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Walter Payton College Prep

  (Redirected from Walter Payton College Prep High School)

Walter Payton College Preparatory High School (commonly known as Payton College Prep, W.P.C.P, or simply Payton) is public 4-year selective enrollment magnet high school located in the Old Town neighborhood on the north side of Chicago, Illinois, United States.

Walter Payton College Prep
1034 N. Wells Street


United States
Coordinates41°54′05″N 87°38′04″W / 41.901389°N 87.634444°W / 41.901389; -87.634444Coordinates: 41°54′05″N 87°38′04″W / 41.901389°N 87.634444°W / 41.901389; -87.634444
TypePublic Secondary Magnet
OversightChicago Public Schools
PrincipalTimothy Patrick Devine[1]
Number of students1,076 (2017)[2]
Campus typeUrban
Color(s)Navy Blue     
NewspaperThe Paw Print



Walter Payton College Prep, founded in 2000, is part of the Chicago Public Schools system. The school, which is located on Chicago's near north side, is one of the city's nine selective enrollment high schools. It was named after football legend Walter Payton, a former member of the Chicago Bears who died shortly before the school opened. The school colors are blue and orange, the colors of the Chicago Bears. After principal Gail Ward left the school in 2006, Ellen Estrada became principal. In 2011, a new administration was formed under Timothy Devine with D'Andre Weaver and Michelle Washington as Assistant Principals. In May 2006 the Confucius Institute in Chicago was opened at Payton, as a partnership between Chicago Public Schools, the Office of Chinese Language Council International and Shanghai's East China Normal University it is the only Confucius Institute in the world housed in a high school. On January 21, 2011, President Hu Jintao of China visited the school, where he saw the KAM and AP Chinese classes, and invited 20 faculty and students to China for the upcoming summer.[3] The Payton Choir was one of eight US choirs to travel to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.[4]

In September 2013, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans to build a new annex behind the original building to house more students. The annex was completed and opened by the beginning of the 2016 school year. The annex features a new gym and a black box theater. It cost $17 million to build.[5]


Walter Payton College Prep is 43.4% White, 22.3% Hispanic, 16.6% Asian, 12.2% Black, and 5.5% other. 33.0% of students are from low-income households.[6]


Walter Payton was ranked first in the state, for the academic year 2008-2009, by The Chicago Tribune based on the percentage of student who met or exceeded state expectations on the Prairie State Achievement Exam. It was rated the second best high school in the state, following Northside College Preparatory High School, by the Chicago Sun Times in 2009, based on average Prairie State Achievement Exam scores.[7] In 2013, Walter Payton ranked ahead of Northside College Prep as the best school in the state.[8][9] In 2017, Payton was ranked the best public high school in the US by[10]

Walter Payton was the winner in two categories for the 2010 Intel Schools of Distinction awards. It won the high school award for Excellence in Mathematics and the Star Innovator Award for incorporating technology into classes, collaborative lesson and course planning, and for the use of Japanese Lesson Study.[11] In total the awards should net Payton approximately $175,000 in cash and prizes.[12]


Payton competes in the Chicago Public League (CPL) and is a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA).


  1. ^ Payton. Retrieved on August 26, 2011.
  2. ^ CPS: Payton College Prep
  3. ^ China’s President Hu Tours Walter Payton Prep « CBS Chicago
  4. ^ Walter Payton College Prep
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-06-15. Retrieved 2017-05-06.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Top 100 high schools in Illinois
  8. ^ Golab, Art. "Chicago - Chicago : News : Politics : Things To Do : Sports". School Report Card: Payton scores No. 1 spot statewide; Hinsdale Central tops in suburbs. Chicago Suntimes. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  9. ^ Walter Payton College Preparatory High School in CHICAGO, IL | Best High Schools | US News
  10. ^ "2018 Best Public High Schools in America". Niche. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
  11. ^
  12. ^

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