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About Us » History


Harriet Esther Lovett Sayre

Our beloved school is named after Harriet E.Sayre, daughter to Joseph Lovett, who also has a neighboring elementary school named after him. Joseph Lovett was one of Chicago's most prominent settlers in the 1800s. He bought large parcels of land to farm that is the present day neighborhoods of Galewood and Montclare.

Sayre School

Though the physical plant has been in existence since the 1920s, Sayre was initially opened in the 1940s as a high school and was known simply as Sayre School. It was later converted into an elementary school but Steinmetz High School continued to occupy its 3rd floor until the mid 1940s. Historical remnants include  Depression era relief work at the corners of the building, an air raid shelter from the Cold War, and coal burning furnaces underneath the auditorium seats.

A language Academy

After significant renovations to its interior and exterior, Sayre Language Academy was opened September off 1979 as one of the city's five language academies. According to the Christian Monitor, the district offered language as a draw to further integrate it schools. At its inception, Sayre Language offered Greek, Italian and Spanish. Language instruction was infused into the regular curriculum. Enrollment at Sayre was primarily through lottery until it was converted to a neighborhood school with a language magnet cluster in the 1990s.