These Education Innovators Are Rewriting the Rules

All children deserve to spend each day in an environment that helps them thrive academically, emotionally and socially. And, because each student learns differently, a perfect fit is worth the search. Learn how these Chicago Parent advertising partners innovate their way to academic success for every student.


Bennett Day School


Student-focused and progressive, the educational philosophy at this independent preschool through upper school in Chicago values collaboration and natural curiosity and nurtures students to reach their full potential.


Chicago City Day School


With a campus complete with four separate buildings and a student body that’s small, Chicago City Day School is uniquely suited to distance learning. And it’s ready for whatever is in store for the 2020-21 school year, whether it’s in-person, online or a hybrid model. Its ability to flip to a virtual model with ease is a testament to its 40-year history of adapting to meet the needs of its students.


GEMS World Academy


An understanding of and appreciation for the global community are what fuels education at this International Baccalaureate school in Lakeshore East. Here, future global citizens develop leadership skills from preschool through 12th grade.


Gentle Guitar


Think guitar lessons have to be in-person? Online lessons from Gentle Guitar, the New Zealand-based music program founded by a music lover and educator, turn that notion on its head. Find out how the founder’s innovative approach not only helps students learn to strum but also builds confidence, a strong work ethic and more.


German International School


A bilingual, International Baccalaureate World School on Chicago’s north side, the German International School encourages preschool through eighth grade students to gain global knowledge while pursuing individual inquiry.


Near North Montessori


Curiosity and independence are just two lifelong skills students learn through the classic Montessori educational philosophy at Chicago’s Near North Montessori, an early childhood through junior high school on Chicago’s north side.


North Shore Country Day


The junior kindergarten through 12th grade student community at North Shore Country Day in Winnetka is encouraged to explore, participate and grow through rigorous academics, service, arts and athletics.


Sacred Heart Schools


Moving to virtual learning, dealing with a pandemic and handling a lot of change has been incredibly difficult on kids — and there’s still much uncertainty ahead. To assist parents in helping their children navigate this tricky terrain, a primary school counselor with Sacred Heart Schools offers five insightful tips.


St. John’s Northwestern Academies


Offering military and non-military choices, seventh- through 12th-grade students gain character and achieve success through a leadership-focused academic experience. Boarding and day school options are available on campus in Delafield, Wisconsin.


St. Norbert School


Small, intimate learning opportunities abound at St. Norbert School, a preschool through grade eight school in Northbrook, where students are nurtured and encouraged through individualized learning experiences.


The Second City


Laughter and creative expression are especially important right now. And at the iconic Second City, kids can experience comedic training at the same spot Tina Fey and Steve Carell cut their teeth! The Second City Kids Comedy Camps have gone virtual this summer, with trained instructors helping kids improve their improv skills.


Vanguard Gifted Academy


Creating something with zero instruction is a richly rewarding experience — and it’s something kids learn as part of the S.T.R.E.A.M. (science, technology, research, engineering, arts and math) approach at this school. Discover how students here turned PVC pipes, sheets and a large rubber band into teepees, and find out why Vanguard is at the top of the class in educating gifted students.


Wiggle Tooth Fairy


The mythical tooth fairy should be as diverse as your child’s imagination. This Tooth Fairy Registry engages the whole family to celebrate a childhood rite of passage. Handmade kits provide whimsical materials for six or more lost teeth.


Claire Charlton
Claire Charlton
An enthusiastic storyteller, Claire Charlton focuses on delivering top client service as a content editor for Chicago Parent. In her 20+ years of experience, she has written extensively on a variety of topics and is keen on new tech and podcast hosting. Claire has two grown kids and loves to read, run, camp, cycle and travel.
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