Chicagoland Schools to Consider for Your Child

What does the perfect school for your child look like? Review our big list of Chicago Parent advertising partners — we’re sure you’ll find what you’re looking for here.

Your child will learn best where they’re comfortable, happy and engaged. So it’s important to make just the right choice when it comes to choosing a school.

Whether you’re looking for an inquiry-based curriculum, a school for gifted children or a traditional classroom environment, find a place your child will thrive by scouring our selection of Chicago Parent advertising partners. Learn more about all the possibilities for your child now.

British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park

British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park educates children 15 months-11 years to achieve academic success, enabling entry into the world’s leading universities. Globally respected curricula are enhanced by collaborations with pre-eminent organizations such as Juilliard, MIT and UNICEF to ensure that every child develops the skills and mindset needed to thrive in an ever-changing world.

Chicago City Day School

City Day is a uniquely challenging and compassionate elementary school founded in 1981 and serves students in JK-grade 8. City Day students build rockets, compose poems, explore the events of history and innovate for the future. This independent school offers rigorous academics, an expert faculty, rich experiential learning activities, a dynamic 2-acre urban campus and a supportive approach that encourages students to take risks. Graduates attend top high schools in Chicago and beyond.

Gateway Montessori School

Gateway Montessori School is a small, PreK-grade 6 nonprofit school recognized by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and located in a vibrant, multicultural Chicago neighborhood. It has been nurturing the potential within each child since 2006. Its child-centered programs are The Community, age 15 months to 3 years, Children’s House, age 3-6 years, and Elementary, age 6-12 years. Summer programs and aftercare programs available, too.

GEMS World Academy Chicago

GEMS World Academy Chicago (GWAC) is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School offering the world-renowned IB program from preschool through grade 12. GWAC embraces a design curriculum intended to open students’ minds to the problems and possibilities they see beyond the classroom. Students learn to understand systems, problem solving, creative thinking and collaboration within a diverse learning community. GWAC offers daily World Language instruction, robust Field Studies programs and experiential, inquiry-based learning. GWAC nurtures global citizens and equips students with a “passport for success in life” as they apply and extend classroom concepts to real-world contexts.

Global Citizenship Experience Lab School (GCE Lab School)

A high school that makes a world of difference, Global Citizenship Experience Lab School’s real-world, project-based curriculum prepares students to be a force for good in a rapidly changing world. Engagements with corporations, nonprofits and civic leaders are embedded in every course to show students the relevance of in-class learning. Small class sizes and a personalized approach to learning mean that students are known and supported. It challenges students to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to courageously take action, locally and globally.

Merit School of Music

Since 1979, Merit School of Music has engaged thousands of Chicagoland youth through equal access to deep, meaningful and high-quality music education. At Merit, PreK-12 students not only learn to play an instrument or sing, they build self-confidence, persistence and creativity through participation in a vibrant and welcoming musical community. Students of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels come together from 135+ ZIP codes to study with the best music educators in the region through the renowned music school’s extensive lineup of group classes, private lessons, early childhood programming and more.

Near North Montessori School

At Near North Montessori, a leader among Montessori schools, children from infant-grade 8 experience dynamic learning laboratories — classrooms alive with students exploring the world around them. In these vibrant communities, students spend three years learning and growing together. Little ones watch older students as they master new skills. Older ones take the time to mentor younger students as they work through new challenges. Serving as a guide, the teacher carefully orchestrates this journey, with the trajectory of each student carefully fine tuned before launch. Here, teachers question, challenge and inspire students to navigate challenging academic work and reach their inherent potential.

Quest Academy

Quest Academy is a school for gifted and talented children where talented teachers guide children to satisfy their curiosity and develop strong character using innovative methods. Quest Academy’s curriculum is dynamic, without “ceilings,” and meant to engage bright students in meaningful content with like-minded peers. The community is infused with opportunities for students to interact and apply their learning to real-world situations and to make an impact. Our faculty are qualified educators dedicated to providing a gifted learning experience to challenge and inspire gifted children.

Rowe Elementary School

Rowe Elementary School’s mission is to prepare K-8 scholars to succeed in and graduate from high school by delivering rigorous academic instruction in partnership with parents while providing social and emotional supports to scholars and families.

Sacred Heart Schools Chicago

Sacred Heart Schools Chicago is an independent, PreK-8 Catholic school guided by five guiding principles — faith, intellect, service, community and personal growth. These five Goals are woven into every aspect of community life at Sacred Heart, where they welcome families of all faiths. Graduates excel academically, but also gain a keen awareness for social justice, empathy for others and curiosity about the world around them. Sacred Heart believes that children learn best when their whole selves are engaged, so they focus not just on the head, but the heart. This strong and vibrant community ensures that all students are known and loved.

Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School (O-School)

Founded more than 100 years ago at the University of Chicago, the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School (O-School) provides a safe haven and a path to hope for bright children with significant social-emotional needs, typically due to a mental health challenge or ASD. Highly respected by mental health professionals, the O-School offers an ambitious K-12 and transition curriculum, a highly-skilled team of clinicians and instructors and a rich array of fine arts and co-curricular opportunities for therapeutic day school students. Through its comprehensive supports, the O-School breaks the cycle of repeated interventions, fosters healing and prepares students for a successful future.

St. Monica Academy

St. Monica Academy has an award-winning early childhood program serving PreK3, PreK4 and kindergarten, as well as a unique SEEDS-based environmental curriculum for all grades PreK-grade 8. St. Monica Academy focuses on faith, academics and community with a curriculum that is both age-appropriate and academically rigorous. They believe your child will gain all the tools necessary for success in both high school and college. More than 90% of graduates are accepted into their first-choice high school. A focus on community creates frequent opportunities to learn and enjoy cultural activities throughout Chicago and nearby suburbs. 

The Gardner School

The Gardner School’s growing Chicago locations proudly follow an education-based curriculum blending traditional and Montessori teaching styles. TGS offers a nurturing learning environment with thoughtfully designed indoor playscapes and opportunities for outdoor play, engaging classrooms and Kids’ Cafes. With a focus on STEAM concepts and state-of-the-art classrooms, TGS provides hands-on experiences and an intentional balance of learning and play. Several locations hold accreditation from NAEYC for meeting exceptional standards and other TGS schools are in the review process for this esteemed accreditation. The Gardner School has five locations in Chicago, plus Lincolnshire, Schaumburg, Lombard, Glenview/Northbrook, Naperville and Oak Brook for children 6 weeks-5 years old.

Bennett Day School

Bennett Day School believes that every child is born wondering and that fostering this innate curiosity leads to a lifelong love of learning. Inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy, Bennett Day School educators are experts in child development and keen observers of students and their interests. PreK-grade 12 students learn by doing through dynamic project-based learning experiences, and a competency-based approach to education and assessment provides each learner with actionable feedback based on their strengths and areas of challenge.

Black Bear Academy

Black Bear Academy offers a dynamic range of academic and therapeutic programming that reflects a commitment to meet the needs of children 18 months-grade 2 at all skill levels as they learn, grow and develop. The dedicated and highly skilled team includes teachers, psychologists, speech language pathologists and occupational therapists. Together, professionals work alongside your family to recommend an individualized academic and/or therapeutic program for your child.

British International School of Chicago, South Loop

British International School of Chicago, South Loop is committed to helping students, from 3 to 18 years, achieve excellence academically, personally and socially in an inclusive and vibrant community. Its personalized learning approach means your child will achieve more than they ever imagined possible.

Catherine Cook School

At Catherine Cook School, students from age 3-grade 8 cultivate a deep understanding of the world around us, find their purpose within it and develop the leadership skills to leave their mark. An inquiry-based curriculum allows students to explore their curiosity through interdisciplinary experiences that utilize research skills, problem solving, design thinking and state-of-the-art technology resources. Graduates feel confident in their abilities as they continue their education at the top high schools in Chicago and across the country, with 96% of the Class of 2022 accepted into at least one of their top three high school choices. 

Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University

Center Talent Development (CTD) at Northwestern University helps young people age 3-grade 12 find their strengths and interests and create their unique talent development path. CTD believes that talents, passions and goals are discovered and nurtured through exploration, experience and mentorship. Check out CTD’s enrichment and accelerated, credit-bearing online programs, academic day and residential camps and more! Discover what your child truly loves to learn and how to reach your child’s full potential.

Chicago Jewish Day School

At Chicago Jewish Day School, a multi-denominational Jewish day school, students JK-grade 8 experience an education that encourages them to question the world around them and empowers them to make an impact. Through an inquiry-based approach, CJDS provokes students’ curiosity by inspiring them to explore content and ask high level questions, igniting their passion for learning. Because the educators understand that the greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interactions, CJDS creates an environment where students learn with and from one another, empowering them to own their learning and become active, creative and critical thinkers. As a result, alumni become leaders, innovators and an inspiration to others.

Countryside Day School

Countryside Day School places equal value on the development of character and the acquisition of academic knowledge. The school helps students, 16 months-grade 8, achieve their academic potential while instilling qualities of respect, responsibility and resourcefulness. Unparalleled student-teacher relationships are at the heart of success in achieving these goals. They bring real-world experience into the classroom to foster independence, perseverance and collaboration. And they inspire and prepare students to think and do for themselves, discover their own paths to success and learn the value of contributing to their community as they transition from children to adolescents to adults.

German International School Chicago

German International School Chicago is a PreK-grade 8 school that prepares students to become well-rounded, creative and responsible global citizens. They provide students with a rigorous German/English dual-language education in a supportive and individualized learning environment.

Hyde Park Day School

Hyde Park Day School educates bright students with learning disabilities to prepare them for successful transitions to mainstream public, private or parochial schools in their home communities. They believe the complex nature of significant learning disabilities requires a program that focuses on the remediation of fundamental skills, development of strategies to compensate for learning challenges and the use of appropriate accommodations. This is accomplished through a low student-to-teacher ratio; a state-of-the-art technology program; an integrated services approach; highly talented staff, all with a comprehensive professional development program; and a safe, nurturing environment for children in grades 1-8 designed to build self-esteem, self-confidence and a genuine interest in learning.

Lycée Français de Chicago

The Lycée Français de Chicago, driven by core values of respect, responsibility and the joy of learning, empowers students to grow into active global citizens. Through an inclusive, multilingual and pluricultural learning environment and true immersion-based curricula — offering both French Baccalaureate and International Baccalaureate programs — they give students from PreK-grade 12 an outstanding, unique experience. The Lycée’s educational excellence enables students to thrive around the world, in college and throughout their academic, professional and personal lives.

Saint Clement School

Saint Clement School engages every child, from PreK3-grade 8, in a challenging academic environment that empowers and inspires them. Upon graduating from Saint Clement School, students enter high school empowered by their rich experience of faith, service and intellectual discovery. Students are compassionate leaders entrusted with a sacred responsibility to share their gifts, serve the common good and respond with confidence to the challenges each day. Saint Clement School is the recipient of the 2020 National Blue Ribbon School Award.

St. Celestine School

St. Celestine School focuses on the whole child through excellent academics, with a highlight on technology and 21st century skills for grades PreK-grade 8. All students receive an iPad or Chromebook. Teachers and administrators recognize individual differences and provide an academic foundation that fosters opportunities for academic, physical and spiritual development in each child. The school is known for 84 years of excellence, with test scores above the national average in every grade level. In addition to full-day kindergarten and before- and after-school care, the school offers students Spanish, art, music, technology and PE.

The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

Because the Laboratory Schools are part of the world-renowned University of Chicago, the importance of intellectual life — of thought and exploration — infuses everything they do across all aspects of the nursery-grade 12 curriculum. Families who choose to send their children to Lab care deeply about curiosity, inquiry and education. All are attracted to this environment that creates and nurtures the hallmark habits of expansive thinking and complex problem-solving. The greatest testament to the power of a Laboratory Schools education has always been their graduates who regularly remind the school that the precollegiate life they experienced at the Laboratory Schools contributed to their achievements as adults.

Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Since 1984, the Chicago Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for Chicagoland families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.
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