Catherine Cook School

Catherine Cook School is an independent, coeducational preparatory school in Chicago serving Preschool (age 3) through 8th Grade.
Catherine Cook is a vibrant learning community that values curiosity, connection, and compassion.
Our incredible teachers work closely with each student and family to identify and foster strengths, ignite imagination, and encourage a growth mindset.
Academics are guided by student inquiry to utilize research skills, problem solving, design thinking, and incredible technology resources.
An emphasis on social-emotional learning encourages students to fully understand and embrace themselves, appreciate and respect the identities of others, and become compassionate leaders.
100% of Class of 2023 accepted into at least one of their top three high school choices.
More than 130 after school program options until 6:00 p.m.  Financial support is available.

Quick Stats (2024)

  • Top Ranked IL School
  • Grades: Nursery/Preschool-8
  • Enrollment: 461 students
  • Average class size: 18 students
  • Application Deadline: Dec. 18 / rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

Top Rankings

Catherine Cook School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in Illinois for:

Sports offered

School Overview

Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades Nursery/Preschool-8
Year Founded
Summer School Offered
Summer Program Details

Student Body

Total Students
461 students
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 34%
Students by Grade
Catherine Cook School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
60 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size
18 students
Matriculation DataMatric. Data
Classroom Dress Code

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
Dec. 18 / rolling
Tuition Notes
1/2 Day PS: $24,650; Full Day PS: $29,710; JK-4: $32,000; 5-8: $33,620; Need-based financial assistance is available.
Admissions Director
Tiffany Wells
Admissions Associate
Jessica Ledesma



Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.
4 extracurriculars
Club or Organization:
After School Adventures / Virtual Adventures, Extended Day (until 6:00 p.m.), Middle School Athletics, Middle School Clubs and Academic Teams

School Notes

Source: Verified school update

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Catherine Cook School offer a summer program?
Yes, Catherine Cook School offers a summer program. Visit their summer school page for more information.
What sports does Catherine Cook School offer?
Catherine Cook School offers 8 interscholastic sports: Basketball, Cheering, Cross Country, Flag Football, Golf, Soccer, Track and Field and Volleyball. Catherine Cook School is ranked as one of the top 20% of private schools in Illinois for most sports offered.
What is Catherine Cook School's ranking?
Catherine Cook School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in Illinois for: Largest student body and Most sports offered.
When is the application deadline for Catherine Cook School?
The application deadline for Catherine Cook School is Dec. 18 / rolling (applications are due on Dec. 18 but additional applications are reviewed year-round as space permits ).
In what neighborhood is Catherine Cook School located?
Catherine Cook School is located in the Near North Side neighborhood of Chicago, IL. There are 2 other private schools located in Near North Side.

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (5 reviews)
If you are looking for an academically strong, yet extremely loving & comfortable learning environment for your child, then Catherine Cook is the school for you! Our daughter started Preschool at Catherine Cook in 2021 and now she is entering Senior Kindergarten. Catherine Cook has been the best learning environment for her and our family. The teachers are truly remarkable, and the parent community and the student body are lovely. It is also a school where you can volunteer as a parent: from a mystery reader to being a room parent or simply a member of the Parent Association. Our daughter values the strong community and friendships she has made over the years. She loves the after-school programming; she has taken private music lessons, and participated in dance classes and a few creative clubs. She adores school; literally, we will drop her off at 7:45am in the morning and when we pick her up she does not want to leave campus, and trust us she had a long day (sometimes until 6 p.m.). Her teachers know her inside and out; they are always looking out for her best interest. Also the opportunities are limitless at Catherine Cook. The school day is structured with many activities, enrichment activities like going to the library, AV studio, tech lab, IDEA Lab, music, art, dance, and World Language. Our daughter has 2 recess periods daily, which she absolutely loves, as she has tons of energy. The school has provided a level of structure, play, creativity and care for her. When we were applying for independent schools for her she got accepted to all those we applied to: Parker, Lab, Latin, Bennett Day, and British. We visited all the schools. Ultimately our family decision came down to the following: being at a racially diverse school that allows children to be seen and heard regardless of their background, culture, learning profile etc; being in a school that concentrates on making her strong as an adolescent and building those foundational skills vs. rushing her along to the high school years; we wanted a Preschool-8th grade environment; we wanted a school that had a middle school team that assists and supports students as they prepare for their high school journey; a school where you could actually communicate with administration and teachers, when desired; we wanted to be surrounded with likeminded, "Down-to-Earth" parents; be in an environment that respects social economic diversity; and simply be in a school where the teachers truly love the students. Your children are your most precious gems in your life; just as we treat our daughter at home, we were looking for a school that had teachers that truly cared as if she was their own. Our daughter receives daily hugs, smiles, encouragement, kindness and compassion from her teachers. They are creating memories for her and we love that as parents. We fell in love with Catherine Cook by touring the school and eventually attending their Open House; we highly encourage you to visit the campus. This year they are hosting an All School Open House on Sunday, November 5th to the event and take a tour, trust us you will not regret a moment of any of your exploration. Good luck!
- Posted by
Catherine Cook has been a wonderful home away from home for our children. They have been nurtured and loved from the moment they each arrived in JK. They have blossomed into kind, confident and curious students who value their relationships with fellow students and teachers. The low student-to-teacher ratio has afforded them individualized attention to learn in a style that best fits their needs. The warm and inviting environment naturally fosters a strong sense of community between parents. teachers, and students. The school's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion has become a core value that is incorporated into all aspects of school life.
- Posted by
I am a parent of two current Catherine Cook Students. We have a child in 2nd grade as well as in Senior Kindergarten. Both of our children started in Pre-school and we are so happy with the decision we made. We have come to love and greatly appreciate all that Catherine Cook School has to offer, from their focus on innovation and design to cultivating a diverse and vibrant community. Most importantly, our children come home from school happy and excited about their days. They have developed joyful relationships with friends and faculty alike. We have no doubt that we have developed friendships with families that will last a lifetime. We feel Catherine Cook School does an amazing job of balancing the academic needs of our children as well as giving focus to their social and emotional needs that are so important in a well rounded education.
- Posted by
I am a parent of 2 children- currently in grades 2 and 4- as we've been at Catherine Cook since they were both in Pre-K. There has not been a day that my children have not been delighted to go to school. They feel supported and known by not only their teachers- but every administrator, security guard, building and grounds professional, and cafeteria associate. CCS is truly a special place for children to learn and realize their interests, talents, and potential. I feel confident CCS is helping them develop the skills and mindset they need to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally in high school and beyond.
- Posted by
I'm a mother of three students who are joyfully and successfully making their way through the grades of Catherine Cook School. They all began in pre-kindergarten, and my oldest is now finishing 5th grade. I don't know how to fully express how much we all love this school. Our kids truly feel that their teachers know them and value what makes them tick. The lessons and assignments are incredibly creative. The school has wonderfully high expectations for student presentations demonstrating what they've learned. They navigate challenging social or behavior issues with grace and perspective and purpose. The communication with teachers and administration is exceptional. The community is delightful.And through the impossible journey of teaching during the pandemic, this school found a way to keep the kids connected, loved, safe, and highly educated.
- Posted by

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Quick Stats (2024)

  • Top Ranked IL School
  • Grades: Nursery/Preschool-8
  • Enrollment: 461 students
  • Average class size: 18 students
  • Application Deadline: Dec. 18 / rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in Chicago, IL is $10,907 for elementary schools and $18,621 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Chicago, IL is 85% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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