The Children's School

The Children's School Photo #1 - KINDERGARTEN: Our play-based environment, with its carefully-planned daily routines and wide variety of learning experiences, allows Kindergarten children the space and time to work on social-emotional developmental tasks. Academic learning takes place in a non-pressured way within the context of this caring, nurturing community of learners.
The Children's School Photo #2 - The Children's School in Oak Park, Illinois offers progressive education for grades K - 8. The curriculum in all programs feature project-based learning, a social justice focus, and no standardized testing. Year-round transfers and admissions are welcome.
The Children's School Photo #3 - ELEMENTARY: At The Children’s School, we believe that children learn best in a child-centered, unpressured environment that allows each child’s development to unfold at its own pace. In elementary school, that means play-based learning evolves to incorporate more project-based learning as the child's curiosity about the world around them grows.
The Children's School Photo #4 - MIDDLE SCHOOL: The middle-level grades are organized around the distinct developmental needs of early adolescence. Our middle schoolers define questions or problems that they deem important, and teachers help them craft a skill-based, content-rich response. In this way children's learning unfolds as they engage in purposeful activity around topics and issues that have meaning for them.
The Children's School Photo #5 - EMERGENT CURRICULUM: What and how we teach is dynamically coordinated with what our students want to learn and their skill level at each developmental level. Our teachers tap into children’s innate curiosity about the world to wrap the curriculum around topics of interest. The project approach allows teachers to weave curricular goals and skill development into a large-scale, hands-on experience.
The Children's School Photo #6 - Progressive Education is based on the principle, espoused by John Dewey and others, that education must prepare students for active participation in a democratic, global society. The focus is on raising critical thinkers and inquirers who are active rather than passive learners. The teacher’s job is to nurture and support children’s innate curiosity and desire to learn, fostering internal motivation rather than reliance on external rewards.
  • Give your child the gift of progressive education.  The Children`s School fosters a love of learning and critical thinking skills through an age-appropriate curriculum based on the children`s unfolding curiosity.
  • Small classes emphasize project-based learning in a relaxed environment that supports the achievement of all local and state curriculum goals.
  • In-depth ongoing student assessment replaces letter grades and standardized tests.
  • This brings out the full potential in each individual child.

Top Placements

The Children's School places among the top 20% of private schools in Illinois for:

School Overview

School TypeAlternative School
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades Kindergarten-8
Year Founded2004

Student Body

Total Students106 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 31%
Students by Grade The Children's School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers11 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio10:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size15 students
List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses
Matriculation DataMatric. DataLink to Matriculation Data
Classroom Dress CodeCasual

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineNone / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost$10,000
Tuition NotesFor the 2018-2019 academic year the tuition for grades K-5 is $9,785 and for 6-8 $11,630. A $500 Activity Fee is also required for grades K-4 while the fee is $900 for grades 5-8. This fee covers all field trip expenses, cost of swimming program, and more.
% on Financial Aid
Average Financial Aid Grant$1,750
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions DirectorChristina Martin, Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Admissions AssociatePamela Freese, Director of Adm


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.5 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.Club or Organization:
Chess Club, Running Club, Spanish I

Arts and Music Programs:
Kids Project, Pottery - Wheel Throwing and Hand Building

School Notes

  • Give your child the gift of progressive education. The Children`s School fosters a love of learning and critical thinking skills through an age-appropriate curriculum based on the children`s unfolding curiosity.  
  • We work every day to honor children`s voices, to demonstrate the joy in learning, and to advance each student in their abilities and skills. Our talented, dedicated faculty is adept at guiding our children to think critically, to ask questions, and to take responsibility for their own learning. Our small classes emphasize project-based learning in a relaxed environment that supports the achievement of all local and state curriculum goals
  • We choose on-going individual assessment of each child`s learning progress and potential, and do not use standardized tests or letter grades.
  • Children learn in a way that honors their voices and helps them make sense of the world around them. Our curriculum incorporates a social justice focus with the goal of creating active participants in democratic society, honoring all viewpoints and needs to find innovative solutions to community challenges.
  • Take a look through our website and visit our campus. Learn more about the philosophy of progressive education, about the projects in our classrooms, and about who we are as a community of learners. Or, join us for an Open House on the first Friday of every month during which you can meet current and prospective parents, tour the school, and experience our classrooms in action. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions or would like more information. 
Show me:
Show me:
  • School Location Miles Grades Students
  • Arlington Heights
    Grades: K-9 | 232 students
    20.5 miles
    2550 N Arlington Heights Rd
    Arlington Heights, IL 60004
    (847) 590-5700
    20.5 K-9
  • Chicago
    Grades: 10-12 | 176 students
    2.9 miles
    4651 W. Madison
    Chicago, IL 60644
    (773) 921-1315
    2.9 10-12
  • Chicago
    Bennett Day School
    Bennett Day School Photo
    Special Program Emphasis
    Grades: PK-12 | 244 students
    7.5 miles
    955 W. Grand Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60642
    (312) 236-6388
    7.5 PK-12
  • Chicago
    Grades: PK-8 | 91 students
    8.4 miles
    900 N Franklin St Ste 104
    Chicago, IL 60610
    (312) 944-5600
    8.4 PK-8
  • Chicago
    New Horizon Center
    Special Education School
    Grades: 2-12 | 47 students
    6.8 miles
    6737 W Forest Preserve Ave
    Chicago, IL 60634
    (773) 286-6226
    6.8 2-12

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Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in Illinois is $6,286 for elementary schools and $12,555 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Illinois is 91% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).