Forest Bluff School: Montessori Education

8 W Scranton Ave,
Lake Bluff, IL, 60044-0600
Tel: (847)295-8338
Grades: NS - 8 | 150 students
Forest Bluff School, located near downtown Lake Bluff, Illinois and Lake Forest, Illinois, is the internationally renowned Montessori school founded in 1982 by Paula Polk Lillard, the author of Montessori Today and other classic texts on Montessori education.
The private, AMI-accredited school serves 140 children, from 18 months to 14 years.
A teacher-run school that adheres to the educational approach developed by Dr.
Maria Montessori, Forest Bluff strives to help every student reach his or her full human potential in all areas of life.
Our graduates have been accepted at top-rated high schools, such as The Thacher School, St. Paul's, Exeter, Andover, and Lake Forest Academy.
Recent college choices include MIT, Yale, Stanford, Middlebury, Williams, Dartmouth, Duke and UVA.

School Overview

School Type Montessori School
School Membership(s)School Assoc. Association Montessori International (AMI)
Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)
Religious Affiliation Nonsectarian
Grades Offered Grades Nursery/Preschool - 8
Year Founded 1982

Student Body

Total Students 150 students
Student Body Type Co-ed
% Students of Color 9%
State avg.: 29%
Students by Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers 15 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio 10:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree 99%
List of Courses Offered Link to List of Courses

Finances and Admission

Admission Deadline None / Rolling
Admissions Director Lynn Lillard Jessen

Nearby Schools:

The nearest high school is Daisys Resource Optional School (3.2 miles away)
The nearest elementary school is Dearhaven Childcare & Learning Center (1.8 miles away)
The nearest preschool is Lake Forest Country Day School (3 miles away)
 All Schools  |High Schools High Schools  |Elementary Schools Elementary Schools  |Preschools Preschools  |Public Schools Public Schools 
Show me:
  • School Location Miles Students Grades
  • Lake Forest Dearhaven Childcare & Learning Center
    Early Childhood / Day Cares
    1100 N Westmoreland Rd
    Lake Forest , IL , 60045
    Early Childhood / Day Cares
    1.8  mi  |  157  students  |  Gr.  K
  • Lake Forest
    Honored for National Blue Ribbon Award School Of St. Mary
    Special Program Emphasis (Roman Catholic)
    185 E Illinois Rd
    Lake Forest , IL , 60045
    Special Program Emphasis (Roman Catholic)
    2.1  mi  |  507  students  |  Gr.  K-9
  • Lake Forest
    Lake Forest Country Day School
    145 S Green Bay Road
    Lake Forest , IL , 60045
    3  mi  |  381  students  |  Gr.  PK-8
  • Lake Forest
    Montessori School Of Lake Forest
    Montessori School
    13700 W Laurel Dr
    Lake Forest , IL , 60045
    Montessori School
    3  mi  |  174  students  |  Gr.  PK-9
  • Lake Forest
    East Lake Academy
    Special Program Emphasis (Roman Catholic)
    13911 W. Laurel Drive
    Lake Forest , IL , 60045
    Special Program Emphasis (Roman Catholic)
    3.1  mi  |  129  students  |  Gr.  PK-8

School Reviews

  • Recommended August 08, 2014 - Forest Bluff is an internationally recognized AMI certified Montessori school. Our three children have attended other AMI accredited schools, and Forest Bluff is, by far, the best that we have seen. Our experience has shown that the element that distinguishes a school simply employing Montessori principles from a school that truly embodies Maria Montessori?''s revolutionary insight as an educator is the vision and commitment of school leadership. From the emphasis on grace and courtesy (unfortunately uncommon these days) to the powerful combination of freedom to follow one?''s interest where it will lead with a focus on hard work and depth of study on a path once chosen, the Forest Bluff approach demonstrates that children thrive in an atmosphere of high expectations and well-communicated boundaries. Forest Bluff?''s leaders have demonstrated lifetime (and intergenerational!) commitment to educating children the Montessori way. As parents of Forest Bluff students, we are both grateful for and take inspiration from this sense of commitment. The school enlists parents as partners in the enterprise through the parent-child series, regular lectures on Montessori methods and principles, and access to teachers and school directors. However, it is very important to understand that the child is the priority. The emphasis is on the child, not the parent, as we see at so many private schools. The school has been put on sound financial footing through conservative fiscal management and very limited specifically targeted fundraising campaigns, so the near-constant cultivation of parents/grandparents as ongoing sources for supplemental funding (rather than principally as partners in education) is, thankfully, not a feature of the Forest Bluff experience. The Forest Bluff Secondary program is the jewel in the crown and the culmination of all that the school?''s emphasis on self-control and self-motivation is striving to achieve. Taught by a dedicated and inspirational husband-wife team, the Secondary classroom experience is purposefully designed to mimic the high ambition and strong support of a caring but demanding family environment. The safety and structure of this approach is particularly effective during this critical period of brain reorganization, social/hormonal commotion and growing awareness of and transition towards the demands and rigors of the adult world. In addition to the academic curriculum, the Secondary students carefully plan organize and share responsibilities for fall and spring class trips (touring Washington D.C. and hiking the Centennial Trail in the Black Hills of South Dakota were recent adventures (that our oldest son really enjoyed!). These trips supplement the classroom experience by strengthening relationships and providing real world challenges for the students to tackle together. Friends and acquaintances say that there is something positively unique about Forest Bluff students. We thank Forest Bluff for providing us with a framework for raising our children in such a fast paced, demanding environment where parents and children can easily be caught up in technology, video games and other distractions. - Posted by Parent
  • Recommended February 19, 2013 - Forest Bluff is known internationally as a model Montessori school, and as a parent I''ve found that its reputation is deserved. The teachers are thoughtful, caring and intelligent, the building and grounds are beautiful, and this school has committed to a fully realized vision of Montessori education. Most families stay all the way through 8th grade. - Posted by Parent

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