Excellent education, strong curricula highlight local schools’ offerings
August 5, 2016

Children of Peace has a diverse student population and includes a Montessori program, traditional classrooms, and a program for deaf youngsters.

Children of Peace has a diverse student population and includes a Montessori program, traditional classrooms, and a program for deaf youngsters


By Susan Fong

Local schools are the bedrock of a good education. There are many educational options in this area that provide parents with the confidence to know that their youngsters are learning in a great environment.

The community features primary and secondary schools, universities, and specialty schools that assure that students will receive an education preparing them for a great future.

EARLY CHILDHOOD

A Child’s Space, 1020 S. Wabash, Ste. 100, (312) 431-1234, fax: (312) 431-1312, www.achildsspace.com. Hours are 7 a.m. to noon. At A Child’s Space (ACS), the core belief is that children learn through hands-on experiential play. The 5,200 square-foot lofted space enables children from six weeks through six years old to explore, develop, and create through fun and engaging multi-sensory discovery learning. Early childhood is a magical time of exploration as the brain develops and children build meaningful relationships and independence skills. ACS teachers are carefully selected, well trained, and have a true heart for early childhood education. ACS maintains a highly engaging and nurturing approach to build a solid foundation that supports lifelong learning.

The thematically organized curriculum is language- and literacy rich, developed around real world themes with STEM components to illuminate learning. Each learning theme incorporates exciting field trip adventures and extension activities. Small class sizes, state-of-the-art technology resources, and an outstanding integrated curriculum model set the school apart. With children’s safety in mind, ACS’s security system features coded door access. Play spaces are web-camera enabled, so that parents will never have to miss a moment of their child’s day. An ACS app also keeps parents in the loop by communicating details about the child’s daily experiences, including activities, feedings, and needed supplies.

Beginning this fall A Child’s Space has dedicated a classroom to support families with non-traditional childcare needs. The Nanny Play Groups and Pre-K Play Group allow parents to give their child an opportunity to socialize and learn with other children in two-hour learning blocks. Visit the website to learn more and schedule a tour. A Child’s Space’s motto is, the “Happiest Place to Grow and Learn!” Orientation dates are the Saturdays of Aug. 13 and Sept. 17 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

PRIMARY/GRADE SCHOOLS
Children of Peace, 1900 W. Taylor St., (312) 243-8186, www.childrenofpeacechicago.org, czaffaroni@childrenofpeaceschool.org. Children of Peace School is a Roman Catholic Archdiocesan school. It has a diverse student population and includes a Montessori program for three-to-nine year-olds, traditional classrooms for three-year-olds to eighth grade, and a program for deaf youngsters for preschool to 8th grade.

Located on the Near West Side, Children of Peace also offers extended care and services available from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call the school office for open house dates or to schedule a tour. Tuition assistance is available to families who qualify. In terms of academic excellence, the school’s administrators believe there are no limits when students are inspired and excited to learn. They are dedicated to guiding students in their academic and spiritual development. Teachers and staff work to challenge students in learning and exhibiting Christian values. Technology-rich classrooms enhance a strong curriculum. All students have access to laptops.

St. Barbara Elementary School offers a strong academic program and a rigorous curriculum to help prepare students for success.

St. Barbara Elementary School offers a strong academic program and a rigorous curriculum to help prepare students for success.

Parents are partners. When parents become part of the school community, they join a group of caring individuals who share many of the same ideals and dreams. Whether it is through serving on the school board, planning social events, or assisting with fundraising initiatives, parents make a difference. Parental involvement enriches the lives of all of our children. Children of Peace is a faithbased institution, and teachers work together to teach children how to express themselves, how to be friends, and how to distinguish right from wrong. They strive to make students feel empowered while remembering to empathize with others. There are opportunities for students and families to participate in service projects throughout the year. The school’s affordable and dynamic programs invite families to be part of a thriving community. Children develop a love of learning for a lifetime.

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

Comprised of about 330 students in sixth through eighth grade, the school has a 96% attendance rate with teachers and staff who 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 and recently received the third designation through 2019. 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, 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 Strok for more information.

The 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 preschool (for three-year-olds and up) through eighth grade. As a valuesdriven, faith-based school, FXW is a community where students and teachers learn that there is strength in collaboration and building connections with others. FXW is ISACS and NAEYC accredited.

FXW is a community of faith. It has a dynamic religious education program that 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 all. 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 have a global perspective.

Their community is based on 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 considered a privilege and a responsibility. The FXW community is comprised of thinkers and leaders working in an academically enriched environment. FXW teachers are passionate, flexible, creative, and innovative. FXW administrators believe that a student is best served by a rigorous curriculum and a stimulating environment. Need-based scholarships are available. 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 fww.fwparker.org/openhouse.

At St. Therese Chinese Catholic School, there is an advanced curriculum featuring accelerated reading and high school algebra and geometry.

At St. Therese Chinese Catholic School, there is an advanced curriculum featuring accelerated reading and high school algebra and geometry.

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, math, science, language arts, Italian, social studies, history, reading, art, music, physical education, computer classes, and the initial workings of a targeted STEM program. This comprehensive curriculum has played an important role in high performance on Aspire Testing with scores currently above the national average in every subject in all grades. 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.

St. Barbara Elementary School, 2867 S. Throop 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 and education. 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 fiveday options. The student-teacher ratio for preschool is 15:1.

St. Barbara’s strong academic program is its pride; its rigorous curriculum helps teachers prepare students for success. While mathematics is the school’s core strength, students do well in all academic areas. The writing process begins in kindergarten to ensure each student’s proficiency at later grade levels. Students have performed above the national average on Terra Nova standardized tests. Their EC curriculum includes the Rowland Reading Program, Every-Day Math (University of Chicago), STEM Science, and the school’s recognized art program.

St. Barbara teachers and staff believe each student is unique and has the potential to achieve great academic accomplishments. Students participate in a variety of outside activities 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. The school has a new principal, Nicole Nolazco.

St. Jerome Catholic School, 2801 S. Princeton Ave., (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 that has eBook or iBook capabilities. SJCS students will use these Chromebooks to further enhance an already innovative reading, writing, and science curriculum. The Chromebook program is in 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 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 new learning opportunities and prepares students for high school in a technology driven world. St. Jerome School also offers Italian, Spanish, and Croatian 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 administrators 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 interim and annual Aspire tests 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 school Masses, and a scripture quote each trimester.

Technology is integrated across the curriculum with interactive white boards and computer
stations in each classroom. Middle school has Chromebooks for language arts instruction. IPads are utilized throughout the grades. A fully updated science lab is available for students and teachers to use school-wide with updated curriculum materials focused on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). St. Malachy leadership believes in developing a complete child with enriching extra-curricular activities such as soccer, basketball, lacrosse, Girls on the Run, Gospel choir, praise dance, and opportunities for student leadership. 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.

St. Pius V School, 1919 S. Ashland Ave., (312) 226-1590, www.SaintPiusV.org. Every day at St. Pius V School, students follow the motto, “Making a World of Difference.” St. Pius V School has provided generations of families with an excellent, faith-based education in Chicago’s Pilsen community since 1872. The dedicated faculty (over half of whom have advanced degrees) help students go on to the best high schools in the Chicago area. The teachers at St. Pius V School are putting the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) into practice from grades K-8. They are receiving specialized training through professional development and coaching by Loyola University Chicago.

Evergreen Academy Middle School is founded on tenets of academic excellence, social equity, and developmental responsiveness.

Evergreen Academy Middle School is founded on tenets of academic excellence, social equity, and developmental responsiveness.

The new standards reflect a change in science education, which follows how science and engineering are actually practiced and experienced in the real world. Students at St. Pius V School will be better prepared for colleges and careers because the new standards emphasize discovery through questioning and inquiring. Beyond the school’s excellent science and math curricula and other core classes (reading, English, and social studies), SPV also offers innovative lessons in peacemaking, executive functions, financial planning, and technology. The air-conditioned classrooms feature computers with internet access, interactive white boards, and access to tablets. The school’s curriculum also includes art, music, and physical education.

At St Pius V, 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 after-school programs and full-day pre-school and kindergarten; the schedule is designed to meet the needs of working parents.

St. Therese Chinese Catholic School, 247 W. 23rd St., (312) 326-2837, principal@sttheresechicago.org, www.sttheresechicago.org. The school is located in the heart of Chinatown. Pre-school (PS) through eighth grade students enjoy an exceptional educational experience. Advanced curriculum includes accelerated reading, a fullyear of high school algebra and geometry in eighth grade, advanced science, computer programming (Python, JavaScript, and HTML) in third-to-eighth grade, Mandarin and Spanish (PS-through-eighth grade), music, art, and PE. Excellent extracurricular and cultural activities and afterschool care programs also are offered.

The school’s early childhood program includes early childhood specialists in preschool through second grade. 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. St. Therese students routinely advance to the Illinois Junior Academy of Science (ILJAS) State Exposition, the National Geographic Bee, and the National History Bee. National school awards include: 2011 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and 2012 National Intel School of Distinction Finalist for Middle School Mathematics.

Leadership at St. Therese is often recognized as well. 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. Assistant Principal Lisa Deborah Oi was named 2015 West Cook County Assistant Principal of the Year by the Illinois Principals Association. St. Therese is committed to educating the whole child in a loving and caring environment aimed at spiritual, intellectual, physical, and social-emotional development. Learn more about St. Therese Chinese Catholic School by visiting the website and scheduling a school visit. Financial need-based scholarships are available.

HIGH SCHOOLS/COLLEGE PREP

Chicago Hope Academy, 2189 W. Bowler St., (312) 491-1600, fax (312) 491-1616, www.Chicagohopeacademy.org, Facebook: Chicago Hope Academy, Instagram: chicagohopeacademy. The average class size at Chicago Hope Academy is 12 students. The intentionally small class sizes ensure that Chicago Hope Academy students receive as much individualized attention from their teachers as needed. The dedicated faculty members are available before and after school for tutoring, and they embrace their role as mentors and teachers. 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 surrounding suburbs, as well as international students. Chicago Hope Academy is a college prep school that has consistently attained a 100% college acceptance rate for its graduates. Graduates have gone on to such schools as Brown University, Wake Forest, Columbia, and the U.S. Naval Academy. Chicago Hope Academy 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 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, plus an Open House each fall and spring for family campus visits. Log on to Chicago Hope Academy’s website or call the school to schedule a visit.

Interested persons are invited to take a virtual tour of the school and athletic facilities online. Chicago Hope Academy 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 127th year of providing a quality Catholic and Lasallian education to young men and women from across Chicagoland who have chosen the school as the place to begin their great futures. A Catholic high school with deep roots in the Lasallian tradition of faith, service, and community, De La Salle students are offered a multitude of opportunities to explore, grow, and share their faith through participation in the Eucharist, retreats, and service. The school will go co-educational for the 2017-18 school year with all students on the Institute Campus.

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. 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 everchanging arena of global technology.

Growth outside the classroom also is a vital part of 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, along with 31 sports. De La Salle Institute provides an environment where students from diverse backgrounds can thrive academically, spiritually, socially and athletically.

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.

As in previous years, 100% of graduates of McAuley’s class of 2016 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 wellrounded individuals are formed through educating the mind, body, and spirit. Students can choose from more than 33 service, academic, interest, and social clubs and organizations, and McAuley has set an impressive bar with a strong athletic program featuring 12 interscholastic sports teams. McAuley will host two open houses this fall. The first is Sunday, Oct. 16, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The second is Thursday, Nov. 10, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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 class sizes, 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 beyond.

Queen of Peace offers its “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, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). These are areas that often lack a large number of women, but offer important career opportunities for the future. The STEAM focus will be in enhanced with “Arts Without Borders,” a fine arts enrichment program introducing students to a variety of cultural and fine arts experiences in Chicago. The STEAM curricula give students advanced critical thinking skills by applying the principles of science and mathematics to authentic engineering, technology, and biomedical science projects. 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 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.

Frances Xavier Warde School features a diverse student body and a commitment to service to others.

Frances Xavier Warde School features a diverse student body and a commitment to service to others.

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. 4, 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. 14, 2017, 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.

UNIVERSITIES

The University of Illinois at Chicago, 700 S. Halsted St. (main campus address), 1200 W. Harrison, Ste. 1100 (admissions), (312) 996-4350, https://admissions.uic.edu. The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is Chicago’s public research university – big, diverse, and alive with educational activity. UIC is a campus community embedded in some of Chicago’s most interesting neighborhoods. Consistently ranked among the nation’s most diverse and welcoming campuses, the university is home to nearly 30,000 students. UIC’s students have the advantage of studying in 15 different academic colleges alongside a superb faculty that is known for breakthrough discoveries. This university offers a challenging, career-building education and a life-changing college experience through hundreds of academic and success programs.

UIC invites you to join with the campus community on Saturday, Sept. 24, for its annual Open House program. This event features faculty speakers; lab demonstrations; residence hall, campus, and studio tours; student organizations; and information sessions about academic programs, admissions, and financial aid. It is your VIP access to Chicago’s public research university. “Open House is ideally about letting the public understand what goes on at an urban research university,” said Oscar Rodriguez, director of recruitment and outreach. “It’s our chance to showcase our faculty and students, and the projects they are working on year round, in a way that is digestible to the public.”

UIC Open House will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., with most activities on the east side of campus.
For information about UIC Open House, or to register, visit openhouse.uic.edu. For information about becoming a UIC student, visit admissions.uic.edu.

SPECIALTY SCHOOLS

Horizon Science Academy McKinley Park (HSA), 2245 W. Pershing Rd., (773) 247-8400, info@hsamckinley.org. Horizon Science Academy (HSA) is a K-12, STEM-focused charter school. In existence since 2013, the school is currently accepting applications for a few open seats in grades 8-through 11. 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, AP courses, engineering classes, and after-school programs, including award-winning robotics teams and an expanding 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 offered the opportunity to go on international field trips, such as to Australia, Canada, Turkey, and Albania. Furthermore, HSA celebrates cultural diversity by participating in multiple community events and even hosts an annual International 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.

Merit School of Music, 38 S. Peoria, (312) 786-9428, www.meritmusic.org. Merit School of Music transforms the lives of Chicago-area youth by providing high-quality music education – inspiring young people to achieve their full musical and personal potential by removing financial, geographic, and personal barriers. Merit School of Music is a nationally accredited music school with students from all economic levels and all corners of Chicago. For 37 years, its primary goals have been to remove economic obstacles to participation, help young people achieve their potential, and stimulate personal and educational growth through music. Its 125 dedicated and experienced teaching artists serve more than 4,000 students at its West Loop facility and through its outreach program.

Merit students have the rare opportunity to learn together, dream together, teach each other, and broaden horizons while building inspiring lives. Not only does the school help develop musicians, but it teaches young people the tools to excel in life, with nearly 100% of graduates going on to a college or university. Its continuum (program) provides a distinctive music education pathway. This consists of five major program areas, into which students may join at any stage, including Early Childhood, Instrumental Music, and Private Lessons. The continuum begins and concludes with two signature programs, Bridges: Partners in Music, and the Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuitionfree Conservatory, its highest level of achievement.

Science education is an important part of the curriculum at Francis W. Parker School, known for being a diverse community of learners.

Science education is an important part of the curriculum at Francis W. Parker School, known for being a diverse community of learners.

Merit School of Music provides financial support through program subsidies, need-based tuition relief, low-cost instrument rental, and music supplies so that motivated students can participate regardless of economic circumstance. With more than 50% of its budget allocated to financial aid and scholarships, 75% of its students receive assistance. Thanks to the support of Merit’s faculty, staff, board, donors, and parents, its students have the opportunity to unlock their talents.

Upbeat Music School, 3000 S. Wentworth Ave., (312) 842-5896, www.@UpbeatMusicChicago.com, info@UpbeatMusicChicago.com. The school is open every day; hours are Monday through Thursday, 3-to-8 p.m.; Friday 3-to-7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Upbeat Music 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, and drums. All of the school’s talented and dedicated instructors have university training. More than half have Master’s degrees and perform around the Chicago area. The goal of Upbeat Music teachers is to train, encourage, and motivate each student to achieve his/her own personal musical goals.

Students can opt to perform in the all-school semi-annual concerts every June and December. The school not only hosts inschool recitals, but provides concerts for outside community events throughout the year. Though performance is not required, students are encouraged to perform in inhouse and/or outside events as an integral part of a well-rounded education, such as the upcoming celebration of the Chinatown Branch of the Chicago Public Library on Tuesday, Aug. 30. Upbeat Music also prepares students for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) exams. Since 2009, the school has served as one of ABRSM’s regional test sites for its spring and fall practical exams.

Additionally, Upbeat Music 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.