Leal Elementary School

Things People Appreciate

Music, Art, Drama, Library

The experiences of students away from their main teacher seem to be exemplary. My child cherishes those times and we appreciate that at school, students get to express themselves in so many ways that many likely do not at home.

Neighborhood location

We really appreciate having a school in our neighborhood that we can walk to and that is such a big part of the neighborhood atmosphere.

PTA fundraises responsibly

The PTA works hard to raise funds needed by the school in fun ways that don't involve door to door sales or other sales pressure tactics. The Walkathon is great.

Field trips and groups coming in to the classroom from the university

I appreciate that the teachers my children have are willing to take the children on field trips. Trips to Krannert, Grand Prairie Museum, Chicago and Springfield. I feel blessed that many Leal teachers understand the benefits of these trips. The Engineering Outreach Society visits are awesome!


This school has a great staff that works very hard each and every day. They take pride in what they do and you can tell because the students have established the same work ethic that is modeled each day for them.

Some Concerns

Not enough time for lunch

I'm worried about the very limited time the kids seem to have for eating lunch. My daughter often reports that she wasn't able to eat her lunch because she didn't have time. Rushing kids through eating isn't healthy.

Separate-ness of student body

There is a separate-ness, of those in Dual Language and those who are not. I mostly get this sense from parents, but feel that staff (office & principal included) perpetuate this feeling -- not treating Spanish-speakers as they do English-speakers, not understanding the nature of the DL population..

Physical activity

I am concerned that kids are not getting enough physical activity. There was a recent article in NYT that kids that had even very short, but very regular physical breaks performed better academically.

Leal should have a P.E. teacher

Physical education should be on par with arts and general instruction. Classroom teachers can continue to cover P.E. at varying degrees of proficiency, just as theoretically they could do with arts, but just as we have professional arts teachers, we should also have a professional P.E. teacher.

Not enough creative play/exploratory learning

I want to know that my child is learning how to look at the world in a dynamic way and become a problem solver and not just learn by memorization and test taking. Last year's teacher never seem to incorporate any of this kind of learning, it was just endless worksheets.

Things you Want your Child to Experience

Better food

The school lunch program majorly suffers from quality and healthy food options and well as the afterschool snack program.

Foreign language instruction for all

The earlier a child learns a second language the better. The dual language program serves the needs of all participating students very well. Could we have all kids at Leal spend at least 30 minutes a day in Spanish or other languages?

Utilizing outdoor spaces

Utilizing the outdoor spaces for learning -- from taking care of the gardens (and eating what is grown) to having an outdoor classroom space that teachers use in nice weather.

A Science lab in every building

The teachers do not have the space to set up science experiments, and don't seem to have access to much modern scientific equipment. I would like my child to be able to do more integrated units that reflect real life (STEAM).

Puzzle-oriented math instruction

Math is much deeper than a set of arithmetic skills, yet it is often taught as the sum of those skills. I would like my child to have the chance to engage in a puzzle-based math curriculum to stimulate curiosity and problem-solving intuition. This is something that we do at home as enrichment.











Leal Elementary School










Leal Elementary School

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