This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted February 19, 2015
- a parent
"I just love Ancona!" That was music to our ears after enduring weeks of ranting about leaving his friends.
Transferring our son to Ancona for his 8th grade year was risky, but a very necessary decision. We had become so disenchanted with the CPS system and its rote approach to learning and that we had to make a leap of faith. The Ancona family made us, and more importantly him, feel right at home! Our son met new friends and teachers who cared about him as a person and not just a letter grade. The holistic approach to learning was exactly what he needed, and what we had been looking for! Our only regret was that we didn't send him sooner.
We were so pleased that we immediately transferred our second son to Ancona. We are happy to say that he is a thriving 6th grader and is excited about learning!
I have been an Ancona Parent for 8 yrs now. My daughter has flourished and grown in every way a parent could ask for. The teachers are kind, interested, academically motivated, curious, gentle and rigorous. Their concern for every child is so manifest. The trips away to camp and later Mexico build character and create confident risk takers. Spanish is available from the time they are 3. Montessori works, it REALLY does....Plus, Building the pink tower is the best. I can not find enough good things to say about this place or it's people. Teachers, staff, parents, EVERYONE! Sending your child to Ancona will be a choice you will be glad you made. I promise.
The Ancona School is perhaps the only private, independent school in Chicago that has consistently maintained its integrity as a school implementing progressive-based and Montessori practices. Ancona has almost always been completely true to its mission: providing an exceptional educational experience, while celebrating a racially, ethnically, religiously, socially diverse population. It's a gem that shouldn't be so "hidden". Too many people searching for so-called "good" schools go after a name or a reputation, while their children end up lacking the kinds of interactions that really prepare them for the so-called "real world". Ancona is about a real as it gets. No hiding, no bait-and-switch, just real. Not perfect, but real. I am very impressed by the tremendous education my child has received at Ancona.
Ancona is a truly exceptional place with strong leadership, exceptional teaching, and a warm social environment. All of these basics facilitate what the school is all about -- creating in each student an open-minded, confident, creative risk-taker. I have a sixth grader and a fourth grader in the school now. But prior to arriving at Ancona, we had sampled four other schools. No comparison. Ancona manages to balance the many important aspects of cultivating young minds and emotions: academics, self-expression, importance of community, skills, play, values, self-discipline and respect . . you name it. Strongly recommended to anyone considering a move to Chicago or a shift from another local school.
We are so happy with Ancona. Our kindergartener is reading out loud, says math is fun, knows all the countries in South America, and talks about civil rights. What an amazing place! The teachers are kind and patient and can handle a "spirited" child. The community is incredibly diverse. Choosing Ancona was absolutely the right decision.
This is my daughter's sixth year at Ancona. We love the small, nurturing environment, the commitment to peace and social justice, and the truly exceptional teachers. I understand that this sounds like an advertisement, but really each one of those things is true. The curriculum is challenging, the teachers can meet individual students at their own level, and my daughter is developing her abilities to work with all her classmates, not just her friends.
I have never seen a private school in Chicago so diverse. The teachers are more concerned with how your child thinks and relates to the world around her versus the latest gadget or trend. One of the best educational institutions that focuses on the whole child.