National Teachers Academy (NTA) is the public Chicago K-8 school at 55 West Cermak. A lot of people think it is a college or a charter, but it's not. It is one of the most beautiful public schools in the city. And its under-enrolled, even though South Loop Elementary* 10 blocks North is busting at the seams.
NTA has an interesting past. It was built to accommodate the families in the Icke homes, so they took a "community" approach. The homes are gone, but NTA is still going strong. Within the school is a UIC-led health clinic for students and their families. NTA is connected to "The Park at NTA" which is a Chicago Public Park building. It has a really nice gym and a pool. NTA students get to use the gym and have swimming as a "special" class every week. There is also a gorgeous music room and huge cafe, not to mention playgrounds and green space. Test scores are low, but that is changing. NTA also started a Regional Gifted Center this school year in grades K & 1. It will grow each year.
NTA is a public school, and it has a contract with Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL). AUSL uses it as training grounds for teachers. Practically, this means that each class has 2 teachers: a mentor and mentee. See the website here, which has all history and info: http://nta.auslchicago.org/
I'm a parent at NTA, and we are really impressed. None of my neighbors attend, and none have toured yet due to old information - it is just not on the radar. The boundaries are 18th on the North, 2499 on the South, Clark Street on the West and the Lake on the East.
NTA is hosting a neighborhood Open House on Tuesday, May 13th at 6pm - 7pm. Free parking in the school lot, or just walk on over. Flyer attached. If you could post, that would be wonderful. If you want to do a piece on NTA and would like a school contact, please let me know.(Hat tip: SLV!)