Local schools offer excellent educational choices with variety of curricula
August 7, 2015

By Susan Fong

Local communities offer a wide variety of quality schools, providing parents and their youngsters with many educational options.

The area features primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, and specialty schools that provide an education that prepares students for a great future.

At A Child’s Space, children learn through play in a 5,200 square-foot loft space that encourages fun and engaging experiences.

At A Child’s Space, children learn through play in a 5,200 square-foot loft space that encourages fun and engaging experiences.

EARLY CHILDHOOD

A Child’s Space, 1020 S. Wabash, Ste. 100, (312) 431-1234, fax: (312) 431-1312, www.achildsspace.com. At A Child’s Space (ACS), the belief is that children learn through play. Its 5,200 square-foot loft space encourages fun and engaging experiences for children six weeks through six years old. Over the past 13 years nearly 600 children and families have called A Child’s Space their preschool. Small class sizes, a focus on family partnerships, and open communication sets the school apart.

Early childhood is a time when children make memories that will last a lifetime, while also shaping their view of the world and of themselves. With this in mind, A Child’s Space has intentionally created a culture framed in friendly, joyfilled, and relevant learning experiences for young children. Their teachers are carefully selected, well trained, and have a true heart for early childhood education. ACS’s highly engaging and nurturing approach builds a solid learning foundation that supports lifelong success. Its thematically organized curriculum is literacy-rich and organized around real world themes to illuminate learning. Each learning theme also incorporates exciting field trip adventures and is complimented by meaningful music and movement experiences.

A Child’s Space also offers full- and part-time Child Care; “SaturDay” Care and Date Night options; Nanny Play Groups and Drop In Care; and web cameras, so parents never miss a precious moment. Schedule a tour today and see why A Child’s Space is called the “Happiest Place to Grow and Learn!”

Saint Agatha Catholic Academy – Early Childhood Programs Preschool and Kindergarten, 3151 W. Douglas Blvd. (773)762-1809, www.stagathaacademy.org St. Agatha Catholic Academy (SACA) is an Archdiocesan Roman Catholic school that has been a staple in North Lawndale since 1895. The focus of this Early Childhood school is on building a strong educational foundation, guidance, and encouragement. Students will learn how to live a faith-based life, how to realize their responsibilities and potential, and how to achieve success in a global society. St. Agatha Catholic School uses the Waldorf philosophy to guide its instructional program with attention to developmental needs and an expanded outdoor component. Children learn to work and problem-solve together.

SACA integrates art, music, dance, storytelling, and language into its academic instruction to enrich the learning process, while addressing the physical and developmental needs of each child. SACA staff work together to provide its students with a Catholic identity, using the goals presented in the Genesis curriculum. As the core subjects are essential, the school uses National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) as an integral medium throughout all of its instruction. Proficiency in math, science, and English language arts are requisite to closing the digital divide and it is St. Agatha’s mission to ensure its students are capable. Students engage in lessons and experiences that require higher order thinking skills: analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information through rigorous, authentic, activities, crucial in reaching goals. Contact Saint Agatha Catholic Academy for more information or a personal tour.

PRIMARY/GRADE SCHOOLS
Children of Peace School, 1900 W. Taylor St., (312) 243- 8186, www.childrenofpeacechicago.org, czaffaroni@childrenofpeaceschool.org. Children of Peace School (CoPS) is an Archdiocesan Roman Catholic school that boasts a diverse student population. The school offers both traditional classrooms as well as a program for the deaf for preschool to eighth grade and a Montessori program for three-to-nine year olds.

Conveniently located near the University of Illinois at Chicago and Rush University on the Near West Side, CoPS also offers extended care and services available from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuition assistance also is available. There are no limits to academic excellence when students are inspired and excited to learn. The teachers and staff are dedicated to guiding students in their academic and spiritual development from the onset. Technology-rich classrooms enhance a strong curriculum. All students have access to laptops.

Experience how CoPS parent involvement enriches the lives of its children, whether it is through serving on the school board, planning social events, or assist-ing with fundraising initiatives. Parents make a difference and can join a community of other likeminded caring individuals, many with the same ideals and dreams. The Children of Peace staff endeavors to challenge students in learning to express Christian values as an individual and as a part of the community. The mission is to empower students in their daily lives to distinguish right from wrong, how to be a friend, and how to empathize with others. There are many opportunities for students and families to participate in service projects throughout the year. Call the Children of Peace School office for open house dates or to schedule a tour. Its affordable and dynamic programs invite students to develop a deep lifetime love of learning and families to become part of a thriving community.

The focus of Saint Agatha Early Childhood school is on building strong educational foundation, guidance, and encouragement.

The focus of Saint Agatha Early Childhood school is on building strong educational foundation, guidance, and encouragement.

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-level philosophy and tenets of academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity, and sound organizational structures.

Comprised of about 350 students in sixth through eighth grade, the school has a 96% attendance rate with teachers and staff that ensure students have an environment conducive to and supportive of all learners. Principal Marian Strok is proud of Evergreen’s 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. The school’s 21st Century ACES (Arts Communities Engaging Students) grant provides for multiple after-school fine arts activities. Its “Tigers” sports teams provide 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. With active participation in academics and extracurricular activities, Evergreen students are empowered to explore and create, making them accountable for their decisions and learning. 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 Principal Strok for more information.

Frances Xavier Warde School (FXW), 751 N. State St. and 120 S. Desplaines St.,(312) 466-0700,www.fxw.org. Founded in 1989, FXW is a Catholic, independent school in downtown Chicago offering three year-old preschool through eighth grade. As a values-driven, faithbased school, FXW is a community where students and teachers learn early there is strength in collaboration and building connections with others. FXW is ISACS and is NAEYC accredited.

FXW is a community of faith. It has a dynamic religious education program which offers two curriculum options. The Catholic program includes formal instruction in the Catholic faith and sacramental preparation. The interfaith program helps children develop spirituality. Both programs include an appreciation of all faith traditions and extensive opportunities to engage in meaningful service projects. Its community is purposefully and intentionally diverse. Families share their culture, religion, and ethnic traditions, enriching everyone. The FXW founders knew that Chicago is a city of neighborhoods and if children from these various neighborhoods came together to learn, the children would form a global perspective.

Their community is based on one of service. An FXW student is a person who has an attitude and spirit of generosity and service. This attitude is recognized through grade level service projects and ongoing opportunities for community outreach. Service to others is a privilege and a responsibility. The FXW community is comprised of thinkers and leaders in an academically enriched environment. The FXW teacher is passionate, flexible, creative, and innovative who believes that a student is best served by a rigorous curriculum and a stimulating environment.

Need-based scholarships are available. Admission deadlines are November 1 for preschool and kindergarten and February 1 for all elementary grades. For admission and application information visit www.fxw.org.

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, self-discipline, 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. To learn more or to register for an open houses, visit fwparker.org/openhouse.

Evergreen Academy Middle School offers academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity, and sound organizational structures.

Evergreen Academy Middle School offers academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity, and sound organizational structures.

Horizon Science Academy McKinley Park, 2245 W. Pershing Rd., (773) 247-8400, info@hsamckinley.org. Horizon Science Academy (HSA) is a K-12, STEM-focused charter school. At HSA McKinley Park, the goal is to provide high-quality education to students and serve as a center that not only is there for the students, but for the families and community as well. HSA offers a variety of electives and after school programs planned, including award-winning robotics teams and expanded athletics programs.

HSA has small class sizes to help provide individualized instruction to its students, as well as allowing opportunity for teachers to be able to get to know their students. This helps to promote a sense of family and community within the school. Learning happens inside and outside of the classroom and to provide those outside learning opportunities, each grade level goes on a minimum of two field trips per year and are even offered the opportunity to go on an international field trip. Some examples are local Chicago attractions as well as colleges and universities. For the international field trip, students, parents, and staff were invited to participate in a field trip to Turkey.

Furthermore, HSA celebrates cultural diversity by participating in multiple community events and even hosts an annual Cultural Night where the school showcases food and dancing from other countries. Having completed its final phase of renovations in what will be the high school wing, HSA is excited to share the new classrooms. If you are interested in your student attending HSA McKinley Park, or would like a tour of the school, call or email.

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 Bridgeport, the school includes preschool through eighth grade. Its Early Childhood (EC) program offers morning and full-day classes, as well as three and five-day options. The student-teacher ratio for preschool is 10:1.

St. Barbara’s strong academic program is its pride; its rigorous curriculum helps teachers prepare students for success. While mathematics is the core strength here, students do well in all academic areas. The writing process begins in kindergarten to ensure each student’s proficiency at later grade levels. Students perform above the national average on Terra Nova standardized tests. Their EC 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 each student is unique and has the potential to achieve great academic accomplishments. At St. Barbara’s student participation in a variety of outside activities is important to foster creative, athletic, and social interactions with each other and the community. The school embraces Chicago through different cultural field trips. 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 Sharon Dulewski.

Saint Gabriel Catholic School, 4500 S. Wallace St. (773) 268-6636, www.saintgabes.com, stefanecc@stgabrielchicago.com. Saint Gabriel is a Roman Catholic Archdiocesan school located in Canaryville, serving students in preschool through eighth grade. Saint Gabriel Catholic School exists to provide a challenging, faith-based learning environment that encourages all students to realize their God-given potential. The school fulfills the needs of its students by providing a standards-based curriculum and appropriate instruction that allow for individual differences and learning styles. Through instruction in the Catholic faith, each student comes to value the importance of living a faith-filled life.

Committed faculty and staff work to differentiate the curriculum to meet diverse learners’ needs. Academic excellence, strong moral foundations, and the integration of religious teachings across all disciplines help Saint Gabriel students prepare for their futures. Technology is implemented in each classroom with the daily use of Promethean boards (interactive white boards). Students learn science through an inquiry-based approach and have access to an updated science lab. Opportunities to engage in various sports activities with Saint Gabriel’s strong athletic program are available to students; sports include football, basketball, and volleyball.

Graduates of Saint Gabriel attend top rated college-preparatory high schools, both Catholic and public. A total of 90% of Saint Gabriel graduates are accepted into their first choice high school. Saint Gabriel is dedicated to providing an outstanding education for all students and provides scholarships and financial aid.

St. Jerome Catholic School, 2801 S. Princeton Avenue, (312) 842-7668, www.stjeromeschool.net. St. Jerome Catholic School (SJCS) has embarked on a new program to advance its use of technology in teaching. Every student in sixth through eighth grade will be armed with a Chromebook computer equipped with either eBook or iBook technology. This cutting edge instruction allows for textbooks from all disciplines to be instantly updated with the latest editions and information available. SJCS students will use these Chromebooks to further enhance an already innovative reading, writing, and science curriculum. The new Chromebook program is an excellent addition to an already rigorous curriculum, which includes interactive whiteboards, as well as desktop computers in all classrooms. Students in preschool through fifth grade will also reap the benefits of this program in a 2:1 setting by utilizing the most effective educational applications on the market as well as learning keyboarding and other technological skills using tablets and Chromebooks.

This new approach to educating students creates endless learning
opportunities and further prepares them for high school in a technology-driven world. St. Jerome School also offers Italian and Spanish language classes, art, music, athletics, and enrichment programs. These contribute to SJSCS students consistently testing far above the national average on standardized tests, granting them access to the best selective enrollment and private high schools. For more than 92 years St. Jerome Catholic School has preserved its tradition as a leader in education. For information or a personal tour contact the school. SJCS say there is no better way to invest in your child’s future because “Great beginnings last a lifetime!”

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.

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. 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. New this year is a fully updated science lab that will be available for students and teachers to use school-wide.

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.

At Horizon Science Academy McKinley Park, the goal is to provide high-quality education to students and serve as a center for families and the community.

At Horizon Science Academy McKinley Park, the goal is to provide high-quality education to students and serve as a center for families and the community.

St. Pius V School, 1919 S. Ashland Ave., (312) 226-1590, www.Saint PiusV.org. At St. Pius V School, students, teachers, alumni, and friends follow the motto, “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. The school’s 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 assistance.

St. Pius V School 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. St. Pius V School eighth grade teacher Mark Zacek and Administrative Assistant Abby Torres have each received the Distinguished Service Award honoring Chicago Archdiocesan employees who had a positive impact on their school. Sixth grade teacher Sean Mundy was given an award for Technology in the Classroom. 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 is committed to developing lifelong learners through spiritual, intellectual, mental, physical, and social guidance in a loving and caring environment. Offering grades pre-school through eighth-grade, St. Therese teachers and staff work to know a child’s unique 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.

St. Therese offers Catholic values, cultural experiences, technology, science, computer programming (Python, JavaScript, and HTML), algebra and geometry, accelerated reading, and PE. Students learn Mandarin and Spanish, music appreciation, and Chinese dance. Excellent extracurricular activities and afterschool care programs are offered. Seventh- and eighthgrade students consistently score at or above the 90th percentile on national standardized tests. Graduates attend top-ranked college preparatory and magnet schools. Routinely, St. Therese students advance to the Illinois Junior Academy of Science (ILJAS) State Exposition. For the past two years, St. Therese students advanced to the National History Bee. Of the thousands of students who enter from around the country, only a select few advance to nationals. National school awards include: 2011 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and 2012 National Intel School of Distinction Finalist for Middle School Mathematics. Principal Phyllis Cavallone has been recognized with: Tech & Learning magazine’s 2012 Leader of the Year Award and a Golden Apple 2015 Stanley C. Golder Leadership Award Finalist honor.

Learn more about St. Therese Chinese Catholic School by visiting its website and scheduling a school visit.

Santa Lucia School, 3017 S Wells St., (312) -326-1839, santaluciaschool.net. Located in the Bridgeport/Armour Square area, Santa Lucia School is a community of 150 students in prekindergarten (both three- and four-year- olds) through grade 8 hailing from throughout the metropolitan area. Santa Lucia prides itself on its faith-based education – teaching fundamental Catholic values with an emphasis on creativity and self-expression in all subjects. Santa Lucia offers a comprehensive curriculum, which includes religion, Saxon math, science, language arts, Italian, social studies, history, reading, art, music, physical education, and computer classes.

This comprehensive curriculum has played an important role in high performance on Terra Nova tests with scores currently above the national average in every subject in grades three, five, and seven performing above their anticipated scores on a yearly basis. Santa Lucia is a feeder school for Saint Ignatius, Fenwick, DeLaSalle, Mount Carmel and many other selective enrollment Chicago high schools. Santa Lucia students have a great variety of programs to augment their classroom activities. Among the after school clubs that they can join are yearbook committee, newspaper committee, chess club, and band.

The Santa Lucia Athletic Association (SLAA) encourages all students to participate in its Lightning Athletics Program. Members of Santa Lucia’s staff, parents, graduates, and community volunteers coach programs that focus on the importance of sportsmanship, fair play, and hard work. Santa Lucia students are part of a cooperative effort with two other Catholic schools to form a football team in the Catholic Grade School Conference’s Green Division. Santa Lucia also has an extended care program, keeping its doors open from 6:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. and offering an all-day Summer Educational Enrichment Program.

Mother McAuley is a Catholic educational community committed to providing a quality secondary education for young women.

Mother McAuley is a Catholic educational community committed to providing a quality secondary education for young women.

HIGH SCHOOLS

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 U.S. 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. Log on to 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 needbased financial aid to make education affordable.

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 (DLS) is celebrating its 126th year of providing a quality Catholic and Lasallian education to 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 through participation in the Eucharist, retreats, and service.

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

Phoenix Military Academy is a college preparatory school. It recently received a grant for a new STEM program.

Phoenix Military Academy is a college preparatory school. It recently received a grant for a new STEM program.

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 and 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.

McAuley will host two open houses this fall. The first is Sunday, Sept. 27, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The second is Tuesday, Oct. 27, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Phoenix Military Academy, 145 S. Campbell Ave., (773) 534-
7275, www.phoenixmilitary.org. Phoenix Military Academy (PMA), located at Western Avenue and Adams Street, has received $6 million from the Department of Defense to start a new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program at the West Side school. The Department of Defense selected PMA for the STEM program because of its record of excellence in preparing Chicago high school young men and women for college and university engineering/science programs. Students selected to attend Phoenix go to a safe, disciplined, Chicago Public School that is ranked 28th in the State of Illinois by U.S. News and World Report. Students interested in attending Phoenix, a selective enrollment Level One School, as freshmen for the 2016-17 school year will begin applying from Thurday, Oct. 1, to Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. Phoenix accepts just one out of every three applicants, so early application is recommended.

Phoenix is a college preparatory military academy that aspires to educate the nation’s future leaders and visionaries. With a 14- to-one cadet-to-teacher ratio, Phoenix provides a small school environment that has sent students to the United States Military Academy at West Point, and other great STEM colleges and universities. In addition to the core curriculum, Phoenix offers honors and advanced placement classes, JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps) teams and activities, debate team, academic decathlon, homework labs, language, science and math clubs, After School Matters advanced art, “Louder than a Bomb” poetry club, technology club, yearbook club, and “Young Chicago Authors” club. Phoenix offers a full range of Illinois High School Association sports and fitness programs, and JROTC athletic teams.

Saint Ignatius sets a foundation for lifetime intellectual excellence.

Saint Ignatius sets a foundation for lifetime intellectual excellence.

Saint Ignatius College Prep, 1076 W. Roosevelt Rd., (312) 421-5900, fax (312) 421-7124, www.ignatius.org. A Jesuit Catholic school, Saint Ignatius offers 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 online.

Saint Ignatius will host its annual open house on Sunday, Dec. 6, 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 for Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, 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.