The Avery Coonley School

Established in 1906, The Avery Coonley School (ACS) has been known as a leader in gifted education for the past 50+ years.
We offer advanced and gifted learners in preschool through eighth grade a curriculum with the depth, pace, and complexity to challenge them to the fullest.
All ACS faculty are experienced with and understand the emotional and educational needs of gifted children and are skilled in differentiating their instruction to support individual learners.
91% of our faculty hold advanced degrees (Master's and PhD) and the average tenure of an ACS teacher is nine years. Our campus is located on 13 acres of inspiring learning spaces with state-of-the-art technology, flexible space for individual and collaborative work, expansive art studio, music room, library, computer lab, and Makerspace.
The campus includes 9,000 square feet of outdoor play areas, a challenge course, athletic field, gymnasium, outdoor swimming pool, and pond.

Quick Stats (2024)

School News

Top Rankings

The Avery Coonley School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in Illinois for:

School History

School Overview

Student Body

Total Students
332 students
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 34%
Students by Grade
The Avery Coonley School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
37 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size
16 students
List of Courses Offered
Matriculation DataMatric. Data
Classroom Dress Code

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
Mar. 1 / rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost
Tuition Notes
PreK: $11,365 - $27,070 K-4: $29,470 5-8: $30,550
% on Financial Aid
Admissions Director
Kristen Teague
Admissions Associate
Zoe Johnson


Total Sports Offered
4 sports


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.
14 extracurriculars
Club or Organization:
Art Club, Book Club, Chess, Computer Club, Math Team, Robotics Club, STEM Open Lab, Student Council (Middle School), Yearbook Club

Arts and Music Programs:
Drama/Theater, Orchestra, Tech Club, Treble Makers Choir

Recreational Athletic Programs:

School Notes

  • Students at Avery Coonley represent 40+ zip-codes in the Chicagoland area and come from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. This is due to the School`s commitment to diversity and a robust financial aid budget for need-based tuition assistance.
  • Students at ACS enjoy being challenged and learning at a minimum of one entire grade level above their current grade.
  • Students enjoy activities and clubs, including fine arts, chess, strategic gaming, and debate.
  • Facilities include state-of-the-art technology and flexible spaces for individual and collaborative work, an expansive art studio, computer lab, Makerspace, over 9,000 square feet of outdoor play area, athletic field, and a ropes challenge course.
  • ACS has a very strong, engaged parent community. The Home & School Association (HSA) organizes many activities throughout the year.
Source: Verified school update

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does The Avery Coonley School cost?
The Avery Coonley School's tuition is approximately $30,550 for private students.
What sports does The Avery Coonley School offer?
The Avery Coonley School offers 4 interscholastic sports: Basketball, Soccer, Track and Field and Volleyball.
What is The Avery Coonley School's ranking?
The Avery Coonley School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in Illinois for: Largest student body, Most extracurriculars offered and Oldest founding date.
When is the application deadline for The Avery Coonley School?
The application deadline for The Avery Coonley School is Mar. 1 / rolling (applications are due on Mar. 1 but additional applications are reviewed year-round as space permits ).

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (7 reviews)
Both of my sons started at ACS in K and graduated from 8th grade. Highly intelligent children NEED a place like Avery Coonley. These children need to be challenged and have to know what it is like to work hard to achieve academic success. Too often, high-IQ kids are bored in school and become disengaged or lazy. My sons needed ACS to value the importance of hard work and dedication to their classes. Due to the challenging coursework, the skills they learned at ACS provided them with the tools to go on to have successful high school and college careers. In addition, smart kids need to be where it is "cool to be smart". At ACS, students can just focus on academics without some of the external garbage you can get at some public schools.
- Posted by
Avery Coonley was an incredible place for my three kids to learn and grow. From their first day in the preschool program to their 8th-grade graduation, they benefited enormously from Avery Coonley's caring teachers, dynamic curriculum, and talented peer groups. All three went to different high schools, including some of the most academically rigorous boarding schools in the country, and all have thrived. Avery Coonley prepared them to be independent thinkers who are unafraid to take intellectual risks as well as creative and collaborative learning partners. I couldn't imagine my kids spending their childhood anywhere else! Thank you, ACS!
- Posted by
My older daughter has been and Avery Coonley since she was in Kindergarten. My younger daughter, since the Early Childhood program (they are currently in 7th & 4th). It has been an incredible experience. My children are confident learners, they are curious and willing to take risks as well as enjoy being challenged. The entire environment at ACS is supportive and dedicated to gifted children being themselves and celebrating their natural desire to learn. The teachers are exceptional. They share the same love of learning as their students and communicate with teachers constantly and encouraged.
- Posted by
This school has been an absolute gift for our entire family. Our two sons go to Avery Coonley and we've been a part of this community for the last 8 years. Im grateful for their experiences here in so many ways, but I would say that the following really encapsulates why Avery Coonley is so special: (1) The teachers are amazing. They KNOW your kids. They get them. During our first parent teacher conference in second grade, the teacher identified something about our kid that we had not realized. Her experience and knowledge led us to a whole new understanding of our kid and changed the way we parented him, for the better. (2) The ethos that mistakes are a good thing. At every grade level, they teach the kids that you can't really learn without making mistakes, that you need to take risks and get out of your comfort zone. 3) The whole-child approach. As you would expect, the academics are very strong here. But it is the other aspects they bring to the table that make this such a special place for me. A truly cross-curricular, project-based, experiential approach to learning. Music and art are involved in every aspect of their education, even at the project level. Drama starts formally in fourth grade, but the kids are taught to present their work in front of a group of people, and even be up on stage in the auditorium from first grade on. My super-shy youngest son who never used to want to try anything new is comfortable on stage in front of a full auditorium. That's AMAZING and I never saw it coming. If your kids are interested, they can join the school orchestra and learn new instruments. They have PE every day, which incorporates play, creativity, traditional American sports, as well as exploring the world through sports from around the globe. Whether they are tapping maple trees to make maple syrup, building an Egyptian Mastaba to memorialize a famous person they respect who recently died, putting together a Japanese style luncheon, or traveling to Quebec to immerse themselves in the French language, the kids are learning by doing and gaining confidence and self-awareness every step of the way.
- Posted by
We are so proud to be a part of the ACS community! Our daughter has attended ACS since 3rd Group and now is in her last year. We have been continually impressed with the support and love from the teachers, staff and families. Not only does ACS focus on excellence and high standards in their curriculum, but the teachers and staff encourage students to be independent and confident learners. Our daughter has developed empathy for people who look and believe differently than herself. She has a strong foundation of knowledge in history and science, as well as math and literacy. She is inspired daily by teachers who are experts in each of their fields with master level degrees. She is surrounded by other students who are passionate and desire to learn and explore above all things. It truly is the unique and true learning environment we have ever seen, and we have been at public and private schools in the Chicagoland area. By far, ACS stands above the rest in learning, innovation, collaboration and design over any school we have ever been a part of. The head of school is kind, brilliant and loves to see students become true to who they are meant to be. The board of the school are parents and educators who have a deep love for the school and students. Students leave ACS with more knowledge and depth and our overly prepared for the top high schools in Chicago. Don't be intimated by the cost of the school, ACS gives amazing scholarships and aid to those who need it. Take a risk and apply to this one of kind places!
- Posted by
Our son has attended since Kindergarten and we are very happy with the experience. The environment is inviting and friendly. The grounds are beautiful. The school does a great job nurturing long-standing community-building traditions while incorporating the latest technology in the classrooms. The teachers and staff know the children well, and enjoy guiding their development. The teachers are experts in their subjects and are passionate about their craft. The school is for gifted and highly motivated learners; the teachers differentiate and individualize in order to meet the child where he/she is at. The peer set in each classroom cannot be matched elsewhere. Avery Coonley is the place where it is cool to be smart and everyone is engaged in the learning process. Our son has thrived here.
- Posted by
Avery Coonley school was my home away from home from preschool to sixth grade. I made wonderful friends and had great teachers. I feel very lucky to have been a part of the community. It's the people that make this place so special.
- Posted by

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The average private school tuition in Downers Grove, IL is $10,162 for elementary schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).

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