About South Loop Elementary School

South Loop Elementary School is a dynamic and diverse school in the heart of Chicago. Our school thrives on a leadership culture to encourage exploration, inquiry, and learning within a supportive and growing community.

The inspirational success of South Loop Elementary is due to the involvement and passion of our students, teachers, staff, parents, and community. As we continue to build into our school and community, our mission and vision guide our way.


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Good Standing


Our Mission & Vision

Our mission is to prepare every student at South Loop School to develop 21st Century life skills by providing a standards-based curriculum that fosters student leadership, academic rigor, fine arts integration, social and emotional consciousness, and an understanding and acceptance of diverse cultures in an inclusive environment.

We envision a school climate that embraces our diversity, where every child can succeed academically and artistically.

We envision our graduates taking ownership of their learning, investing in their communities, and achieving success in a global society.

Our Story

In the 1980s, more families began to move into the South Loop neighborhood and an increased need for city services arose. This new community of families encouraged the Chicago Public School system to develop a neighborhood school, and by 1988, South Loop Elementary School opened its doors at 1212 South Plymouth Court.

By 2000, a group of committed neighbors and parents set out to make South Loop Elementary School the school of choice for the neighborhood. A new council was elected, a new principal selected, and the programming was expanded to include a tuition-based preschool program, a selective enrollment gifted program and an after-school program.

The new administration revamped the curriculum to create a more challenging standards-based academic environment, improved student enrichment with better access to arts and service activities, and enhanced extended day programming. With these academic refinements yielding year-over-year increases in test scores and parent satisfaction, our school has become a source of pride for the neighborhood and community.

Our Values

At South Loop Elementary School, we strive to embody South Loop Lion PRIDE, which reflects these core values:


These values provide the framework to encourage and support our academic and social development as a community.   

South Loop Lion PRIDE is demonstrated through the South Loop Way and Leader in Me culture.

The South Loop Way

South Loop Students commit to:

Be Safe: We will be strong and make good decisions to keep ourselves and our classmates safe. We will keep our bodies strong through exercise and eating right.

Be Responsible: We will be responsible leaders by doing the right thing, setting a good example, and helping those less fortunate than ourselves.

Be Respectful: We will show respect for ourselves and each other by displaying pride in who we are and our accomplishments, as well as taking pride in the accomplishments of our classmates and our school.

The Leader in Me

South Loop School embraces The Leader in Me model to cultivate leadership and life skills in students and to create a culture of empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader.

A leadership culture reinforces every member’s capabilities and encourages exploration, inquiry, technology infusion, project-based learning, and experimentation within a safe and secure environment. One of the founding principles of this culture is for students to find their voice, and to help others find theirs. Once students find their voice, they are inspired and motivated.

The following 7 Habits lay the foundation:

Habit 1 – Be Proactive: You’re in Charge.
Habit 2 – Begin with the End in Mind: Have a Plan.
Habit 3 – Put First Things First: Work First, Then Play.
Habit 4 – Think Win-Win: Everyone Can Win.
Habit 5 – Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood: Listen Before You Talk.
Habit 6 – Synergize: Together is Better.
Habit 7 – Sharpen the Saw: Balance Feels Best.

For further reading:
The 7 Habits of Happy Kids
The Leader in Me

Tara Shelton


Mary Varveris

Assistant Principal

Ms. Anders

Assistant Principal