Local communities offer excellent schools, educational choices
August 1, 2014

By Susan Fong

Parents and children have many excellent educational options available to them in our local communities. A choice of primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, and specialty schools help provide a variety of educational opportunities close to home.


Green Beginnings is an early development childcare and preschool for children ages six weeks through five years of age.

Green Beginnings LLC, 1436 W. Randolph St., (312) 226-4256, www.greenbeginningschicago.com. Also, like Green Beginnings, Healthy Children, Healthy World, and Healthy Future, on Facebook.

Green Beginnings is an early development childcare and preschool, developing children ages six weeks through five years of age.

Green Beginnings’ mission is to provide a safe, intimate environment where all children are supported, stimulated, and encouraged to develop socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively.

Through everyday life experiences, explorations, and interactions, Green Beginnings’ children will strengthen their desire to be lifelong learners and bridge the gap between toddlers and schoolaged children.

By using innovative, healthy, and eco-conscious ideas and cultivating a love and respect for nature, Green Beginnings’ children will enrich the unique qualities of the individual child. Each child’s ideas and dreams will start with the relationship built between Green Beginnings and each individual family.

The distinctive branches of Green Beginnings are that 1.) It is developed, owned and directed by teachers; 2.) The curriculum is health- and nature-based; 3.) The curriculum is guided by Illinois Early Learning Standards; 4.) There is a multilingual team guiding its language development program, 5.) It develops and expands the daily food experiences in a
child’s kitchen; and 6.) This program uses eco-conscious products to foster a healthy and balanced environment.

Green Beginnings is offering discounted tuition and fees for the preschool program if enrolled in August.


British School of Chicago, 814 W. Eastman St, (Lincoln Park); 161 W. 9th St. (South Loop) (773) 506-2097, admissions: (773) 506-2097 or admissionsbsc@wclschools.org; britishschoolofchicago.org.

With a commitment to an international education and lifelong learning, the British School of Chicago (BSC), for children in preschool through high school, opens a second campus in the South Loop at 161 W. 9th St. this September; its first campus is located in Lincoln Park.

“We are thrilled about our second campus and the expanded educational opportunities it will provide our students, our parents, and our new community,” said Principal Michael Horton. BSC currently has 835 students from both local and international families. The British School of Chicago offers an internationally recognized learning-focused curriculum, delivering a premium education with a global perspective. It is one of 29 schools in 13 countries in the Nord Anglia Education network.

BSC’s program focuses on the development of personal, social, and academic skills essential to the global citizen to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world. Students graduate with not only academic skills, but skills in critical thinking, problem solving, research, writing, communication, and international perspective that are vital in college and beyond.

Small class sizes and differentiated learning enhance the quality of education in the classroom for a diverse group of students. Academic subjects include English, math, science, foreign language, history, art, design technology, music, physical education, information and communications technology, and geography. Extracurricular activities are an integral part of student life and include sports, music, art, and academic clubs.

The British School of Chicago will hold an Open House at its Lincoln Park campus on Saturday, Sept. 27, 9 a.m. to noon, for families interested in either campus. Prospective students and families will be able to visit the current school and participate in activities including music, art, and drama as well as storytelling. Mini tours and informational sessions with school staff also will be available.


Children of Peace, 1900 W. Taylor St., (312) 243-8186, www.childrenofpeacechicago.org, czaffaroni@childrenofpeaceschool.org. Children of Peace School is an Archdiocesan Roman Catholic school featuring preschool through eighth grade, including a Montessori program for three-to-five year olds, It serves the Illinois Medical District and metropolitan Chicago.

The school’s Catholic faith tradition ensures the development of a sound moral foundation. A low student/teacher ratio allows for maximum attention to each child.

Children of Peace School celebrates the joy of learning and champions respect for self and others. Teachers and staff work to guide students in learning and exhibiting Christian values. Their mission is to promote human dignity, combat racism, challenge injustices, and provide a complete curriculum that reflects a culture of continuous, effective, and meaningful learning appropriate for all students.

Children are encouraged to serve and care for each other, value and appreciate each other’s differences, seek peaceful resolutions to problems, and be independent thinkers and life-long learners.

Situated near the University of Illinois at Chicago and Rush University Medical Center, the school’s partnerships with leaders in the surrounding area ensure a strong and rich academic program for its diverse student population. Its affiliation with Rush University allows access to a state-of-the-art science laboratory. Technology is used at every grade level. All students have access to laptops and interactive whiteboards are in every classroom.

Evergreen Academy Middle School, 3537 S. Paulina St., (773) 535-4836, fax (773) 535-4853, www.evergreenacademyms.com. Located in the McKinley Park community, Evergreen Academy is only one of 15 middle schools in the city focused on the middle school philosophy tenets of academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity, and sound organizational structures.

Comprised of about 400 students in sixth through eighth grade, the school has a 96% attendance rate. Teachers and staff ensure students have an environment conducive to and supportive of all learners. Principal Marian Strok is proud of Evergreen’s recent re-designation as a “School to Watch” by the National Forum on Middle Grades Reform. The school first received the three-year designation in 2010. Evergreen Academy Middle School’s rigorous and differentiated curriculum aligns with the Common Core State Standards.

Honors literature and algebra are available for eligible eighth graders. Students are empowered to explore, create, and make decisions while actively participating in and being accountable for their learning.

Home of the Tigers sports teams, the school provides opportunities for students to enjoy a number of extra-curricular activities and organized athletics including flag football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer, wrestling, cross country, and track. The school’s mission is to create a collaborative and safe environment where students can become college- and career-ready in an economically, culturally, socially, and religiously diverse world.

The school’s motto is, “Where Excellence is the Expectation.” Evergreen is an Options for Knowledge School and can accept students outside of its neighborhood boundaries when space is available. Contact Strok for more information.

Frances Xavier Warde School (FXW), 751 N. State St. and 120 S. Desplaines St., (312) 466-0700, fax (312) 466-0711, admissions@fxw.org, www.fxw.org. Founded in 1989, FXW has two downtown locations. Pre-school through third graders attend the Old Saint Patrick’s campus on Desplaines Street, while fourth through eighth graders attend classes at the Holy Name Cathedral campus on State Street.

FXW’s National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accredited preschool program offers half- and full-day program options for three- and four-year-olds. Before- and afterschool care is available at both campuses.

The average student/teacher ratio is 10:1 for preschool; 12:1 for kindergarten and primary grades; and 24:1 for middle school. FXW works to appeal to a student’s natural curiosity and inspire a passion for learning. The school integrates the four core principles of faith, education, diversity, and service.

FXW students are religiously and socioeconomically diverse. The school is committed to giving back to the community; last year, as part of the Living the Legacy initiative, FXW families performed 5,000 hours of community service. The independent Catholic school offers two religious curricula. One teaches the traditions, values, and tenets of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for FXW’s Catholic students, while the second program provides an interfaith, values-based curriculum for children representing other faith traditions. Students come together to learn about and grow in their faith through ongoing community service.

FXW offers a full range of extracurricular programs; including drama, sports and music. Needbased scholarships are available. Admission deadlines are Nov. 1 for pre-school and kindergarten and Feb. 1 for all elementary grades. For admission and application information, call (312) 268-2558 or visit the FXW website.

Francis W. Parker School, 330 W. Webster Ave., (773) 797-5107, www.fwparker.org, facebook.com/parkerchicago, twitter.com/fwparker. Francis W. Parker is a school where inspired teachers, a dynamic curriculum, and a diverse community of learners thrive. Parker students are provided with an exceptional educational opportunity in an inclusive community, where diversity in every form provides a global perspective.

It is a unique and special place where enduring values and new ideas benefit individual and collective growth.

Guided for over 100 years by a profound educational philosophy, Parker School strives to cultivate students who have the curiosity, selfdiscipline, independence of mind, and collaborative spirit necessary to apply their values, skills, knowledge, and ideas to challenges. At Parker, students learn to connect reflection with action, insight with innovation, deeds with consequences, and character with citizenship.

Its small class sizes and interdisciplinary approach to teaching set the stage for a challenging and meaningful educational experience. Students learn and grow within a diverse community of passionate teachers, parents, and peers. As the only independent school in Chicago where students from 14 grades share one building, the school offers collaborative opportunities among grade levels as part of the curriculum.

Academic programs include math, science, history/social studies, and English. Exposure to foreign languages and world cultures begins in the early grades and is part of formal studies starting in sixth grade. In addition to academic curricula, students have physical education, visual arts, drama, and music classes. Upper school students have a large number of elective courses available in addition to the required core of courses. Elective choices are offered in all departments and include approved independent studies, computer programming, and advanced literature studies in foreign languages. Community service is part of the curriculum beginning in sixth grade.

To learn more about group tours and open houses, log on to the school’s website.

St. Barbara Catholic School,
2830 S. Quinn St., (312) 326-6243, fax (312) 842-7960, www.StBarbaraSchool.org. Founded in 1910, St. Barbara is a Catholic elementary school rooted in faith and nurtured through prayer, sacrament, and liturgy.

Located in the Bridgeport community, the school includes preschool through eighth grade. The school’s early childhood program offers morning and full day classes, as well as three- and five-day options. The student-teacher ratio for preschool is 10:1.

British School of Chicago offers international education in an environment that is fun for students.
The school’s strong academic program is its pride; its rigorous curriculum helps teachers prepare students for success. While mathematics is the core strength of the school, students do well in all academic areas. The writing process begins in kindergarten, ensuring each student’s proficiency in writing at all grade levels.

Students perform above the national average on Terra Nova standardized tests. Their early childhood curriculum includes the Rowland Reading Program, EveryDay Math (University of Chicago), STEM Science, and the school’s recognized art program.

Taught by an Art Institute-trained instructor, the class features a year-long theme encouraging children to create art using a variety of materials.

St. Barbara teachers and staff believe all of their students are unique and have the potential to achieve great academic accomplishments in the classroom. School administrators and teachers feel it is also important that students participate in a variety of outside activities to give them creative, athletic, and social interactions with each other and the community.

The school embraces the city’s culture through field trips to the opera, the symphony, and the Art Institute. These opportunities help students develop leadership, sportsmanship, teamwork, and a strong sense of commitment.

St. Barbara School is recognized by the State of Illinois Board of Education. The preschool follows National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) guidelines. Extended day care is available until 6 p.m. For more information, contact Principal Dorene Hurckes.

St. Elizabeth Catholic Elementary School, 4052 S. Wabash Ave., (773) 548-4100, www.stelizabethelemchgo.com.

The mission of St. Elizabeth School is to evangelize, educate, and empower children and families to grow and to develop as people committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Its philosophy is to nourish the Catholic faith of each child, to teach the children a love of learning and academic excellence. St. Elizabeth strives to support the richness of all cultures and to revere the sacredness of all life.

The school serves students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grades. Extended care is available from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Each classroom is equipped with technology such as Smartboards. The school provides a computer lab with IPad stations.

Administrators and teachers are particularly proud of the school’s strong academics and above-average testing scores. All teachers are certified, experienced, and dedicated to providing the best possible education both inside the classrooms and beyond.

Breakfasts, lunches, and snacks are free. Beyond the basic curriculum, weekly instruction in a foreign language, music, gym, and computer classes are offered.

Athletics include football, basketball, tennis, and track and field, as well as cheerleading.

A wide variety of after school programs are offered to reinforce the educational, communal, and spiritual development of each child. Offerings include tutoring, choir, Boy and Girl Scouts, sign language, taekwondo, ballet, and dance.

With a strong belief that education must be affordable, the school endeavors to make financial aid available to all students. The school year commences on Mon., Aug. 25. To learn more about the school, join St. Elizabeth students and families at its Back to School Fair/Carnival on Sat., Aug. 23, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., or attend an open house on Wed., Sept. 17. For more information, call and make an appointment to visit.

Frances Xavier Warde School students are diverse, and learn healthy traditions and values.
St. Jerome Catholic School, 2801 S. Princeton St., (312) 842-7668, www.stjeromeschool.net. Located in the Bridgeport/Armour Square community, St. Jerome Catholic School is a unique place for over 200 prekindergarten through eighth grade students from the metropolitan area.

For over 90 years, the school’s focus has been to provide excellence in education by developing each child’s spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical, and social potential in a caring environment.

Eminent among the school’s goals are to provide a well-balanced yet demanding curriculum with a strong emphasis on academic advancement and excellence. Each child is immersed in a culture of learning. With excellent reading, writing, and math instruction, each child will excel through the school’s unique technology-oriented approach to learning. Whiteboards with touch-screens, the latest desktop computers, industry-standard software, iPads in each class, and technologically literate teachers prepare children for the challenges that await them in the future.

Additional classes that will enhance each child’s education include art, music, physical education, and Spanish or Italian. St. Jerome also offers a wide array of extra-curricular programs such as basketball, volleyball, football, running club, cheerleading, “Mad Science,” choir, and guitar.

Ninety-eight percent of St. Jerome graduates are routinely accepted into their first choice of selective testing/enrollment high schools such as North Side Preparatory, Saint Ignatius, Whitney Young, Walter Payton, Mount Carmel, Trinity College Prep, Fenwick, and Jones. St. Jerome Terra Nova scores are consistently well above the national average.

St. Jerome School strives to provide a high-quality education at an affordable rate. Scholarships are available to eligible students. St. Jerome administrators and faculty are proud of their small, faithand family-centered school and look forward to you and your child becoming a part of their family.

St. Malachy School, 2252 W. Washington Blvd., (312) 733-2252, info@stmalachychicago.com, www.stmalachychicago.com.

St. Malachy is a Catholic school committed to integrating the Catholic faith tradition and justice education with academic excellence.

Teachers are dedicated to nurturing young minds by creating a collaboration of love between family and school. Every student is challenged academically, respected socially, and enriched spiritually.

All teachers have master’s degrees or are enrolled in master degree programs in education. Using assessment data from annual Terra Nova tests, Renaissance Reading, and AIMSweb, St. Malachy teachers differentiate instruction according to the strengths and needs of every student.

Through the support of Title I math and reading and individual tutors and mentors, each child is given the extra help needed to remediate any learning difficulties.

Faith is at the core of St. Malachy, teaching the gospel through daily prayer and religion classes, monthly chapel services, and a scripture quote each trimester. Students represent a variety of faiths. All traditions are respected through multi-cultural observances.

Technology is integrated across the curriculum with interactive white boards and computer stations in each classroom and computer classes in the school’s computer lab.

St. Malachy believes in developing a complete child with enriching extra-curricular activities such as soccer, basketball, lacrosse, golf, Gospel choir, praise dance, and Teen REACH. The school also provides free inoculations, eye exams and glasses, lead screenings, dental cleaning, and asthma and hearing checks.

Graduates attend top Catholic and selective enrollment high schools. Many qualify for high school academic scholarships. St. Malachy offers financial aid and also assists students in securing financial aid for high school.

Extended care is available from 6:30 a.m. and to 6 p.m. for working parents.

St. Nicholas Cathedral School, 2200 W. Rice St., (773) 384-7243, www.stnicholascathedralschool.org.

For more than 75 years, St. Nicholas Cathedral School has been providing a quality education that has nurtured children into accomplished graduates, solid citizens, and municipal leaders. The educational mission for St. Nicholas Cathedral School is to provide a unique learning environment where academic excellence and traditional values are affirmed and imparted to help students develop Catholic Christian values, a respect for individual cultural heritage, and community pride.

St. Nicholas faculty and staff pride themselves on a challenging curriculum rooted in a faith-based philosophy supported by strong discipline, and steeped in moral principles. Curriculum is implemented in a fully accredited K-8 program, including a NAEYC- accredited full-day pre-school program for three- and four-year-old children. The school is a community of learners and leaders. Its environment fosters building a strong foundation of basic knowledge, which encourages curiosity, inspires success, nurtures self-esteem, and builds character and discipline.

Each year, its graduates enter Chicago’s top Catholic, private and selective-enrollment public high schools, including Saint Ignatius, Loyola, Fenwick, Walter Payton, and Whitney Young. After high school, its students go on to many top universities such as Northwestern, University of Chicago, DePaul, University of Illinois, Pepperdine, and Harvard. Amongst its alumni are college presidents, artists, writers, poets, Olympic athletes, lawyers, and Rear Admiral Boris D. Lushniak, MD, acting surgeon general of the United States.

St Nicholas is a faith-based school community that supports its community members through both good and challenging times. Be it through the school’s 10-for-10 volunteer program, the Helping Hands annual fundraising campaign, or random acts of kindness, St. Nicholas is devoted to raising children who are committed to making the world smarter, kinder, gentler, and more tolerant. For more information, call the office for a tour.

St. Pius V School, 1919 S. Ashland Ave., (312) 226-1590, www.SaintPiusV.org. At St. Pius V School (SPV), students, teachers, alumni, and friends are “Making a World of Difference!” SPV has provided generations of families with an excellent, faith-based education in Chicago’s vibrant Pilsen community since 1872. Its dedicated faculty helps students go on to the best high schools in the Chicago area.

Beyond the school’s excellent math and science curricula, SPV also offers innovative lessons in peacemaking, executive functions, financial planning, and technology. Classrooms feature computers with internet access and interactive Promethean boards. Its curriculum also includes art, music, and physical education. Every student learns how to play at least one musical instrument before he or she graduates. Tutoring and counseling are available for students who need

SPV offers before- and afterschool programs including drama club, running club, soccer, chess club, flag football, yearbook, and technology club. With before and after school programs and full-day pre-school and kindergarten, the schedule is designed to meet the needs of working parents.

St. Pius V School is staffed by dedicated, award-winning teachers and administrators. In 2013, Principal Nancy Nasko received the Distinguished Principal Award from the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

This means Nasko is one of the top three Catholic school principals in the country. SPV eighth grade teacher Mark Zacek, fifth grade teacher Janine Markowicz, and Administrative Assistant Abby Torres have each received the Distinguished Service Award honoring Chicago Archdiocesan employees who had a positive impact on their school.

Call or visit the St. Pius V website for more information or to schedule a visit to the school.

St. Therese Chinese Catholic School, 247 W. 23rd St., (312) 326-2837, principal@sttheresechicago.org, www.sttheresechicago.org. Located in the heart of the Chinatown community, St. Therese Chinese Catholic School is committed to developing lifelong learners through spiritual, intellectual, mental, physical, and social guidance in a loving, caring environment.

Offering grades preschool through eighth grade, St. Therese teachers and staff know each child is unique with different needs and interests. The school’s early childhood program includes certified teachers and teacher aides in pre-school through second grade, as well as early childhood specialists in preschool and junior kindergarten. The school’s comprehensive curriculum exceeds State of Illinois standards.

St. Jerome’s develops spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical, and social potential in a caring environment.
It includes Catholic values, cultural experiences, technology and science-enhanced education, computer classes, eighth grade algebra and geometry, an accelerated reader program, and physical education classes.

Students also are offered foreign language instruction in Mandarin and Spanish, music appreciation and Chinese dance, as well as many extracurricular activities and afterschool care programs. Seventh and eighth grade students consistently score at or above 90% on standardized exams.

Graduates attend Chicago’s top-ranked college preparatory and magnet schools. Recently, three students advanced to the
National History Bee in Atlanta, GA. Of the thousands of students at schools across the country, only a select few advance to nationals.

In 2012, Principal Phyllis Cavallone received Tech & Learning magazine’s Leader of the Year award. The school also was named a 2012 National Intel School of Distinction Finalist for Middle School Mathematics, and in 2011 received the National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence award from the U.S. Department of Education. Contact the school or visit its website for more information.

Urban Prairie Waldorf School, 1220 W. Lexington St., (312) 733-5337, http://urbanprairie.org.

Located adjacent to the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii, Urban Prairie Waldorf School (UPWS) provides an engaging, exciting, and inspiring education for your child. The school strives to cultivate students’ imagination and mental agility so that each child is able to meet tomorrow’s challenges.

Its multi-disciplinary approach provides deep learning experiences by combining, for example, the study of mathematics with a building project or the study of ancient Indian culture with an ancient Indian dance performance.

In addition to math, science, and language arts, the Urban Prairie curriculum includes Spanish and Chinese, music, movement, fine and practical arts, and eurythmy—all beginning in first grade. Students garden, explore the city and state on field trips, play string instruments, and much more.

At UPWS, Waldorf-trained faculty members form strong partnerships with the families in the school, because teachers and administrators have found that children learn best from an invested teacher. This also means that UPWS does not need to constantly test and grade young children to evaluate what each student knows. An invested teacher knows each child, knows where he or she needs work, knows how hard they can be pushed, and knows what inspires them. These relationships help to bring forth the best in UPWF students.

Early childhood and kindergarten programs are offered by City Garden Early Childhood Center, a nearby affiliate school. UPWS also hosts a parent-child program for children ages three and under. Visit the website for a schedule of all open houses and class observations, as well as admissions information.


Chicago Hope Academy, 2189 W. Bowler St. (312) 491-1600, fax (312) 491-1616, www.Chicagohopeacademy.org, Facebook: Chicago Hope Academy, Twitter: CHIHOPEACAD. The average class size at Chicago Hope Academy is only 12 students, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1. The intentionally small class sizes ensure that Chicago Hope Academy students receive as much individualized attention from their teachers as possible. Faculty are available before and after school for tutoring, and they embrace their role as mentors and teachers.

Small class sizes, rigorous curriculum, and individualized attention are reasons why Chicago Hope Academy has maintained a 100% college acceptance rate for its graduates. Chicago Hope Academy is a college prep school with graduates at such schools as Brown University, Wake Forest, Columbia, and the US Naval Academy, as well as others.

As a Christian faith-based high school, Chicago Hope Academy welcomes students of all spiritual backgrounds as part of its strong commitment to diversity. The student body is comprised of students from Chicago and the suburbs, and also features international students.

Chicago Hope Academy is a small school that fields very competitive athletic programs. The Eagles have won regional championships in multiple sports, and students learn the values of discipline, teamwork, and leadership in the process. Extracurricular activities besides athletics include a wide selection of clubs such as chess, art, and robotics.

To better know the school, Chicago Hope Academy offers shadow days for seventh and eighth graders every Thursday and Friday throughout the school year, and an open house each fall and spring for family campus visits.

Visit Chicago Hope Academy’s website to schedule a visit. Read the school’s brochure or take a virtual tour of the school and/or athletic facilities online.

Chicago Hope is an independent private school that offers extensive academic and need-based financial aid to make education affordable.

Chicago Military Academy at Bronzeville 3519 S. Giles Ave., (773) 534-9750, www.chicagomilitaryacademy.org.

Chicago Military Academy at Bronzeville (CMAB) is a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) high school located in the historic Bronzeville community. Its mission is to prepare cadets for college and postsecondary success through a rigorous and relevant math and science curriculum.

The philosophy of CMBA is that its students have a right to receive a quality education, to learn in a safe, protected, and disciplined environment; they should be encouraged by the academy, the parents, and the community to manifest their dreams through self-actualization.

Using the military model to provide a project-based structure of functional responsibility, cadets experience real-life leadership and applied academics throughout the school day. One of six military academy high schools within CPS, CMAB employs a military structure to concentrate on academic achievement and individual responsibility.

The combined focus on math and science, introductory engineering, and personal accountability guides cadets through functional roles within the school. Cadets will graduate to attend college as lifelong learners, having realized progressively greater capacities for inquiry and leadership.

The standards-based and standards- accountable curriculum requires the same rules, methods, and processes to be required throughout the school and encompassing all disciplines and departments.

Grammar and rhetoric, research standards, scientific inquiry,
and even classroom management protocols are uniformly taught and enforced throughout the building. Cadets enjoy a broad spectrum of co- and extra-curricular activities such as sports, Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, competitive teams, academic clubs and interest-related associations.

St. Pius V offers innovative lessons in peacemaking, executive functions, financial planning, and technology.
Any student planning to attend a college or university following graduation should apply to Chicago Military Academy and participate in a wide variety of academic and social/emotional instruction to prepare him/her for success as a young, contributing adult.

De La Salle Institute, Institute Campus (Boys) 3434 S. Michigan Ave., (312) 842-7355, Lourdes Hall Campus (Girls) 1040 W. 32nd Pl., (773) 650-6800, www.dls.org. Founded in 1889 by the Brothers of the Christian Schools, De La Salle Institute is celebrating its 125th year of providing a quality Catholic and LaSallian education to the young men and women from across the Archdiocese who have chosen the school as the place to begin their futures.

As a Catholic high school with deep roots in the LaSallian tradition of faith, service, and community, the school’s spiritual component is especially strong. Students are offered a multitude of opportunities to explore, grow, and share their faith academically and through participation in the Eucharist, retreats, and service.

De La Salle provides an environment where students from diverse backgrounds can enter and thrive academically, spiritually, socially, and athletically.

De La Salle’s coinstitutional environment provides a single-gender education that leads to academic success. By offering three levels of academic programming, the school is able to craft individualized educational programs to maximize student potential.

Advanced Placement and PACC (Program for Advanced College Credit) courses are available so that students may earn a semester’s worth of college credit and prepare for their futures. As the first high school in Chicago to integrate one-to-one Tablet PC education into its curriculum, De La Salle features students who are fully competent and prepared to compete in the ever-changing arena of global technology.

Growth outside the classroom also is a vital part of the experience at De La Salle. The school provides a constantly expanding variety of over 35 clubs and activities, including such specialty clubs as aviation and underwater robotics, and 27 sports.

A college preparatory education, 21st century technology, Christian values, and the LaSallian tradition provide students an outstanding education that lasts a lifetime.

Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School, 3737 W. 99th St., (773) 881-6500, www.mothermcauley.org.

Mother McAuley is a Catholic educational community committed to providing a quality secondary education for young women. Since 1956, Mother McAuley has excelled in providing an academic and spiritual education to thousands of young women. Its graduates are women of distinction who make an impact throughout Chicago and the global community.

Offering a liberal arts education, McAuley teaches students how to think critically, how to learn, and how to make connections and see life as a whole. McAuley equips students with the communication, reasoning, and academic skills necessary to become well-rounded and well-educated young women. A total of 100% of McAuley 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 graduates were accepted at colleges a universities, a percentage far in excess of the national average.

McAuley remains committed to providing young women with the highest quality education possible by embracing and integrating innovative technologies, such as iPads, that continue to redefine traditional learning experiences.

McAuley administrators and teachers believe that well-rounded individuals are formed through educating the mind, body, and spirit. Students can choose from more than 36 service, academic, interest, and social clubs and organizations, and McAuley has set an impressive bar with a strong athletic program featuring 13 interscholastic sports teams.

To enroll as a freshman, eighth grade students should take the high school placement test exam given at Mother McAuley in January. Acceptance is based on the results of the placement test, availability of space, pre-admission information provided by the elementary school, and payment of the required freshman fee. McAuley will host two open houses this fall. The first is Sunday, Sept. 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The second is Tuesday, Oct. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Phoenix Military Academy, 145 S. Campbell Ave., (773) 534-7275, fax (773) 534-7273, www.phoenixmilitary.org. A Selective Enrollment Chicago Public School, Phoenix Military Academy (PMA) is a CPS “Level One” college preparatory military academy that aspires to educate the nation’s future leaders and visionaries to lives defined by integrity and strength. The PMA professional faculty and staff build positive connections with students through an effective and challenging college prep curriculum integrating Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) in a positive, well-disciplined small school learning environment. New this year is a highly selective

Urban Prairie Waldorf School strives to cultivate students’ imagination and mental agility.
“Prepster Program” with an enhanced curriculum designed to prepare motivated students with the essential admission qualifications needed for successful acceptance into a wide variety of colleges, universities, and military service academies such as West Point, Annapolis, and the Air Force Academy.

PMA is an Honor Unit with Distinction and has received silver level recognition by U.S. News & World Report magazine, being ranked number 972 in the “Best High School” category nationally and as the number 41 “Best High School” in Illinois. Newsweek magazine ranked PMA in the Top 25 Transformative High Schools in 2013.

In addition to the core curriculum, PMA offers honors and advanced placement, JROTC teams and activities, debate team, academic decathalon, homework labs, language, science and math clubs, AfterSchool Matters advanced art and Louder Than a Bomb poetry clubs, technology club, yearbook club, and young Chicago authors club.

A full range of sports and fitness programs are offered in addition to JROTC clubs, activities and travel opportunities. Creative programs at PMA include band, drum and bugle, drama, guitar, and mixed media.

Chicago Public Schools selective enrollment application period is between Wed., Oct. 1, and Fri., Dec. 12. Phoenix Military Academy’s open house dates are: Wed., Oct. 22. 6 to 8 p.m.; Wed., Nov. 19, 6 to 8 p.m.; and Sat., Dec. 6, 10 a.m. to noon. For more information go to http://cpsoae.org or contact Angel Johnson at (773) 534-7275 or email

Queen of Peace High School, 7659 S. Linder Ave., Burbank, IL (708) 458-7600, fax (708) 458-5734, www.queenofpeacehs.org. Queen of Peace High School is an all-girls college preparatory high school sponsored by the Dominicans of Sinsinawa. Since 1962, Queen of Peace has prepared young women for lifelong learning by empowering intellectual, spiritual, moral, and emotional growth.

With small classes, caring and supportive teachers and an array of cutting-edge academic, co-curricular and social opportunities, students are exceptionally well prepared to succeed in high school, college, and in life.

Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, Queen of Peace is using the slogan “Full STEAM Ahead” to engage all students in active learning with real-world, hands-on experiences in rigorous, college preparatory curricula focused on coursework in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). These are areas underserved by young women and yet offering important career opportunities for the future.

The STEM focus will be enhanced with Queen of Peace’s vibrant “Arts without Borders,” a fine arts enrichment program introducing students to a variety of cultural and arts experiences in Chicago. Adding the arts to the STEM offerings creates the school’s unique STEAM curriculum.

The Full STEAM Ahead curricula give students advanced critical thinking skills by applying the principles of science and mathematics to authentic engineering, technology, and biomedical science projects.

Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School provides academic and spiritual education to young women.
As students work in teams to solve problems in aerodynamics and astronautics, digital electronics, or circuit design, they will use the same industry-leading technology and software found at the world’s most successful companies. Often, they will have the opportunity to meet with industry leaders and to explore first-hand the role of education as the foundation of innovation in the workplace.

Saint Ignatius College Prep, 1076 W. Roosevelt Rd., (312) 421-5900, fax (312) 421-7124, www.ignatius.org.

A Jesuit Catholic school, Saint Ignatius is a diverse community dedicated to educating young men and women for lives of faith, love, service, and leadership. Through outstanding teaching and personal formation, the Ignatius classroom sets the foundation for intellectual excellence, integrity, and life-long learning.

Inspired by the gospel, this community strives to use God’s gifts to promote social justice. Fall recruiting events are coming up. For anyone who is a potential future Saint Ignatius student, the Campus Visit Program is recommended. On a typical day, 20 eighth grade students visit the campus to “shadow” a current freshman. They follow a freshman schedule, eat lunch in the dining hall, and see firsthand what it is like to be an Ignatian. There will also be an opportunity to meet other students, teachers, club moderators, and coaches. Campus visits take place on regular school days from mid-September to mid-December. Registration should be completed

Saint Ignatius will host its annual open house on Sunday, Dec. 7, from noon to 3 p.m.; the last tour will depart at 2:40 p.m. Guests should arrive at Holy Family Church, where a brief presentation will be given by members of the school’s administration, followed by a journey through the school where teachers, club moderators, coaches, and current parents will be available to meet attendees and answer questions. Reservations are not required.

Saint Ignatius entrance exams are scheduled Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, from 8 a.m. to noon. The High School Placement Test will be given to eighth grade students only. A $25 testing fee is required. No calculators are permitted.

Young Women’s Leadership Charter School, 2641 S. Calumet, Ave. (312) 949-9400, www.ywlcs.org. Located in Bronzeville, Young Women’s Leadership Charter School (YWLCS), was founded five years ago by a group of women in Chicago with a vision: that in a perfect world, every young woman would be empowered to transform her life through education.

The school’s mission is to inspire urban girls to engage in rigorous college preparatory learning in a small, single-sex school focused on math, science, and technology, which nurtures their selfconfidence and challenges them to achieve.

The school, which educates nearly 350 girls in eighth through 12th grades, is a tuition-free nonselective charter school. YWLCS is open to all appropriate age girls living in Chicago. Because enrollment is limited, girls are chosen by lottery rather than by academic achievement.

Students hail from 30 of Chicago’s 77 community areas, with the majority coming from Bronzeville and the Far South Side.

In 2013 and 2014, 100% of the school’s graduates were accepted into college, with more than $1 million in scholarships. In the past two years, a YWLCS senior has been awarded the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship, which provides funding through graduation scholarship to pay for accrued unmet educational expenses in graduate, post graduate, and doctoral studies.

YWLCS’s educational model stands on four pillars that build a strong foundation for overall success: academic achievement, college/career prep, leadership, and personal/social development. Additionally, students benefit from a highly qualified faculty who deliver an outstanding platform for learning, as well as a supportive structure that includes a full-service clinic, social and emotional counseling, and close partnerships with families. The school also offers a robust after-school program that enriches students’ academic learning. Applications still are being accepted for the 2014-15 school year.


Phoenix Military Academy educates future leaders by stressing integrity and a strong college prep program.
MacCormac College, 29 E. Madison St., (312) 922-1884, www.maccormac.edu. Celebrating 110 years of academic excellence, MacCormac College (MC) is a two-year, nonprofit institution, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and approved by the National Court Reporting Association and American Bar Association.

Established in 1904, MC offers the first and finest Court Reporting program in the nation and established the first Paralegal Studies program in Illinois. MC provides its students with a transformative and comprehensive education through small class sizes, an intimate campus located in downtown Chicago, dedicated instructors, and innovative programming.

MacCormac prepares graduates to directly enter the workforce or continue their education through numerous transfer agreements with four-year universities in as little as 18 months. The flexibility of day and evening classes allows students to obtain an associate’s degree while maintaining a job, and online courses provide expanded opportunities for distance learning.

Graduates have successfully pursued careers as small business owners and executives; federal court reporters and broadcast captioners; legal administrators and prosecutors; police officers and a plethora of rewarding professions.

In addition to Court Reporting and Paralegal Studies, degrees are offered in Criminal Justice, Business Administration, and Entrepreneurial Studies. MacCormac College is located in the historic Heyworth Building steps from Millennium Park and easily accessible by all forms of major transportation.

Admission counselors are available in every program to guide applicants through the requirements and to ease transition into MacCormac. Financial aid is available, including need- and meritbased scholarships. The school is accepting applications for the fall semester. For more information about MacCormac’s programs, call the admissions office.


Upbeat Music School, 3000 S. Wentworth Ave., (312) 842-5896,
www.upbeatmusicchicago.com, info@upbeatmusicchicago.com. Upbeat Music School is the largest music school in the Chinatown/South Loop community.

Offering private and group lessons, the school has as its mission providing music education for a lifetime of enjoyment. Since 2000, Upbeat Music has provided lessons for piano, guitar, bass, violin, voice, drums, and rock band. All of the school’s talented and dedicated instructors have university training.

More than half have master’s degrees and professional performance experience. Teachers are extremely friendly and motivated to help each student achieve his or her own personal musical goals.

Students have the option of performing in all-school concerts every June and December. The school also hosts in-school recitals periodically throughout the year. Students are not required to perform, but are encouraged to participate as performance is an important part of a well-rounded music education. In addition, students often provide music for various community events.

Upbeat Music also prepares students for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) exams and has been chosen as one of the regional test sites by the ABRSM since 2009. Upbeat Music hosts the practical exams in the spring and fall and provides lessons specifically designed by teachers who completed the exams themselves as students.

Upbeat Music teachers understand the busy lives of parents and offer convenient lesson times for multiple instruments. This saves time and money so family members can take several classes on the same day.

Available seven days a week, lessons run from 3 to 8 p.m. Mon. through Thurs.; 3 to 7 p.m. on Fri.; and 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sat. and Sun. In addition, the school provides a safe drop-off and pickup area, as well as a comfortable waiting room for parents.