The Village of Hyde Park became a part of Chicago as the city kept growing during the late 1880s. With the growing population in the area, the Chicago Board of Education hired architect John J. Flanders to build Hyde Park High School in 1894. However, this school building was soon not big enough to hold the growing number of students, and they decided to move out. In 1914, Ray Elementary School,  which had opened at 57th Street and Kenwood Avenue, moved into the building.

Today, Ray Elementary School has students from pre-kindergarten to 8th grade from its community and pursues  a mission to provide a rich academic experience for a culturally, racially, and socio-economically diverse student body. The demographic survey of students at Ray Elementary School shows 67% African American students, 16% Caucasian students, 8% Hispanic students, 4% Asian students, and others. More than 50% of students are coming from low-income families. However, the demographic in the Hyde Park neighborhood consists of 48% Caucasian residents, 26% African American residents, 13% Asian residents, and 8% Hispanic residents. Also, the median household income in this area is slightly higher than the national income. This difference between school and neighborhood demographics may be explained because of its proximity to a large, private university, the University of Chicago.

The core curriculum is narrowed down to four programs: fine and performing arts, the international baccalaureate middle years programme, technology, and world language. The Magnet Cluster initiative, a Chicago Public School (CPS) initiative,  promotes the improvement of the quality of education, and the dedication of schools to their neighbors among the schools in Chicago. Also, the school works closely with surrounding communities for extracurricular activities  to provide students with a variety of education. For instance, students from the University of Chicago in different majors run art classes, creative writing classes, and other workshops. Also, they are part of the Chicago Children’s Choir and Kenwood ballet school provides dance classes.