The Children's School

Private | K-8 | 80 students


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Living in Berwyn

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $119,500. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $890.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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4 stars

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21 reviews of this school

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Posted January 1, 2014

The school continues to be a wonderful place for learning for our child. We love the teachers and the school's administrators. They are really approachable and committed to progressive education, project/ problem based learning, and reaching every child in a meaningful way.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 20, 2013

The Children's School is truly incredible. The teachers and administration put their soul into their work. All day, every day! The Director(s) welcome every child into school each day by name. It is such a warm environment and I continue to remain happy that my kids light up at school and are thriving. The project based curriculum allows kids to work in teams. It is cohesive, inclusive and democratic. They discuss social justice issues as appropriate to the age/grade level. You can see the genuine inquiry and excitement in the classrooms. It is such a positive environment and the teachers have a unique way to cultivate each child so he/she flourishes. They understand that all children are different and can learn in slightly different ways. Students are active, engaged participants in their learning; not just handed random facts to memorize. They learn by doing rather than just listening to a teacher's explanations. It is very obvious they are creating critical thinkers, confident citizens and preparing students for a global society. We are lucky to live so close to this school. It is a gem.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 30, 2013

This is our families third year at TCS, and we could not be happier. We have two very different children. One struggles with traditional academics, the other is constantly seeking the next challenge. Both are thriving at this amazing school. The staff is a delightful group of individuals. Each brings him/her whole self to the classroom. It is obvious that they work at TCS by choice and are committed to the mission of the school and the progressive education model. The administration is very visible, accessible, supportive, and sympathetic to the challenges of parenting. It is a shame that more kids can't experience the quality of education that TCS offers. Hopefully this type of school will someday be the norm instead of the exception!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 26, 2013

I have been an early childhood educator for 36 years and I can't say enough about The Children's School. In my opinion, it provides children with an exceptional education in the manner I think most children learn best-hands-on, project based learning. Administrators, teachers and children collaborate and everyone's voice is heard. Children light up when talking about their school and projects. They feel known by the community and it is like a second home. I have watched alumni from my own child care program enter every school in the area and none are as happy about their school, as the ones who attend TCS.. if you spend one hour at The Children's School you will see why. My wish is that every child had this opportunity. I especially feel this way now that Common Core is about to be adopted by our nation's schools. I urge you to visit The Children's School and talk to the students. When you see hear them talk about their school, you will want that enthusiastic love of learning for your own child. It is priceless....

Posted May 24, 2013

The Children's School has been amazing for our child. Our child has flourished in the problem and project based learning environment and we really appreciate the school's commitment to diversity. She learns not only important content, but also how to think and learn and ask questions about that content. The directors of the school do an excellent job of listening to and taking action on ideas from parents and teachers while staying true to the progressive education based mission of the school. The school leadership has our full support and confidence. The teachers do an excellent job of challenging, engaging and encouraging learning and critical thinking. We love how the parents are able to be heavily involved in decisions, volunteer in classrooms, and foster a sense of school community.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 10, 2013

Our child loved going to this school; we love the project-based learning, integrating learning with the whole person. However, the change in leadership, although a great opportunity for a young school's next stage of growth, was misrepresented & static. Strategic mission & educating about the progressive model, is not fully integrated to be embraced, which in and of itself creates stronger community. Despite parent input over the past couple years, attitudes tend to remain "we know better" rather than recognizing input as a force of positive change; it's one thing to present a program, quite another to experience it. "Experience" feedback is politely heard, rarely incorporated. The schools big strength: it's parent community! But the school could do more here too, creating environments of shared contribution from all angles. I agree with the others that more basic fundamental academics could be incorporated, but within the context of the progressive model - so vital here. Despite the push on diversity, they have no language program! Setting better boundaries for what can be developmentally supported for the student population & individual needs would be helpful. LOADS of potential!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 30, 2013

The Children's School's approach to teaching and learning is very powerful. My child absolutely loves going to school and is learning so much. She is a critical thinker and learns how to apply the knowledge and skills outside the classroom. The sophisticated project-based learning teaches her skills in authentic ways. The teachers are nurturing, inquisitive, and know my child extremely well. The small class sizes are great as the teachers understand how to reach and challenge my child. The administration is also very strong and approachable. I am very excited that the school is expanding into middle school grades in Fall 2013 (k-8). My child will continue to flourish in this environment and undoubtedly will be prepared for high school when she completes the 8th grade.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 24, 2013

This school understands how to engage, empower and challenge children academically. My children love the school and are actively applying, both in and out of a classroom, the critical-thinking skills obtained in TCS's project-based learning environment. With the fundamentals firmly woven in, my children are researching, measuring, analyzing, questioning, composing, and more. They are truly experiencing learning as exciting and meaningful to them, and they are excelling. It is so rewarding to see our kids doing equations on weekends and evenings, out in the world, simply because they want to figure something out. They have become intrinsically motivated to push themselves well above grade level, and they can't wait to tell us all about what they've learned and discovered. We are very pleased with the school's progressive education program, including the individual attention the teachers are able to provide. Our experience as parents with the current administration and teachers also has been very good, and we have found them open, thoughtful and responsive (even when we have approached them with a view different from theirs).
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 13, 2013

I sadly am disappointed in this school. I agree that the change of leadership was not good. While many of the teachers are wonderful, some do not completely understand children. What the school claims to be doing does not apply to all classrooms. The school has a hard time recognizing areas in which improvement is needed.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 24, 2012

The Children's School is a breath of fresh air. The school environment is not just supportive or engaging for the children- it is empowering. Children at this school realize that their views, opinions and ideals are worthwhile. Children contribute to the developing curriculum and therefore are more invested in their own learning. Concepts are not "fed" to students here. A deep, meaningful understanding of problem solving is at the root of every question and answer. I know that The Children's School will enable my child to grow and develop into a person capable of immeasurable critical thinking skills, as well as an individual possessing a complete understanding of the need for respectfully listening to and communicating with others.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 23, 2012

Our family has been a part of this school for more than five years. Our children have had a good experience at The Children's School - I wish I could say the change in leadership has been a good one, however. The history of ignoring parent's concerns and maintaining teachers who do not measure up are tough to understand in this small school environment. While a great emphasis is placed on the whole child, rather than test results, a more challenging curriculum should be in place for students who are ready to move forward. The families are wonderful and want to provide support to the school, whose needs are not clearly delineated at times.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 20, 2012

We have been at this school for many years, and our two children have had incredibly positive experiences here. They have learned a lot academically, have gained confidence, and have been part of a respectful, warm, nurturing community. We are very grateful to the school's highly dedicated teachers and staff.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 13, 2012

I have two children at The Children's School and a younger one on her way (in a few years). I have been amazed and impressed with the school at every turn. The progressive educations model is one that I completely embrace and I believe it is building a community of children that think for themselves, express themselves and know how to engage on many, many levels. I am thankful that the school teaches my children how to work in a group, be creative and outside the box thinkers. They are empowered to explore things well beyond the accepted "norm" and not just accept that what an adult says is true. My children (in Kindergarten and 1st Grade) have advanced reading and math skills. Their problem solving abilities far surpass my expectations. This is really the best of both worlds, extraordinary education and nurturing environment that allows children to be children as long as possible. I must also take the time to mention that both the kindergarten and 1st grade teachers are simply amazing. I feel so blessed to leave my children with them every day. I could not ask for a better school or better teachers, period.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 8, 2012

My husband and I are in our 7th year as parents at this school, and we remain delighted with our choice. The atmosphere is warm and nurturing, the learning activities challenging and exciting, the teachers talented and dedicated. Children participate in democratic processes that engage their reasoning and social skills, build their confidence in speaking up for themselves, and challenge them to look at issues from others' points of views. At The Children's School, students actively pursue their learning through interdisciplinary studies and projects, and they undertake their schoolwork with a sense of meaning, purpose, and joy. My children love to learn here.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 4, 2012

This is a small innovative, inquiry-based school that is living up to the progressive educational ideals that are at fundamentally at its very core. Students work in developmentally-age appropriate contexts exploring project and problem-based learning based on their interests. The curriculum that evolves from the students questions is robust and comprehensive, but is not shackled to the ridiculousness of current educational policies and so-called "reforms". This is truly a remarkable school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 3, 2012

I tried to give 6 stars, but it wouldn't let me :) The Children's School is such a welcome change from our previous public school experience in Oak Park. My children love going to school and are constantly telling me about what they're learning. I love that my kids know every other student at least by name, and that every adult in the building knows them. The teachers are excellent, really an amazing group of people.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 20, 2011

The Children's School is a remarkable place. Children are truly honored and heard. The small class sizes (under 15) lead to a great deal of interaction with the teachers, who are extremely talented and dedicated. My two children love going to school, have learned as much or more traditional academics as their public school peers, and most importantly, they have a strong sense of who they are. The school is all about critical thinking, accountability, and concern for the broader community. A special place.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 18, 2010

This school is like a breath of fresh air. It is what I remember education being as a child. I love that it is child centered and encourages things like intrinsic motivation and "real learning". The best part is that they are concerned about the whole child and not just a test score. This school is wonderful and others need to follow.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 10, 2010

We been through the OP public school system and spent 4 years at The Children's School...and while no school is perfect, the experience we've had at TCS is wonderful and far and above our experience at D97. Academic, social and personal goals are set each year (by student, teacher and parent) and there is actual follow-through and cooperation by all to achieve them. The classroom functions like a community where everyone is respected and listened to. Learning is achieved with large project-based units that encourage deeper exploration of a subject. As for academics, my child reads well above grade level and has made huge strides in writing, which is embraced from Kindergarten on. The school is not for everyone, but if you're interested in a holistic, progressive model, you should visit the school and see for yourself. There is an Open House the first Friday of each month.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 28, 2010

While the school offers an interesting way of learning, it did not provide the basics in education that is needed. The administration was not flexible, and seemingly unconcerned about our children's needs.
—Submitted by a parent

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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

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Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 81% 60%
Two or more races 7% N/A
Asian 4% N/A
Black 4% 20%
Hispanic 4% 16%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% N/A
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

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  • Library
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1428 S Wesley
Berwyn, IL 60402
Website: Click here
Phone: (708) 445-8457


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