No rating

GreatSchools Rating

Council Oak Montessori School

Private | PK-8 | 80 students


Be sure to visit

Take along one of
our checklists:


Living in Chicago

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $135,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $940.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
Based on 2 ratings
Based on 2 ratings
Based on 1 rating
No new ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

Rate this school

Click on stars to rate
Please select a star rating for this school.
    Helpful reviews answer questions:
  • What do you think others should know?
  • What do you like?
  • How could your school improve?
    Review Guidelines
    GreatSchools won’t post reviews that contain:
  • Inappropriate language
  • Allegations of criminal conduct
  • Names of students, teachers or staff
1200 characters remaining
Please read and accept our Terms of Use to join GreatSchools.
Please indicate your relationship to the school.
Registration is required to post your anonymous review
We will not display your name, photo or email address with your review.
Your email address will never be published or shared.
Indicates a required field

17 reviews of this school

Sort by:
Show reviews by:
Posted September 23, 2014

Council Oak Montessori provides a stellar education to my children. They both learn so much and test so well. Council Oak Montessori provides a homelike and welcoming feel. The teachers and staff provide a warm and nurturing environment, that children thrive in.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 23, 2014

Words can't express how wonderful I feel about this school. It is the only school my kids have known. My son started when he was 4 and things went so well that my daughter goes there now also. It is my son's 3rd year there and my daughter's 2nd. Ms. Lila and Mrs. Dobalitits in Children's House are exceptional instructors and the faculty are great at handling things. The Montessori education gives individual attention to the child and develops their interests, and that is what makes it so special. I highly recommend this school to any parent who wants their child to have an excellent educational experience, especially if they are just beginning their journey into school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 13, 2013

As an alum of COMS I can tell you that I still look back on my education there as the foundation of my love of learning. I was always happy in school and never dreaded going. That's not to say COMS was not challenging; the exciting part about the Montessori Method is that it allows children who are more advanced to move forward and excel, and also allows children who are struggling to focus on what their own needs are. I went to a competitive college prep high school and had no problems keeping up with the kids who'd been there since first grade. The difference was that I cared less about "just getting the grade" and more about learning the subject. After graduating from high school I attended a rigorous college and received a big scholarship from an independent organization. I'm very proud of my roots in Montessori and find that, everywhere I go, I meet intelligent, motivated, and successful people who have Montessori educations. Although, to me, it's not surprising!

Posted June 28, 2013

I absolutely LOVE this school and the staff - especially Ms. Lila in the Children's House! COMS provides an effective and well-rounded, academic foundation for children. I not only say that as a parent, but also as an educator. The staff are ALWAYS professional and the parents are very involved. Having gone through the U of C Lab School's admissions process, I can easily say that the quality of the programs is comparable (yet more nurturing) for a fraction of the cost! If there was just one thing that we could have taken with us when we moved out of state, it would have undoubtedly been COMS!It is indeed one of Chicago's finest institutions and one that I recommend for any parent who seeks the BEST for their child.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 19, 2012

I am the poster from January 3, 2008. It has been four years and we are still here and loving it. My daughter is in Lower Elementary and my son is in Children's House. Both children love Council Oak and couldn't imagine going anywhere else. Both children are working at or above their level in all areas. As far as I'm concerned, the staff at Council Oak has been nothing but supportive. My suggestion to new parents...ask questions...not only when you are looking into placing your child in a Montessori school, but also after they're enrolled. Do whatever you need to do to truly understand the Montessori method. I've read back over the comments to date and it appears that some parents just never 'got it' and that's a shame.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 29, 2010

RE: Disappointed with the level of teaching..10/ 2/2010: Parents need to investigate the method of education before making evaluations like this. Council Oak is a Montessori school which applies the highly researched principles of education originally formed by Maria Montessori. In Montessori education, the teachers are not teachers in the traditional sense. They are guides, directing the children through the use of materials, especially at the younger ages. The children are guided to become self-directed learners. The peer teaching that occurs not only builds social skills but reinforces the skills of the children who already understand the particular material. I have 3 children who have been through this school and I can attest to their success and the dedication of the staff of Council Oak.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 2, 2010

I am disappointed with the level of teaching. The teachers do not teach, but hope the children will learn on their own. My son has to ask two other students for help before going to a teacher. This only confuses the child when the other students also do not understand how to complete the assignment. I wonder if the teachers actually know what they are supposed to be teaching. Also, I agree with a previous post that the school seems to spend too much time on focusing on field trips and painting.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 9, 2010

After two years of research, I decided on Council Oak for my child and I couldn't be happier with my decision. As an educator, I wanted to make sure that I chose a school that was strong in multiple areas. This school is diverse, nurturing, and provides a strong foundation for future applications. The greatest benefit is the fact that my daughter is excited about school every morning and loves telling me about her day at pick up time. I love it!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 22, 2010

Council Oak Montessori School is excellent! The teachers are highly qualified - most hold masters degrees, and all are trained through accredited Montessori programs. When we decided to put our four year old in private school we did extensive research. COMS came out on top on every level - caring & qualified teachers, a dedicated administration, and an academic program that surpasses almost everything else out there. COMS tuition is far below other Montessori schools in Chicago and well-worth the money.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 17, 2010

My child currently attends COMS and we love it. It was important to us that she attend a culturally diverse school that focuses on the whole child, and COMS provides that. Our daughter is learning things that I don't remember being exposed to until I reached high school. Also, the school is committed to keeping enrollment to 100 students, which provides a wonderful student/teacher ratio (my daughter is in 2nd grade and there are always three teachers in the classroom!). She has attended for three years now, and we are planning to keep her there through 8th grade.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 10, 2010

I love this school. My kid is excited about his learning, the staff is overly helpful, and the parent involvement is superb. The Montessori Method is perfect if you are looking for a school that will help your child grow in all areas.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 29, 2010

I have very mixed feelings. I really really wanted to like the school because it was my plan for my kid for K-8....but we only lasted a few months. The school is a warm, inviting learning environment & the teachers are great. But the administration is VERY disorganized and chaotic and needs a serious overhaul, especially in terms of sending a clear, consistent message on school policy and curriculum--especially in the parents' handbook, which, BTW, I was told would only be given to me on the 1st day of school(?!). The HB is also unclear on which parts apply to CH and which to LE/UE. The kids and families are very involved (great!) But the communication chaos led to a lot of nasty surprises on our end, even though we DID our due diligence beforehand. If you apply, be sure to ask tons of questions, and then make your best judgment.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 19, 2008

I have nothing but good things to say about Council Oak. My child is also in the childrens house. He initially had anxiety about starting school this fall; but is now eager to get to carpool each morning! The directresses and administrators are very involved, and his education is progressing at an astonishing rate. His reading, writing, and mathematics skills are far beyond his peers enrolled in public school. I highly recommend parents take a look at COMS!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 21, 2008

I withdrew my child and put her in another school and he had a hard time keeping up with the rest of the class. I felt that the teachers were not very into teaching my child all that was needed to know
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 6, 2007

Both my children attended. One is now a senior in a very demanding college, doing very well (recently received a $15,000 scholarship from an outside agency), another completing a Ph.D. in engineering. As he will tell you in detail, the mathematics curriculum at Council Oak was an exceptionally good foundation for that.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 4, 2007

A huge disappointment. I withdrew my child after a few years. The teachers, although nice enough, are uncertified or improperly certified. There's little emphasis on serious learning-instead the emphasis is on things like the school play or field trips. Quite a few students leave here & have to have serious tutoring in order to catch up in high school. Friendly atmosphere, but not very good if you're expecting your child to have stellar academic success.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 29, 2007

2 of my children attended the school and loved it. They are both in college now, but they still look back on Council Oak Montessori as a favorite point in their educations.
—Submitted by a parent

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

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.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

What is the GreatSchools Rating?

The GreatSchools rating is a simple tool for parents to compare schools based on test scores, student academic growth, and college readiness. It compares schools across the state, where the highest rated schools in the state are designated as “Above Average” and the lowest “Below Average.” It is designed to be a starting point to help parents make baseline comparisons. We always advise parents to visit the school and consider other information on school performance and programs, as well as consider their child's and family's needs as part of the school selection process.


Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

Unfortunately, this school doesn't have sufficient data to generate an academic rating.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Black 53% 18%
White 29% 51%
Hispanic 14% 24%
Two or more races 3% 3%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 2% 4%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Oops! We currently do not have any teacher information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

What makes a great teacher? Study after study shows the single most important factor determining the quality of the education a child receives is the quality of his teacher. Here are some characteristics to look for »

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

School basics

School Leader's name
  • Nanette L Renzi
  • Coed
  • Nonsectarian
  • AMS


Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Montessori
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events found for this school
Searching for school events...
  • {{date}}
Export calendar
Microsoft Outlook
iCal Format
Google Calendar
Print Calendar
Uploading, please wait...



TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

Apply now
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

11030 South Longwood Drive
Chicago, IL 60643
Website: Click here
Phone: (773) 779-7606


Compare this school
to nearby schools

Compare schools »


Add this school to compare

Nearby schools

Beacon Therapeutic
Chicago, IL

Plaid Academy
Chicago, IL