  • (4 years ago)

    Great teachers great atmosphere and great school wouldnt want to be anywhere else.

  • (4 years ago)

    It's an awesome school. I'm so glad I go here.

  • (4 years ago)

    Payton College prep is an amazing school with an outstanding international and global focus. From Ghana to Beijing Payton's focus continues to stretch the globe. This $20 000 can help them go even further.

  • (4 years ago)

    Great teachers who care about the students!!!!!!!!!

  • (4 years ago)

    I graduated from Payton 2 years ago this spring. I can't say that I completely regretted going to Payton due to the fact that I got a full ride to college however all 4 years I was miserable. The teachers are very unsympathetic and unwilling to make accommodations to their students' needs and abilities (or lack thereof). I didn't have a normal high school experience which believe it or not is actually important. There was never an emphasis on anything except for academics which if that is all you want to do in high school then more power to you. I would never ever allow my siblings other students that I know going into high school or even my own children (when it comes to that time) to attend or even entertain the thought of going to Payton.

  • (5 years ago)

    My daughter is going to be a freshmen at Payton this fall '09. We love this school. The curriculum is excellent. They teach and prepare these kids very well for college. My daughter learned so much in her freshmen year I cannot imagine how much more she will learn in the next 3 years. I love the idea of a smaller school. I'm so glad my daughter worked so hard and was able to get her qualifications to make it into Payton. There are so many activities to choose from it's great.

  • (6 years ago)

    Excellent choice; my daughter is a Fall '08 freshman and Payton was the first on the list of high school choices. The school is new fresh and high tec; the teachers are dedicated with a diverse student body. Challenging curriculum many extra curricular activities and interests are available to nuture these future leaders.

  • (7 years ago)

    If you want your child to be challenged this is your school. Payton offers a quality education from a diverse faculty which was very important to me. This school prepares students well for college because they facilitate discuss about college starting from their freshman year. The neighboring area is a bit sketchy but many students commute to school together.

  • (8 years ago)

    Payton offers a diverse array of educational options. It's major limitation is the surrounding neighborhood and safety issues as experienced by my son on more than one occasion.

  • (8 years ago)

    WoW I enjoyed going to the Walter Payton open house today.I'm a student at Sandoval School applying for highschools. Payton is astounding it is definitely my number one choice. The school's overall appearance is spectacular. It's a very modern hightec school. They have over 30 clubs to join and they travel to many places around the world. Also they are the second best highschool in the state of Illinois. I love this school and I hope this short review can help you percieve what a magnificent highschool this is.I myself cannot even think of anything negative of Payton. Sending your child to Walter Payton will undoubtedly be one of the best choices you make for their future. This school creates a brilliant future for teens and puts them off in a great start!

  • (9 years ago)

    My daughter is now a sophmore at Payton. I cannot begin to say how much our family loves that school. The curriculum is excellent and the teachers are a vibrant and enthusiastic group. That was the one school my daughter really wanted to attend. We feel blessed that she attends that school.

  • (9 years ago)

    As a parent of a freshman student I am pleased to see that my first impression of Payton was not a misrepresentation. The teachers and staff are dedicated and accessible. The course work is challenging which I support completely. The environment and overall size of the school is excellent for students not looking to get lost in between the cracks. We made an excellent choice.

  • (10 years ago)

    My daughter is a freshmen at Payton class of 2008. We've already met the Principal asst. principals and many of her teachers. Great support and respect from other students. Heavy amount of homework but not hard at all. Best decision we've ever made!

See all reviews on GreatSchools

Overall score

(based on 22 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement


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