Educating your child is probably the most important job you’ll do. The good news is you have so many choices of great schools in Chicago — whether you’re looking for a preschool, a music education, a therapeutic day school or the best preparation for the competitive Chicago high school options. But how do you choose?
Every parent wants a school where their child can engage and thrive. We talked with top education advertising partners to learn more about what they offer — and what makes them truly unique for Chicago families.
When you’re seeking just the right environment for your child, it’s a great idea to learn about the many options available. Top Chicago Parent advertising partners shared with us what they are doing in their classrooms to help students excel.
Check out the great schools we think are worth a look.
Chicago City Day School’s campus is an “urban learning oasis” for the many unique opportunities it provides, both within its classrooms and on its expansive campus. Add to this a talented, innovative faculty, and you have an independent school environment on Chicago’s North Side that helps JK-8 students achieve their academic and social potential. This is especially important when your child reaches middle school and those selective enrollment, parochial and independent high school applications, interviews and testing are on the horizon. At City Day, all students benefit from focused support through this exciting — and challenging — time. With a high school placement program that removes the guesswork in finding the right high school fit, City Day helps students step into this process with confidence. And it works! For the last two years, every graduating eighth grader at City Day has attended their No.1 high school of choice.
Gateway Montessori School is just one of two Montessori Schools in the city of Chicago recognized by the Association Montessori Internationale. That means Gateway adheres closely to the original teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori and has complete, authentic Montessori materials. Gateway is reviewed annually and must have teachers educated, at a minimum, to bachelor’s level plus have completed multi-year Montessori certification training. For children, all of this matters. As they explore their own interests and engage with authentic Montessori materials in a carefully prepared classroom environment, children ages 15 months to 12 years gain independence and a deep understanding of concepts, both academic and social.
For your child, just the right music teacher can mean a life filled with the joy of music — not to mention the many academic benefits, connections and resiliency fostered when a child embraces music and music performance. It’s worth the effort it takes to find just the right teacher, say the experts at Merit School of Music in Chicago. The faculty at Merit School of Music are skilled at teaching and encouraging children from their first experiences at age 4 or 5 to the students who are contemplating a career in music. Within the community at Merit School of Music, your child works with teachers who are concerned about the whole child, not just the budding musician. Safety and background checks give parents peace of mind, too.
When your child needs a therapeutic day school, it’s important to know that the internationally recognized Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School (O-School) is right here in Chicago. For children with a mental health challenge or who are on the autism spectrum, the O-School offers a unique experience that provides academics in a therapeutic milieu that helps students thrive. And the O-School’s exceptional staff are experts in supporting students’ social-emotional skills and healthy development. Find expert tips about how to take advantage of the summer to help your child build these skills — and learn more about Camp O, the O-School’s unique summer camp program.
For its blend of science, technology, engineering, arts and math, STEAM is enormously beneficial for young children. But it’s less a subject and more a mindset, says an expert from British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park, a unique independent school in Chicago. Through an exciting collaboration with MIT, students at BISC-LP learn interdisciplinary problem-solving as they connect with STEAM innovators at MIT and challenge themselves to tackle real world problems through the lens of STEAM. Sustainable architecture, life on exoplanets and water filtration on Mars — these are just some of the challenges students are exploring this year. And, because BISC-LP is an international school, students approach every subject with a global perspective.
Despite the support and talent of teachers, we’re in the midst of a literacy crisis, according to the experts at Redwood Literacy and Redwood Schools. In any given school classroom across Chicagoland, 40% of students require explicit literacy instruction and a further 15% need intensive intervention. There are warning signs that your child is struggling to read, but even if you are able to detect there’s a problem, what do you do about it? Redwood Literacy’s team of intervention specialists are ready to get your child caught up, and Redwood Schools help students succeed because they are specifically designed for the dyslexic mind. Learn more about how Redwood Literacy and Redwood Schools’ expertise can help boost your child’s confidence, even renew their love of learning.
Creativity is a highly desirable trait and creative flexibility can be nurtured from a very young age. And yes, creativity can be loud, messy and sometimes chaotic, but the confidence it inspires is worth it, say the experts at Bubbles Academy, an early childhood arts, enrichment and parent resource center with three locations in Chicagoland. At Bubbles Academy, your child can explore process arts right at their own developmental level, from birth to age 6. This open-ended arts experience is just one of the many arts- and play-based classes offered at Bubbles Academy. There are even multiple class levels to support music, movement, art and preschool and kindergarten readiness, all designed to ignite wonder in young children.
Leadership comes in many forms, and every parent wants to see leadership skills in their children. When students can practice youth leadership in an environment that nurtures their social-emotional as well as their academic development, leadership competencies soar. At St. John’s Northwestern Academies, an independent boarding and day school in Delafield, Wisconsin, students build excellence in academics and behavior in a traditional Military Academy or in a Prefect Academy. At St. John’s Northwestern Academies, young men and women in grades six through 12 grow and thrive as responsible citizens, becoming moral and ethical leaders through foundational pillars in a secure, diverse and inclusive environment.
Small class sizes, a STEM-focused curriculum and a unique Student Environmental Education and Development Studies (SEED) program are just a few of the elements students experience at St. Monica Academy, a preK-8 Catholic elementary school in Chicago. At St. Monica Academy, students grow academically, physically and spiritually through study in about a dozen on-site gardens, which serve as unique outdoor classrooms for inquiry-based learning. Fine arts and athletics also contribute to a well-rounded faith-based education that begins with a top-ranked play-based Early Childhood program and carries students through graduation when students go on to top Catholic and selective enrollment schools in Chicago.
Your child is an individual with unique needs and talents. This is especially true in the area of learning and academic growth. When you can connect your child with a program that provides just the right blend of challenge, support and encouragement, your child will likely thrive. Through summer, online, weekend and leadership programming at Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University, students can identify their strengths, develop their talents and grow through challenges in hundreds of courses led by expert educators. There are programs for every age and stage of development.