School Details

Crystal Lake South High School

1200 McHenry Avenue, Crystal Lake, IL 60014
(815) 455-3860

(out of 10)

Public Grades 9-12 1890 students 18 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
  • Chsd 155 School District average
  • Illinois state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

Crystal Lake South High School is a public high school in Crystal Lake. The principal of Crystal Lake South High School is Marsha Potthoff. 1,890 students attend Crystal Lake South High School and identify as Hispanic; White, non-Hispanic; and Asian/Pacific Islander. 0.9% of the Crystal Lake South High School students are "limited in English proficiency." 3% of the 1,890 students here are classified as "economically disadvantaged", and 13% are paying reduced lunch prices. The student to teacher ratio at Crystal Lake South High School is 18:1. Crystal Lake Central High School 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

  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Spanish


  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • P.E. classes
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Hispanic 9% 9%
White, non-Hispanic 84% 85%
Asian/Pacific Islander 3% 2%
Asian 3% %
Multiracial 2% 2%
Black, non-Hispanic 1% 1%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.2% 0%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.05% 0%

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 13% 14%
Limited English proficiency 0.9% 1%
Economically disadvantaged 3% 5%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (7 months ago)

    The school it's self is just okay. The emphasis here seems to revolve around football and cheerleading and being popular not smart. The school only seems to promote that and nothing else. We have had many teachers that give the kids answers to tests the day before and this is so the school's testing numbers are higher. This is cheating plain and simple. Not something we want our children to learn. As for the district it is very poorly run. If you are choosing a place to live and are considering Crystal Lake & it's high schools beware and really look into other areas. We wish we had done that.

  • (1 year ago)

    South is a very good school. When I moved to Crystal Lake IL In 2010 I felt very welcome by the students and staff. South has great Academic and Athletic programs. Our Football team is great and they just upgraded our Bleachers and Gym floors. We have alot of school pride. We also have a pit that we usually decorate for our football games. We have a great and young staff who actually puts the time and effort and actually cares about their students. Im glad i moved from my old high school Lake Park High School. That place was awful. I'm glad to be a CLS Gator!!!

  • (1 year ago)

    Academic teachers are very good. Some coaches are kind but others are bully's and only concerned with their teams athletics and getting their team members out of trouble. They do not encourage studying or community service. The District Administration/Board is terrible and seems to lead the bullying that some in the school follow. I would have recommended this school/district in the past but it has quickly gone down hill & I no longer would. Possibly if current administration is dismissed they could save the reputation of the school.

  • (1 year ago)

    As a formor student of this high school; the teachers did not prepare me for college during my first two years at Crystal Lake South before I moved. The faculty never addressed my problems they just shrugged it off and all the students were rude they bullied me because of having autism and because I was openly bisexual. I hope a new principal comes in and teaches these kids about proper behavior and to respect people for who they are. I am truly disgusted by the way this school is run.

  • (4 years ago)

    My child just moved to this school after our fourth move i was so worried that maybe this time she might just give up on trying to make friends or having good grades but the students there wanted to make her feel like she had come there with them from middle school she has so many friends and is in many after school activities and i high honor role student as well!

  • (5 years ago)

    I love how the school administration keeps the children and community involved in all aspect of learning and community. This is a great school. Crystal Lake South is a five star school

  • (5 years ago)

    I can honestly say that South is one of the best high schools in the area. My oldest just graduated and will be going to ISU. The staff and teachers express an honest care and concern for the students. I also have a son who completed his freshman year. I am sad to say that we are leaving the area. Due to the economy we are not able to continue living in this area. However if we are able to we will be returning in order to continue the education of my sons at South.

  • (5 years ago)

    South is a really good school the teachers care about you and you can't help but be friends with them. South really tries to prepare you for the future ahead of you. It's not fun unless you're in a sport or a club- but there is so much to do. We have a great football team! This school has so much to offer and great AP and Honors classes. P.S It's even better then Prairie Ride and Central! CLS is a great school!

  • (6 years ago)

    CLS is a great school with a very young and energetic faculty. It really seems to motive the kids. There is a termendous amount of participation in the school activities from athletics and clubs to spectators at school events. A fantastic experience for your kids.

  • (6 years ago)

    We have enjoyed sending through two boys through CLS and both have thrived in the college environment. We beleive the Principal leadership and freedom the teachers receive in developing cirriculum make CLS a unique place.

  • (7 years ago)

    Choose Crystal Lake SOUTH! We have great teachers and staff. We are a school filled with SPIRIT and the place is placed until at least 7 every night with all of the activities.

  • (7 years ago)

    I moved from Chicago last Summer and I could see a great difference . I am so happy that my son attend Crystal Lake South High School. And I think he is too. Thanks to all the teachers and staff at Crystal Lake South High School.

  • (7 years ago)

    My daughter graduated from South in '06 and is now a Marine. My son is a senior who wll be attending ISU to study to be a History Teacher and my youngest is a Sophomore. My sophomore has require special services because of her disability and I could not ask for a better place for her to be. Accommodating staff supportive administration and a varied curriculum to fit her needs. On the other hand my son is in 3 AP classes and has lettered in 3 sports and I feel is very well prepared for college. Maybe not for life but for college. I have been extremely happy with the district and this school in particular.

  • (7 years ago)

    Crystal Lake South is a diverse school academically. The normal classes are okay (as always quality of teachers varies). There are a decent number of AP classes and a number of good teachers for them. Without the AP program (which as of my graduation in 1999 had a small portion of students) the school is at best average. FYI I was a national merit scholar and later graduated college Phi Beta Kappa and have acquired a master's degree in psychology.

  • (8 years ago)

    At Crystal Lake South My child received the best education have yet to see a school give. There is so much potential in students that is sometime wasted or not found due to the teachers lack of caring and compassion toward the kids but not at Crystal Lake South High School. There are and unimaginable amount of extracurricular programs a student can join and all of them backed by the school well. My daughter was in the Music and Theatre program and enjoyed every minute of it. The Music program is very well organized and loved and the Theatre program does very well also. The parents of South students love to involve themselves in every aspect of the learning their child goes through. All in all South was a great choice for my child and I hope you consider it.

  • (9 years ago)

    My son just graduated from Crystal Lake South. My husband and I were very pleased with the faculty and administration at the HS. Our son played sports and responded to the motivation from the coaches. We just moved here a year ago and were concerned about how the children would adjust. Crystal Lake South made all of the children feel welcome and helped them get involved right away. I highly recommend the school and the area.

  • (11 years ago)

    This school ill-prepared me for college and the real world. The school does not emphasize social and emotional development and diversity is frowned upon.

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Overall score

(based on 22 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement


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