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PK-8
Private
Berwyn, IL
Students enrolled: 100
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

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1428 Wesley Avenue
Berwyn, IL 60402

School website
(708) 484-8033
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Map of The Childrens School address.
October 30, 2014
The Children's School is a powerful place for learning. Not only do our children get the "academics" in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies through comprehensive projects, they also get to actively think, question, make decisions, and deliberate with their peers and their teachers. The projects they create and topics that they contemplate are the means for the teachers to instill powerful skills of inquiry and discovery that can be applied to other learning in and out of school. There is arts-based programming in music and visual arts as well as physical education and recess everyday. They also get to be kids. The school honors my children as creative, inquisitive, and imaginative, encouraging them to ask and answer questions. There are many multi-age opportunities, too. We have been thrilled with access and communication the school affords parents through: director and teacher newsletters, weekly administrative news, all-school meetings, and 30-45 minute face-to-face conferences throughout the year. Parents can get involved in the classrooms and volunteer on regular basis.

- submitted by a parent
October 21, 2014
This school is nonsense. There is no curriculum for traditional subjects like math, history, and English, but there is plenty of time for craft making that will be auctioned off at the annual fundraiser. If you send your kids to TCS be prepared to dish out money for turoring to catch them up. Im sure there will be a flurry of daily postitive "reviews" to bury this one, but don't be fooled. There is no guidance from the directors except for when they are trying to fill their coffers. There is no technology either. Your kids will be so far behind kids from the worst public schools, like Berwyn's. This "school" is really a day care. It's a shame.

- submitted by a parent
October 09, 2014
My son started with The Children's School last year and he seems so happy at school. It is an incredible environment where they truly focus on the whole child, recognizing that all children are different and may learn at different paces too, some more accelerated, some may need more time. They have a calendar of academic and arts events daily in each classroom that is well constructed and varies slightly day to day. Each day I can view the calendar to see how his day will unfold, from morning math, physical education, arts programs, project based work and reflection. There are class specials incorporated into the curriculum throughout the week as well. The teachers inspire the kids to think creatively, collaboratively, use critical thinking and learn by doing. It is an experiential environment built to fuel a passion for learning. TCS teachers and administration (Pam and Christy) are welcoming, thoughful and communicative. Watching kids in action learning at TCS is pretty magical. I continue to watch my son thrive in his new classroom this year.

- submitted by a parent
October 07, 2014
The Children's School embodies progressive education. Progressive education doesn't compartmentalize subjects. Attempting to discern a child's academic ability based on spelling or history tests would not reflect the philosophical model for the children at TCS. This may be difficult to comprehend if you aren't well read on progressive education. The philosophy isn't for everyone. We are extremely happy here. Our child reads middle school books from the library, and when reading together we discuss grammar/spelling. In progressive education learning opportunities are always at your fingertips. Learning happens at school, but it's wonderful to see our children value learning applied to daily life. The teachers help instill these values in our children. Self motivation is encouraged in kindergarten and this fosters lifelong learners. The school has always stood for a progressive education mission. It may be possible some reviewers are conflicted in their personal lives and no longer desire a private school. The tuition is modest compared to other private schools. In life you get what you pay for. At TCS you get a progressive approach to education and the children flourish.

- submitted by a parent
October 07, 2014
My son graduated TCS and is thriving -- academically, socially, and emotionally -- in high school. He's in all-honors classes, has great friendships, and participates in several extra-curriculars. He is now a confident kid who approaches teachers with questions, asks for help when he needs it, and understands the value of intrinsic drive (rather than waiting for someone to give him a gold star). Couldn't be happier with how TCS prepared him for success.

- submitted by a parent
August 08, 2014
The Children's School is not exactly housed in "temporary shared space". The school has been at its present location for a number of years and just signed a five year lease at the same space. It is a former Catholic school, but TCS is the only tenant in its primary building (there is a sanctuary in the middle of the space, but it is closed off from the school). There are other tenants in other buildings on the campus. The building is old, but is reasonably maintained for its age and is cleaned regularly. Our family has never had any problems with any of the faculty - they have all been open and welcoming of any concerns. "Rigorous" means "severe or harsh", which is not what we want for our children - maybe you do. The school uses developmentally appropriate practices, so they will not push your child to read in kindergarten or send home piles of homework. The curriculum is play and exploration based with a heavy focus on student-led projects. TCS recognizes that there is more to success than high test scores. If that is your metric of concern, this is not the school for you. But if you care about your child's whole development as a unique human being, it is.

- submitted by a parent
June 22, 2014
This school is a work in progress. They are still trying to figure out basic structural logistics many established schools already have. The school is temporarily located in a shared space that is not maintained and unclean. The teachers' approach was too informal for a school environment. Teachers did not seem prepared and lacked the confidence and demeanor of a trained educator. Communication between the school's leadership and parents was a frustrating experience. The curriculum is not rigorous and overall the school seems more like a day camp than an actual place of esteemed learning. There are better options in Berwyn and nearby Oak Park.

- submitted by a parent
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
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....

- submitted by a community member
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
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
March 22, 2013
This school is really amazing. The teachers and administrators really have worked hard to develop a wonderful community. The director is approachable and is a fantastic instructional leader. The teachers are dynamic and nurturing while keeping a keen eye to the academics. My daughter has flourished in the school and has developed her social, emotional and intellectual self at this school. I give it my highest recommendation.

- submitted by a parent
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
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
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
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
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
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
January 08, 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
January 03, 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
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
no rating 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
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
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
February 01, 2010
This is our third year with this school and have recommended it strongly to friends disenchanted with their public school options. The project based curriculum and environment is loved by the kids (my sons have never said 'I don't want to go to school at anytime'), and the information is retained and applied in other learning endeavors.

- submitted by a parent
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The Childrens School
1428 Wesley Avenue, Berwyn, IL  60402
(708) 484-8033
Last modified The Childrens School is a Private school that serves grades PK-8
The Childrens School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 25 reviews. Top