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Private Elementary School in Chicago

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The South Side School, Chicago:
The South Side School is an affordable independent elementary school with a Waldorf-inspired curriculum near Chicago's Loop in the vibrant urban environment of East Pilsen and we are happy to serve Lower West Side, Pilsen and South Side communities. We draw on an 90-year-old teaching tradition that engages the "whole child" - intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically - in time with the natural developmental stages of childhood. We are focused not simply on the college your child will attend, but rather the person your child will become: curious, compassionate, self-reliant. We are a new elementary school in Chicago, whose curriculum is inspired by Waldorf education.

Email: Contact us here     ( or request a callback ).
We teach our children in the deepest manner possible, allowing lessons to become fully incorporated into the individual. Children learn math, science, geography, literature and two foreign languages. All students are taught singing, a musical instrument, drawing, painting, woodworking, and hand crafts.

About Us:

In 2006, several parents of preschoolers attending the City Garden Early Childhood Center in Pilsen had the idea to found a new school. Watching their three and four-year-olds, the parents could already see how Waldorf education sparks the imagination. As they weighed elementary school options, the parents did not want that spark to extinguish. They formed a board of directors, created a budget, and set a start date.

Today, our board includes parents of children at two Waldorf early childhood centers, as well as advisors and educators from the Chicago Waldorf School and the Chicagoland's greater Waldorf community.

Our Mission:

The South Side School brings Waldorf-inspired elementary education to the vibrant urban environment south of the Chicago Loop. Guided by the principles of Rudolf Steiner, we believe that education must engage the whole child - hands, heart, and head - as he or she passes through the distinct developmental stages of childhood. To foster creativity, our curriculum integrates practical skills, artistic experience, and academic discipline.

Our students will develop self-reliance, flexibility, and compassion. Devoted teachers will plant the seeds for students to grow into free-thinking, caring adults who can make meaningful contributions to society. We aspire to reflect our city's racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and religious diversity.

Education Programs:

- Elementary School program
- Lower School program
- Middle School program

* Our curriculum includes Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Spanish, Chinese, Language Arts, Social Studies, Fine Arts, Music, Movement, Handwork and Outdoor play.
* In the Waldorf tradition, we intend for our classroom teacher to remain with the class until the children reach 8th grade.

Uniqueness of a Waldorf Education:

Photo of Private Elementary School in ChicagoThe uniqueness in a Waldorf education can be found mainly in how and when the students are taught-not in what they are taught. First comes the experience of the subject and from this experience comes the understanding of the concept. This genuine learning process, from perception to feeling to idea, is the basis for later abstract and intellectual learning. We teach our children in the deepest manner possible, allowing lessons to become fully incorporated into the individual.

Waldorf education strives to educate the full range of human potentialities within children. In a Waldorf school, the practical and artistic subjects play as important a role as the full range of traditional subjects that the school offers. All students learn to read and to write clearly as well as focusing on their handwriting and cursive writing. They learn math, science, geography, literature and two foreign languages. All students are taught singing, a musical instrument, drawing, painting, woodworking, and hand crafts. Children garden and have extended outdoor time as well as movement classes.


Image of Private Elementary School in ChicagoWhy should I choose The South Side School?
Our school was recently founded by a group of motivated parents. We hope you'll send your child here for the same reasons we do. The South Side School is a new school that's "old school," which is to say that it's a lot like the schools we attended as children. Our students learn art, music, and physical education. They go outside for recess-and a nice long recess, with time to explore, socialize, and get swept up in a fantasy. Because our curriculum follows the natural development of children, we don't push academics too soon. That means no homework while dinner is simmering and children should be blowing off steam. Perhaps most of all, the South Side School is a community that believes first and foremost that children should love learning.

How does this school differ from public schools?

Our school is not restrained by government regulations. We as parents have been dismayed to see that No Child Left Behind has resulted in long school days with little or no recess, homework in kindergarten and first grade, and the elimination of art and music as part of the daily curriculum. The South Side School puts love of learning first, and we recognize that students love learning when there is balance between academics and the arts, between the head and hands and heart, between schoolwork and good, old-fashioned outdoor play.

What kind of training do Waldorf teachers have?

Waldorf teachers have bachelors, and sometimes masters, degrees, as well as full certification from a Waldorf teacher training program. All South Side School teachers will have Waldorf certification.

What is it like to attend school outside of your neighborhood?

Chicagoans send their children to schools all over the city. That means your child will have friends from all over the city. But that doesn't necessarily mean you'll be driving all over the city for playdates. We offer plenty of outdoor play time, when children can socialize on their own terms. School festivals also offer children and their families time to come together regularly as a community. For those concerned about the drive, we are searching for sites near the 90/94 and 55 expressways, making our school convenient to neighborhoods on Chicago's Loop and West and South sides.

Will aftercare be available?

We cannot yet say if aftercare will be provided. Once we have a sense of demand, we will plan accordingly.

How is reading taught in Waldorf schools?

Waldorf schools do not rush literacy. The schools teach reading in a deeply integrated manner: building comprehension first, by engaging children orally through stories, then engaging the children physically through art and writing, and finally by engaging them visually through reading what they've written.

Teachers enthrall their young students with folktales, myths, rhymes and puppet shows. These stories are not merely entertainment for the children; the teachers are giving children the gift of living language. Rather than reading the stories, teachers tell them from memory, and they change and flow as all oral traditions do. Stories are repeated many times, and the children are exposed to a wide and changing vocabulary--one of the cornerstones of reading.

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Address: Pilsen, 920 W 19th St , Chicago, Illinois , USA
Related Schools & Programs. Inquire to our admissions team today:
Language Classes Ad Opportunity here
Courses / Programs
Note to parents & guardians: Unfortunately, the language program provider that previously was listed here has closed their language training business. This listing is now void, and program inquiries cannot be processed.

Note to language class providers: Contact us if you provide full-immersion programs for adults and / or children in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian and German.

Potential ad locations in Chicagoland: Hyde Park, Lincoln Park, Barrington, Mt. Prospect / Arlington Heights, Deerfield / Lake Forest, Park Ridge, Glen Ellyn / Wheaton, Naperville, Geneva / St. Charles, Wilmette / Evanston, and Hinsdale / Oakbrook IL.
Language Immersion Programs:
Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, French, Italian, and German language options

• Parents and Tots programs for kids ages 1-3
• Language classes for kids ages 3-12 (Kids Only)
• Private / One-on-one language classes
• Language immersion summer camps
British School of Chicago
Courses / Programs
British School of Chicago is located in the popular Lincoln Park area in Chicago City in Cook County, Illinois, with easy access from I-90/94 and the CTA Red Line. We offer nursery to year 12 programs consisting of a style of learning that's New World innovative and Old World refined. We approach every student's needs in a way that's as unique as they are. The student is at the centre of everything we do, and we help them build on their strengths, grow their talents and explore all the possibilities.

The unique and international style of the school has proven popular and attractive to a wide variety of American, British and international families in the Chicago metro area. The combination of three distinctive curricula, the International Primary Curriculum, the UK National Curriculum and International Baccalaureate Diploma Program provides a comprehensive, international programme of study which aims to equip every student with the essential skills for lifelong learning and meet individual learning needs.

Today, our enrolment comprises of approximately 485 students. British School of Chicago is accredited by the National Independent Private Schools Association (NIPSA).
- Early Years program
- Primary School program
- Middle School program
- High School program

The British Schools of America prepares students to meet the growing challenges of a rapidly changing world. The BSA academic programme is based on:

* The International Primary Curriculum (IPC)
* The UK National Curriculum
* The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP)
Joliet Catholic Academy
Courses / Programs
Joliet Catholic Academy (JCA) is a co-educational Catholic college preparatory high school located in Joliet in Will and Kendall Counties, Illinois, approximately 40 miles south-west of Chicago. We are co-sponsored by the Joliet Franciscan Sisters and the Carmelites of the Most Pure Heart of Mary. Academic excellence is one of the hallmarks of Joliet Catholic Academy; students are well prepared to attend the college of their choice after moving through our education programs.

Our diverse curriculum helps students to achieve their maximum intellectual potential, through three academic programs: College Prep, Upper College Prep and Honors / Accelerated. Each year, we have a 100% graduation rate. With an enrollment over 750 and a student-teacher ratio of 16:1, personal and individualized attention is afforded to students.

JCA has graduated over 21,000 alumni in the US and abroad. Professional excellence is a hallmark on all levels with over 50% of the faculty holding a Master's degree and beyond.

JCA is recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education, accredited by the North Central Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges, and a member of the East Suburban Catholic Conference.
Academic Programs:

- College Prep program
- Upper College Prep program
- Advanced Placement & Honors / Accelerated program
- Learning Resource program

- Honors Program: The intent of the Honors Program is to challenge academically gifted and talented students and provide them with a rigorous program to meet their needs.

- Advanced Placement & Honors / Accelerated Program: Courses are offered in English IV, U.S. Government, Calculus, Biology, European History, U.S. History, and Chemistry.
Chicago Friends School
Courses / Programs
"Progressive Education in a Nurturing Environment:"

Chicago Friends School provides an educational environment that meets children’s intellectual, social and emotional needs, nurtures relationships, and that fosters a sense of belonging, social awareness, and personal responsibility.

In our multi-age classrooms, teachers approach each child from a developmental perspective focusing on each child’s next steps. Younger children learn from the older children and older children have an opportunity to take on a leadership role and share their knowledge.
Elementary Program:

Subjects include:
- Art
- Music
- Drama
- Physical education
- Math
- Science
- Social studies
- Language arts
- Ecological education
- Extracurricular activities
- After School Care
Montessori Academy Spanish Immersion
Courses / Programs
Montessori Academy Spanish Immersion (MASI), located in the north side of Oak Park, north western Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, is a private home montessori academy offering 100% Spanish Immersion for children 15 months to 12 years of age.

A variety of programs are available year-round from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm, including after school programs in English and Spanish, summer camps and tutoring in English, Calculus, Algebra and Geometry to students of any age.
- Spanish Immersion programs for children 15 months to 12 years of age
- Hourly Spanish classes / tutoring
- Summer Spanish language program
- After School Spanish & English programs
- AM Extended Day
St. Benedict Catholic Elementary School, Chicago
Courses / Programs
Located in Blue Island, a south suburb of Chicago in Cook County, IL, St. Benedict Elementary School is a private, co-educational, Catholic school, serving 178 students in grades PK-8. St. Benedict School fosters a learning climate within our school conducive to academic excellence and spiritual maturity. This helps to develop the children into thinking, problem-solving adults. As a parochial school in the Archdiocese of Chicago, we encourage our students to develop their individual gifts and talents, and we provide the tools to do so though our gifted education curriculum.

This includes a creative hands-on art program and access to a resource room with accelerated reading and math. After school programs such as athletics, band, art club and performing arts are offered to enhance the curriculum. Through the ongoing collaboration of the administrator, educators, parents, clergy and parish, we fulfill our commitment to academic excellence.

Our overall student population consists of 40 Caucasian, 46 Hispanic, 89 African American and 3 others. We cater for families from Blue Island, Calumet Park, Morgan Park, Merrionette Park, Robbins, Dixmoor, Riverdale and surrounding communities.
- Pre-kindergarten program
- Kindergarten program
- Elementary School program
- Middle School through to Grade 8 program

- Gifted Education Curriculum
- Talented and Gifted Program with art, accelerating reading and math
- After school program including athletics, band, art club and performing arts