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PK-12
Private
Chicago, IL
Students enrolled: 835
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

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814 W. Eastman Street
Chicago, IL 60622

School website
(773) 506-2097
(773) 506-4805
Nearby homes for sale
Map of British School of Chicago address.

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October 15, 2014
I have seen this school grow from 150 students to over 800. There is a reason for this extraordinary success - plain and simple - it is an excellent school built solely on its reputation, not on who knows who, whether you are an alumni or pledged money for a new gymnasium. My eldest daughter has been at the school for 8 years and is now in Year 6 and my son is entering his fifth year in Year 3. I have seen my children grow and flourish with the school. I believe the negative comments reflect "you can't please all the people all the time" as many of the negative comments contradict each other. We are thrilled the new high school is opening with its incredible facilities and opportunities for all. It is true the children are streamed but they are not conscious of it in the younger years and since when has individualized education been considered a negative? Surely this is what we want as parents? The small class sizes continue throughout the school and my children have always had between 16-20 in a class. . The exceptional and enthusiastic teaching staff provide a truly global prospective which is invaluable. I am extremely grateful the BSC is here to stay.

- submitted by a parent
August 13, 2014
Many previous reviewers have mentioned the reading at BSC. I'd like to offer a different viewpoint. The entire reading program centers around moving up "stages". For the younger kids the books are equivalent to "Sally Dick and Jane" . Once the kids are past that, the books are boring and frequently inappropriate.Teachers and parents RACE through these books just to get to the next level. So I suppose if you are a parent who likes the bragging rights about what stage you are on, it works well. And it IS neat to see the young kids reading. I much prefer what all the other schools do ( after 3 years at BSC we went back to look at all the private schools) - moving slowly with depth. Emphasis on reading age appropriate great literature and both understanding and enjoying it. There are many great things about BSC, and there are many not great things. The other thing I absolutely disliked about this school is how much control the very vocal group of parents have. For instance, class mixes are determined solely by the lists that parents provide of who their child can or cannot be with. What else about my child's education will the parents be able to control?

- submitted by a parent
June 19, 2014
This school genuinely cares about its students. Our daughter is just finishing 5th grade, year 6. This is her second year at BSC. I wrote an earlier review (24 January 2013) and with the benefit of another year and a half I can confirm that our initial positve view of BSC was totally justified. Every teacher she has had has been superb - enthusiastic, knowledgable, dedicated, child focused; the curriculum is challenging, the feel of the school is cheerful and encouraging. We are very happy with her progress. And as important to us, she is very happy. I would like to take issue with a complaint made in other earlier reviews - that the school - teachers or administration - were unresponsive to parent requests and concerns. An question arose concerning our daughter this year. i sat down with her classroom teachers twice for long discussions. They answered every email inquiry within hours. Initially the school, after consideration, declined our request. However, the teachers and Headmaster remained open to our concerns. They never stopped listening to us and eventually arrived at a solution. I believe the school made extraordinary efforts for her.

- submitted by a parent
June 15, 2014
We chose this school because of the differentiation and because we loved the philosophy that all children can and should be educated together within the classroom ( no pulling out). But after a few years, this is what we hate. Our youngest has internalized the fact that other kids are sitting at "higher" tables and she now refers to herself as "not smart" at the age of 6. It doesn't help that the parents are so competitive that it is a constant source of conversation which kids are on which reading levels. Our older child was at a standstill for two years because, without a learning assistant in the older year groups, he had very little teacher attention. He was in the "highest" group this year but i feel he has actually learned very little and that the teachers sugarcoat where he is at the conferences. Also of concern are all the behavior problems in the classroom, lack of consistent and effective discipline and an atmosphere where there is no respect between administration and parents, and no respect among the parents for one another. We look forward to our new school next year.

- submitted by a parent
June 06, 2014
Our daughter's experience with British School of Chicago was dreadful. She attended BSC for three years. Her teachers were good but our daughter didn't benefit from their expertise because they spent 90% of their time working with the lowest math and reading groups; the higher math and reading groups were expected to work on their own. We repeatedly expressed concerns that our daughter was not receiving instruction appropriate to her ability level (her class was doing math that she had been able to do for several years already). Our concerns were met with promises to do better that never materialized. But as disappointing as the academics were at BSC, the social environment and administration were even worse. I don't know if BSC attracts more problem kids than other schools or if they are just unusually inept at managing them. My daughter had a bully in her class, who terrorized her and several others on a daily basis. The school was aware of the bully's behavior but did nothing to stop her. We finally left BSC last year, and my daughter is flourishing both academically and socially at her new school. I feel terrible guilt about entrusting my child to BSC for as long as I did.

- submitted by a parent
June 02, 2014
The British School of Chicago has done an exceptional job educating my two grade school children academically and socially. My wife and I chose BSC because of its academic focus and small class sizes. The curriculum focuses on basics - reading, writing and arithmetic - but includes classes one or more times a week in Social Studies, French, Spanish, Music, Information Technology, Art, PE. The school says kids are taught to a level at least a year ahead of their peers. Its true. I have been blown away seeing both of my kids testing consistently in the high 90th percentile on the Terra Nova tests. Almost every teacher my children have had were exceptional. Teachers are warm, encouraging and accessible. Our emails to teachers are answered quickly. The few concerns we raised to the administration over 5 years were taken seriously and dealt with appropriately. The school is more diverse than I expected. I would estimate that 20-25% of the students are foreign or have foreign parents. Class size remains small - 20 kids or fewer. Overall, BSC has met our expectations and we look forward to sending our kids to the school through High School.

- submitted by a parent
June 02, 2014
My children attend the British School. We purposely chose it based on the academics, structure and integrity that the school has to offer. It has provided a threshold by which ordinary standards are raised too. We had a choice of which school to send our children too. The tuition (all inclusive) cost effective and in line even less then other private schools. What they give you in return is education on a global level. Homework is given not in quantities of hours but in quality of the subject matter not as a substitution for what was not taught in class. The curriculum provides necessary tools for a well rounded student. Foreign language is part of their curriculum beginning at age 5 and continues throughout high school. Math; the foundation of major components that are taught continues to become the basis of another. A child doesn't learn a section and moves onto another chapter instead children are taught all of Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Trigonometry because they have common components with one another. This is just a quick reference to the school subjects. So, to state facts, begin with facts...otherwise they no more than mere opinions..

- submitted by a parent
June 02, 2014
The British school sets the utmost standard of education. It offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). The only other schools in Chicago offering the IBDP is Lincoln Park and Ogden (1st year). Currently, there is no other private school offering the IBDP. Lycee Francais de Chicago offers the French Baccalaureate Diploma. The British school is part of the Nord Anglia Education. So to discuss the British School, you need to take into account the various: Over 90% of Nord Anglia Education students continue their academic careers at university, with one in five going onto one of the top 30 universities worldwide, including the University of Cambridge, Harvard University, the University of Oxford and Stanford University. 91% of Nord Anglia Education students who sat the IB Diploma passed, and twice as many students scored over 40 points, out of a maximum of 45, than the global average. A great asset to the City of Chicago

- submitted by a parent
June 01, 2014
My children receive personal attention from highly qualified teachers. BSC instructors are highly educated, motivated, youthful, and generally very happy teachers ! Small class size, strong teacher- student ratio, and an emphasis on "The Joy of Learning" to become "a student for life" is the difference here. My children migrated from a CPS magnet school to BSC. The kids are now happy and excited to attend school ! The homework is not so overbearing as the teachers actually instruct in class, leaving homework as a secondary, not primary, mode of learning. My kid's intellectual curiosity is greatly stimulated by such classes as "design technology" wherein they construct useful objects on CAD programs- and they're doing this in grammar school ! The new campus in South Loop is exciting, as well as the new partnership with UIC for large gym and field use. Most importantly is the International Baccalaureate program available for High School students. The presence of IB- certified teachers means your average student also receives instruction from these highly-qualified professors. As far as complaints about administration ? We have found them responsive and exacting. We LOVE this school.

- submitted by a parent
May 20, 2014
If I had to summarize the attitude of the school administration towards parents at the British School of Chicago, it would be "pay up and shut up." I don't know if it's the British upper lip that we're dealing with but the handful of times I ever raised an issue at the school during the four years we've been there, I could not get anyone to respond (not even a cursory "we've received your email), or agree to meet in person. They are cold and aloof, can't take any criticism, and resort to stonewalling rather than ever admit to any mistakes. But let me tell you they are happy to help you part with $25Gs per pupil. I had thought that a for-profit school would actually would be more responsive to the parent community, but clearly I was wrong. Academics is fairly strong for now (still in elementary). The teachers are mostly personable, until they feel a parent challenge coming, then it's all about cc'ing everyone and their aunts and uncles for coverage and back to stonewalling. I've been surprised by how down-to-earth the parent community is given how expensive the school is. There are quite a lot of squeaky wheels though, even as a parent I can't take some of the complaints.

- submitted by a parent
March 24, 2014
My children have been at this school for 4 years. The preschool through first grade program is great and then it goes down the tubes. The teachers always states that your child is doing well however, if you see a deficit socially or academically you are literally on your own. The teachers are not dedicated to the school. They are on a foreign exchange program. My child has been at a stand still this year academically. Run for your life.

- submitted by a parent
March 13, 2014
I'm an upperclassmen in highschool studying at the British School of Chicago, although the school may seem like an elite school, it is in fact the contrary. The staff are responsive and helpful at times but overall the teaching quality of the school is anything but adequate. It is a new school and they are still working on constructing a foundation for the school. There is also this repulsive student culture that seem to have formed a mix of recalcitrance and belligerence towards the peers and staff. Do I reccomend this school? Absolutely not, don't go here unless you have no where else to go.

- submitted by a community member
March 06, 2014
Another family who was thrilled in the younger years and now not convinced. I feel like the teachers are just telling me what I want to hear whenever I come to them with a problem. Most of the parents here just want to hear how brilliant their kid is, and the school caters to that. But I am no longer convinced the education is anything special. And as my child approaches middle school, the lack of a "whole child" approach makes me very nervous. The administration is simply reactionary to issues that come up, which isn't good enough.

- submitted by a parent
February 16, 2014
My grandson entered British last year when he was 3. I love him dearly, but he was like a little wild animal. Discipline was not a word he knew. After 3 days of school, I saw him on Labor Day. I asked him what his teacher's name was. He ignored me. After I'd asked him 3 times, he said, "I don't know." Right. A power struggle was going on, and he knew it and so did we. However, the school and teacher were so calm. There was never any criticism of him. After about a month, we saw tremendous changes. Now, a year and a half later, he is thriving, doing well in his studies, which are rigorous. British is a wonderful, caring, school that brings out a child's full potential through differentiated oinstruction. We couldn't be happier.

- submitted by a community member
December 21, 2013
I go to the British school of Chicago and it is the best school I looked at in the city. Chicago public schools are running on a corrupt broken system that is doing nothing good for the students. At the British school we have the opportunity to get an amazing one on one education from every teacher to make sure that we have everything we need to do well. If anyone has a problem with the British school they are only pretending to save there ego from the cold hard truth that the school they go to is just a broken school relying on a bad corrupt system if favoritism that has nothing to do with the education.

- submitted by a community member
December 11, 2013
I took a tour of this school to find a unique place for my younger brother to thrive. Uh, it definitely wasn't this place. The parents are pretentious and so pompous, and the headmaster is just ridiculous. For that much money, I can take my brother on a lavish vacation. No to BSC. UGH!

- submitted by a community member
November 28, 2013
The bullying problem at BSC has reached a tipping point. We left the lower school when the admin. refused to address it, and I just heard a public talk by an educational consultant who offered up BSC as the poster child for a school that has social problems. The headmaster s response to bullying victims is to suggest that the victim leave the school ( perhaps this isn t the right school for your family ). Of course, it s not all bad at BSC. There are some young and well-meaning teachers. But be aware that student-teacher ratios balloon in the 2nd grade: ours went from 8:1 to 22:1 - no assistant after 1st grade. And let s be real about the school s academic differentiation claims: if your child is in top or bottom 10%, you will be frustrated. Classroom material is pitched right at the median student. Kids who struggle initially will continue to struggle; kids at the top may get an extra sheet of homework, but no ability-based instruction. Too bad, because it doesn t have to be this way. I know because our daughter is thriving at her new school where she is now safe and academically challenged in a warm environment.

- submitted by a parent
November 26, 2013
I have children in both the high school and lower school. In both cases the teachers my children have are outstanding and my children are excelling. The school is still young and growing and with that does come some pains, so comparing BSC to Latin, Parker, Lab, etc or any other institution that has been around for more then 20 years is not comparing apples to apples. British Schools have been educating children all over the world successfully for years. The IB program is outstanding and for the kids who want to do well they have an amazing opportunity to be leaders in the school. It is not true that the children in the high school couldn t get in to other high schools. Many of them stayed because the environment works for them and they are excelling and because the school is still smallish their programs are more tailored. The ones who did leave got into the selective high schools. The school also offers degree options for the high school, so not all of the students will be fighting their way into an Ivy. They can go for college prep high school degree, IB certificate, or full IB diploma.

- submitted by a parent
September 29, 2013
I am one of the previous posters who had a fabulous experience in the younger years. I still think this is a great school for nursery - 2nd grade. But we moved our older daughter this year, and couldn't be happier that we did. I no longer trust the administration to do what is in the best interest of my child. They are indeed hostile to parents. Pretty much everyone gets in now, including problem kids who had trouble in other schools. There is a bullying problem that is swept under the carpet. Some ( not all!) of the parents are truly entitled and terrible. The mostly wonderful teachers have to deal with all of this without support ( and I get the sense most dislike the administration). They tell you that if you leave your kid will be way ahead and bored at another school, but we have found this to be untrue. Instead, we are loving being part of a real community. It makes me sad to write this, because I used to love this school, but I just can't recommend it anymore.

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2013
Our experience at the elementary school has been fabulous. My son loves learning and is above grade level. I think the problems noted in the prior post pertain mostly to the high school. It is probably true that many of the high school students did not get into Lab, Parker, Latin, St. I, or SES... This is because the high school is really small, caters mostly to international students, and does not offer the full range of extracurriculars that most American students are used to. I don't think this is true for elementary school. I have met many families admitted to other privates -- CCD, Catherine Cook, Parker, Near North Montessori -- but chose British for its rigorous curriculum. The new high school has taken longer to build because of zoning issues, etc... and therefore there is attrition at the 7th and 8th grade classes. Once the high school is built, families will stay and the high school will develop internally.

- submitted by a parent
September 12, 2013
How I wish I had seen the negative reviews on this board before choosing BSC. The prior comments capture both the positive features and serious problems with this school. BSC has some good teachers, but they are mostly in the preschool classrooms. The curricular emphasis on early reading is commendable, but the foreign language instruction is weak from the start. Don't bother talking to anyone at BSC about such issues: the administration no longer even pretends to be interested in what parents think. We are leaving after this year because we've lost hope that the high school is ever going to be a success. Nearly everyone in both the upper and lower schools is here because they did not have a better option (i.e., they did not get into Latin, Lab, Parker, St. Ignatius, CPS SE schools, etc.). BSC does attract some good students for the lower school grades because there are few good options for elementary schools in Chicago. But the talented students tend to leave BSC before high school. We will miss some of the wonderful families we came to know at this school in recent years. But, overall, this is not the peer group for our child that we had hoped for.

- submitted by a parent
September 03, 2013
My daughter joined BSC last year when she was exactly 4 years old ( Aug born) and I amazed at her progress in learning. Within a month of joining the school, she was able to read words! The teachers are very cordial and ever smiling. I was always up to date with my daughter's progress and the class teacher was available on email or in person to talk about any concerns I may have. We are very happy with the school so far.

- submitted by a parent
August 02, 2013
After 6 years, we pulled our child out. The teachers are adequate for the lower years, though the staffing model ensures plenty of turnover. (About 30% of the early and lower school faculty left this year alone.) We had mostly positive experiences with the teachers, though one year we had a really horrible teacher. The administration is indifferent and/or hostile to parents, refusing to meet on matters ranging from the curriculum to safety. The administration has consistently misrepresented the prospect of a new high school. The administration also brings a "big brother" approach to teacher/parent communication. There is extremely limited communication between parents and teachers without the mandatory involvement of the administration. This quite limits a productive dialogue. This special...environment also contributes to the high faculty turnover.

- submitted by a parent
February 26, 2013
i had to pull 2 kids out of this school! One in high school and one in elementary school. Both now go to American schools and were behind in their learning at first because of the dramatic differences between the British and American system. We had to get tutors for both and I know that about half of the 8th grade class left last year. We, as parents were also extremely disappointed with the school's lack of parent support. I do not recommend this school to anybody.

- submitted by a parent
December 11, 2012
Our child goes to BSC and is 4 yrs old. He has been writing and reading (at length) for quite some time now. He has private music lessons at the academy and is flourishing in his foreign language skills. He has weekly (appropriate yet challenging) homework as a Pre K age student. The math, analytical, language, phonics and science exercises etc. are all superb. In Reception, age 4, these kids are being taught from a curriculum similar to what other children are learning a year or two older in other schools. Our child is excelling and soaking up all that he is being exposed to at this young age. BSC understands that very young children are primed to learn and these educators create a top-notch learning environment with exposure to a high level of academia, which in turn gives these children great confidence from their abilities and knowledge. We chose BSC over other great Chi schools because of their advanced curriculum, discipline for learning and their professionalism in education. The teachers are beyond nurturing and we feel so lucky to have found this gem. We know this school will positively influence the outcome of our child s future and his opportunities in life.

- submitted by a parent
October 28, 2012
I went to this school for years 8 and 9, to say that this school was awful would be an understatement. True there was two or three very good teachers, but the rest didn't really care much for the students. My grades dropped in the two years I was there. Don't send your students here, they wont benefit at all.

- submitted by a community member
October 19, 2012
The school starts out well, and I recommend for K-6 education. The atmosphere is generally safe and welcoming, and we eventually came around to understanding how the children are assessed. However, as the school is already 10 years old but still has no real plan for Middle and High School education, you will be left in a lurch if you wait until 9th grade to figure this out. Our kids left at 7th grade, after years of being told the "high school would be built." The high school is not retaining kids because year after year the Private Equity guys that really run the school keep delaying the new facility. As for challenging academics, that is what they tell you, but you have no way of comparing because their grading system is based on UK norms (forget GPA or even knowing where they are vs peers). Individualized learning? Not really. It's fine in the lower school, but as they reach the upper school this becomes problematic. And the administration wants absolutely nothing to do with parents, who are seen as nothing more than "angry customers" if they dare to question what is going on. THey know they have 100 more nursery students lined up to take your place.

- submitted by a parent
August 31, 2012
Our experience for both of our children has been excellent. I read a comment about the school being "soulless" and I don't think that's true. The comparisons to Lab, Latin and Parker are ridiculous. Lab gives most spots to professors of The University of Chicago. The school is run down and depressing. Parker and Latin give most spaces to children of alumni, that is why they are "selective", they don't have any space. Those children aren't "special", they're connected to the schools already. You should focus on the quality of the education for your child.

- submitted by a parent
May 24, 2012
We came to the British School four years ago. I had my reservations about the school because I did not know much about it, but I had heard such wonderful word of mouth that we gave it a try. Four years and two kids later, I cannot say enough good things about this place. I have been won over time and time again. The teachers are exceptional, firm and kind. The academics are challenging, but taught in a way that the kids don't even realize they are being taught. Teachers teach to individual students at their own pace. Teachers are accessible in person and via email. There are entire days dedicated to literature, science, math, even at the nursery level - and the children love it. They teach kids to be thinkers - this isn't the place for wrote memorization. Our older students are doing phenomenally on high school entrance exams - most scoring perfect scores. BSC is building a high school and it sounds phenomenal. It would be foolish not to consider this school when applying to other private schools. I realize the other private schools in the city have established reputations, but it shouldn't be long before BSC joins them.

- submitted by a parent
April 24, 2012
Our daughter has excelled and is learning at a great pace. I like the structure and the caliber of teacher.

- submitted by a parent
February 21, 2012
My children are excelling at this school; they do not teach to the lowest common denominator, but differentiate the work in every subject, at every level. Although we have found a lovely house in the suburbs I simply can't find a school that comes even close to BSC in terms of curriculum or teacher involvement. These teachers and the teaching assistants are extremely dedicated to the children, class preparation and creating an engaging, fun learning environment.

- submitted by a parent
July 10, 2011
We have been at BSC for 4 years. My son started in the nursery program at age 3 1/2. We have been extremely happy. He loves going to school every day which I think is so important at this age. His teachers have been loving but firm and what he has learned has been very impressive. I see steady progress and challenge all the time. It is hard to compare with other schools as we have only had this experience but we don't plan to change. It is expensive but I suspect once you add up the fundraising/extra expectations at other private schools, it is on par. Some parents have left to go into CPS gifted programs and I am not surprised their kids tested well given what they have learned. But frankly, seeing so much turmoil in the news everyday for CPS, seeing they get out at 1:45 every day and often only have a 4 day week, I think we are getting at least a couple added years of instruction over the course of elementary school if you project out that time. The leadership can be a bit tough to deal with if you have an issue but that is often the case at schools. They have a tough job growing a school from nothing and trying to balance many demands. I just see my son is happy.

- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2011
We could not be happier with the teachers and nurturing environment at this school. Our daughter is in the pre-k or reception level and has done great! The curriculum is well organized and tailored to each child.

- submitted by a parent
February 01, 2011
Are you kidding me. The family below left 6 years ago. Move on. BSC is one of the finest schools in the city. That fact they would not let you run it was a smart choice.

- submitted by a parent
September 07, 2010
My daughter has been going to the BSC for three years and we continue to be very impressed. Here's some specific comments: - The curriculum is great - The teachers are great as well. - Classes are 20 students are less with a teacher and aid in every class. - The facilities are new. - There is covered, convenient parking right next to school - The other parents are great - With school uniforms, there is no pressure about outfits. - The tuition may be high, but we have had zero pressure to donate additional money - Great parent involvement - Introduction to second languages very young (French for four years and then Spanish) Overall, I think the BSC is one of Chicago's greatest hidden secrets.

- submitted by a parent
June 07, 2010
While my educational expectations are largely met by the British School of Chicago, I regret to say that the 'educational experience' of my child has left me rather disappointed. While most of the teachers have been top notch, there have been several whom simply should be teaching elsewhere, if at all. Gender favoritism, Anti-religious diatribes, and an apparent disdain of children by certain teachers make me seriously consider whether the financial sacrifices I make to send my child to the BSC are presenting the best academic value for the dollars spent. In the past, attempts at seeking problem resolution with the headmaster, such as student bullying, or perceived abusive attitudes from faculty towards students, have been met with cavalier indifference to the issues. After discussing with other parents, we found a common proposed solution being: "Perhaps this isn't the school for your child"

- submitted by a parent
May 29, 2010
I would have to agree that the school is excellent. Our daughter is doing so well and we could not be happier. The school offers plenty of opportunities for parent involvement.

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 22, 2010
I would definitely give the British School more than 3 stars. The education is world class. Students going the distance receive an International Baccalaureate degree giving them entree into the world's finest universities.

- submitted by a parent
March 04, 2010
This school is fantastic! We could not expect more from a private school. This school is on par with top NYC private schools, and is much more affordable. Our daughter is thriving, and the staff are willing to work hard with your child when problems arise. Could not be happier! Our daughter is 3.5 and is reading books that first and second graders read. The classes are well structured, but it is still play-based. Why pay $$$ for a glorified day care?

- submitted by a parent
January 21, 2010
My kid is mid-way through her 4th academic year and loves her teachers and has a great love of learning. I can't dissect how the school achieves the academic and social results it does but I believe it is dependent on teachers chosen for the school and the International Primary Curriculum. Google it to get a sense of how this method encompasses different modes of learning addressed as a child develops intellectually and emotionally. Be advised that this is not a school driven by whims or intense beliefs of a parent body. It is a for-profit school and I am certain they believe profit is only possible by providing the best education money can buy. The emphasis is on education. How you define education and the $ you want to pay for it will determine your rating of BSC. Lifelong love of learning gets top votes and $ from me.

- submitted by a parent
January 06, 2010
My children have been in this school for the past 3 years and I cannot say enough about how highly I regard not only the teachers but the senior leadership team as well. Lots of parents are very quick to criticize the school but very slow to actually give it credit when credit it due. I have just come back from a meeting with the Headmaster. This meeting, which was open to all parents at the school, was informative, helpful and most importantly, proved that the school does listen to parents. School fees have been frozen for some years for the next academic year, sibling discounts are going to be offered to families with more than one child and for the grades that will have a fee hike, the hike is lower than expected. What is not going to change is the quality of the excellent education the children receive.

- submitted by a parent
January 06, 2010
Our 4-yr old daughter has had a total transformation since starting a year ago at BSC. She LOVES going to school, and I am continually amazed at how quickly she is learning reading, writing, math and French. The teachers truly are the best of the best. I have seen some negative comments about the school's leadership which, frankly, I don't understand. It is precisely the school's leadership that has developed the curriculum, and continually fosters a world-class environment for children to learn. Yes, it can be a headache to deal with staff on an administrative level, but the focus is on the kids - not the parents. It was a definite selling point for us that squeaky wheel parents are not permitted to influence what happens in the classroom. If you are a squeaky wheel, you won't like this school.

- submitted by a parent
December 22, 2009
My children attended BSC for five years. In the beginning, they loved it. BSC really shines in early childhood education, and then it's all downhill. The teachers are mixed, although the early childhood ones are fantastic. The new school is a huge disappointment, with its small classrooms, no theatre, no outdoor green space, and mediocre quality 'parking garage' feel to it. The curriculum is all academics and no variety. The headmaster and other administrative staff are indeed unpleasant. I've experienced the threat of a contract cancellation in retaliation for applying to other schools. The high school nver seems to get off the ground. In fact, last year's senior year was cancelled last minute when it was determined that there were not enough students to make it profitable. My children are now in North Shore public schools and love it, with no loss academically.

- submitted by a parent
December 17, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 11, 2009
I love this school. My son just started in reception and we could not be more pleased with our decision. The individual attention is great, the teacher methods are creative and fun, and in just 6 weeks my 4 yr old has started to read. And loves it (so much for the admissions directors at other schools who told me early reading will 'destroy the love of learning'). Other parents are nice and down to earth. I absolutely love the international community, last month my son's class talked about how families in america, china and africa are both different and the same (and the chinese and african families in his class provided some real life examples to augment the learning). Check it out - we are so glad this is the school we chose

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2009
This is our daughters first year at the British School of Chicago in a Reception Class. (Pre-K). She loves going to class and we are amazed with how fast she is progressing with learning to read and write. We would recommend this school to everyone. The teachers are pleasant and make learning fun.

- submitted by a parent
October 31, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
October 27, 2009
Our son has grown tremendously at the school socially and academically in his couple years at British. The teachers, other kids, individual attention, and curriculum are absolutely terrific. My biggest problem now is I don't understand what my son's saying sometimes now because he starts speaking French. It's a good problem to have. We hope both our kids go all the way through high-school at British.

- submitted by a parent
September 29, 2009
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but one thing that everyone will agree is that this school has excellent teachers and they truly care about the children. I'm amazed by the things my children learn and bring home each and everyday, including my child in nursery. The kids take in so much academically and culturally. It's exciting for me to see them enjoy but also grow.

- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2009
I have two children at the British School and am surprised to see negative, angry reviews on this site. We are very impressed with the education that our children are receiving and have no doubts that we made the right choice to enroll them here. We have had our children at two other small, private schools in Chicago at the nursery level, and feel that the British School is significantly more organized, thorough, responsive and frankly intelligent in their curriculum and growth strategy. The culture of the school is focused on academics and child success rather than a culture driven by their parents' salaries and attire. We are quite pleased and would recommend BSC to all parents interested in an exceptional education for their children.

- submitted by a parent
September 12, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2009
I am shocked by the negative postings! My very active four year old boy adores this school. The teachers are all warm, enthusiastic and love teaching. They care about each individual child and tailor the learning to each child's level. This school is turning my child into a bright and articulate little guy. The other parents in my son's class are wonderful people that I would have chosen as friends regardless. It is not unlikely to see moms taking each other's kids to social events, birthday partys and after school activites. For profit means everyone pays the same. So if you save every month for tuition or if you send a check without a second thought, you are treated the same. The tuition is what it is and there is no 'mandatory donations'. I love love love this school.

- submitted by a parent
August 26, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
August 05, 2009
My child went to BSC for three years and she hated it. The teachers were horrible, and so was the environment. The kids were mean and the food in the cafeteria was horrible. I do not reccommend this school!

- submitted by a parent
August 05, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
August 05, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
August 05, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
August 05, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
August 05, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
August 05, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
August 05, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
July 15, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
July 14, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
June 15, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
no rating June 12, 2009
some of these reviews are not reliable. The British School does not have a high school. They provide a very demanding curriculum, the classrooms are too small for the number of students, there is no outdoor play area for the elementary kids and up (the reception and nursery does). In general is a good school but is not worth the high tuition. It is a for-profit school and it clearly shows. Parent body is obnoxious and pretentious. I would say: stay away.

- submitted by a parent
June 02, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2009
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- submitted by a student
May 11, 2009
In response to the March 30th posting, the British School compares to Latin and Parker because of its academic program. Whether it is for-profit has nothing to do with it. What I can tell you though is that we certainly do have a community, a strong one, but it is directed by our children not our bank accounts or last name!

- submitted by a parent
March 30, 2009
My children attend the British School and have learnt to enjoy learning, are at ease with the teachers, have made many great friends and are achieving good results even in their weaker subjects. Extra curricular activities are fantastic. Paris as a school trip? In my day and at my school we would be lucky to visit a dairy farm or the local abbotoir. I live overseas away from my children but feel as comfortable as a lonely parent can be knowing that they feel safe and happy.

- submitted by a parent
February 26, 2009
My three kids go to the british and they love it! my youngest is in the preschool program and he loves going.My eldest is in 11 grade and she is being exposed to many wonderful colleges.The teachers are wonderful and very helpful.If you are considering sending your child (or) children this is the place to go! excellent feedback on how well your child is doing and you will truly be getting the best of it.

- submitted by a parent
February 25, 2009
My daughter started last fall in the nursery program, and we couldn't be happier. She absolutely loves it. She is having so much fun at school, and we are so impressed with all she has learned thus far. We just love the community there - the other parents and students are just terrific. And her teachers are absolutely fabulous. The opportunities for individualized learning are amazing as well. The feedback has been extremely thorough and comprehensive, and the school has been incredibly responsive in terms of addressing parent concerns such as creating additional opportunities for involvement in the classrooms. We cannot imagine a better overall school environment.

- submitted by a parent
no rating February 15, 2009
I have two children at the British. It is a wonderful school, and my children are thriving in this academically rigorous, and challenging environment. The teachers and the principal are receptive to your comments. Is it perfect? No, it has its own negatives. But having seen a lot of other schools, by far, this is the right one in the city for my kids. I am shocked at some of the negative reviews that were submitted earlier. I have been with the school for 4 years, and have been happy overall!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating January 16, 2009
I am student at BSC and I am thrilled with th eresults that I am getting from the school. I recently moved from England and am receiving high grades in all mt subjects. I am in the High school and am enjoying every minute in it. My attitude towards learning has changed dramatically and bow find every subject fun and interesting. The transition from England to Chicago was easy and the school welcomed me with open arms, I made friends in a matter of days. The teaching staff are with every step of the way and can be thoroughly relied upon. I like my teachers and have found that they know me much better being in smaller classes meaning they can adapt around my personal skills. I would recomend the school to anybody.

- submitted by a student
January 01, 2009
My daughter has never been happier.

- submitted by a parent
December 29, 2008
I have two children at BSC and couldn't be more thrilled. My five-year-olds are reading, speaking French, adding numbers in their heads and telling time....and they absolutely love school! The teachers are wonderfully caring and knowledgeable. Parents have lots of opportunities to get involved in classroom activities and school policies. I agree that Headmaster Horton doesn't suffer fools. And I truly appreciate that the buck stops somewhere. No parent has more sway with the administration because they make huge donations. You pay your tuition that's it. What a refreshing change for Chicago private schools.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 06, 2008
BSC is indeed a good shool with both strengths and weeknesses, I do not think however one would be that hard pressed to find other schools that are as good if not better. There were indeed classes that were greater than 20 last year, it is my personal experience, this is simple addition. I do, however, believe thay have now addressed this. My biggest concern now is the school's commitment to a high school, whether it is the actual building or the administration's ability to help usher students in to a good university. The school is already outgrowing its space and seems to look more and more like a nursery school as they add more classes for the little ones. I see no actual movement toward a new high school. It is nice to hear promisses but already rumors abound as to the proposed HS site going to a different company.

- submitted by a parent
September 03, 2008
I have been reading some of the negative comments and cannot believe we are talking about the same school. I love the school. I have three children attending and all of them love the school, as well. You would be hard pressed to find a better education in this city. Contrary to earlier comments, they do NOT increase class size over 20, teachers are not harsh toward the children, and they do not just admit anyone whose parents can line their corporate pockets. Ask the people still on the waiting list. Is the headmaster warm and fuzzy? No. He is busy growing our school and he doesn't suffer fools. He does, however, care about our children and their learning, safety and welfare, which is what we are paying him to do. Another comment suggested that most parents are unhappy and that is absolutely false. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

- submitted by a parent
July 29, 2008
This school has a small bullying problem in the high school. The high school staff does nothing about it, except as a talk with the bully/bullies, tells them they are not allowed to attend/participate in an event/activity, etc., that lasts for a week, and then the school forgets about it. If it is the same bully, I believe the school should have an idea and should have a firmer disipline policy.

- submitted by a parent
June 13, 2008
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- submitted by a student
May 15, 2008
Having attended pvt international schools in Europe and Asia, I feel 100% at home sending my child here. The Midwest can be quite insular culturally and this school offers the 'full' international experience, both academically as well as culturally. Children thrive at this school because they are exposed to a challenging curriculum in an international environment. And children are remarkably more adaptive and open-minded than the parents that have posted the negative comments here surrounding the British admin and staff. I believe that these 'customers' are in culture shock. They want the benefits of a world-class education system, without the strain of adapting to other cultures. Anyone that has done business internationally knows the British have a different style of communication than Americans. Learning to navigate cultural barriers is an asset that your child will automatically pick-up here. This school is exactly what Chicago needs and we're excited about it's growth.

- submitted by a parent
May 05, 2008
The school is neither as good nor as bad as the reviewers suggest. The quality of teaching is the big positive. My kids seem way ahead neighborhood catholic/public schools, and they have developed a real love of learning. The downside is the school's heavy profit motive and utter lack of understanding of issues that are important to American parents and high schools. As but one example, BSC has no counseling on high school admissions. They do not even give students the types of standardized tests that they need to apply to the City selective admission high schools. The school is also ridicuously expensive. It is funny to see another parent compare the school to Lab, Latin, and Parker because this is exactly how BSC tries to justify its tuition. Lab, Latin, and Parker are some of the most selective schools in the City. BSC takes any kid able to pay.

- submitted by a parent
May 03, 2008
A friend directed me to this sight and I've been reading with some amusement. I had my children at BSC but switched into Parker. Our personal experience found the classroom environment to be great but the administration horrible, and quite frankly disrespectful to parents. While I agree that one's school choice should be about the children, many families value the sense of community schools foster. Our experience now is rich with a strong sense of community and tradition as well as a focus on community involvement. We found BSC to be souless, maybe due to growing pains or cultural differences. If you are a family that values community you will likely be dissatisfied. As to the comment that schools like Parker, Latin and Lab focus on parent's income and giving above the child, that certainly has not been our experience at Parker, quite to the contrary, we've experienced an incredible attention to each child and their particular learning styles. I agree with previous posts that the school has great potential but is being held back by it's administrators.

- submitted by a community member
May 01, 2008
We need to be a little bit more objective. I don't believe the school to be either perfect or poor. Of course the school has some areas for improvement. Classrooms can be cramped, there's little outdoor space and the administration can be tetchy. However, that does not get away from its many strengths. It is a good choice if your child is bright and willing to learn. It is a safe, secure learning environment for your child who will have fun with wonderful, motivated little classmates. It has been going for only 6-7 years, and yet in that time it has made an incredible impact in Chicago. It is ranked alongside Latin, Lab and Parker and yet unlike these, focuses on the child and the child's learning rather than how much the parents earn and can donate to various fundraising drives. BSC is one of the best private schools in Chicago.

- submitted by a parent
April 11, 2008
I am truly shocked at these comments! The education provided by the school is by far the best that I have ever seen, and no other school in Chicago can come close. I can appreciate that security of our children is at the forefront of the school hence the initial requirements of parents not entering the building. I have noticed of late that events are now being introduced so that we can enter the building during the school day. The elementary section of the school is thriving! The school offers many great extra curricular programmes after school which helps us working moms a great deal. The Music and Language school on a Saturday is excellent. My child and I attend French classes together and he takes piano Mini Mozart piano lessons which he loves! I would recommend this school to everyone with kids aged 3 11.

- submitted by a parent
April 06, 2008
I was directed to this site by another parent who was shocked at the bad reviews. I, too, am surprised. This is a wonderful school--perfect, no, but overall we have been very happy. Some problems have come since a recent (1/08) move to a new location. With new security, there is limited parent access--but I feel they are trying to find solutions to satisfy parents. My children are receiving an outstanding, well-rounded education. The teachers are motivated, energetic and extremely skilled at helping all children attain their potential. There are some communication issues with a few members of the administration, but I do not think any of it has harmed my children's education. Like the last reviewer, I am happy they focus on the children and not the parents--not all schools do. My children LOVE going to school everyday and their education has exceeded our expectations in every way.

- submitted by a parent
April 03, 2008
At the end of the day, do you choose a school for yourself or your child? This school is fantastic educationally. I have been very impressed with the level the children have attained in all areas. Many of the parents writing the reviews on this site seem to expect that they should be the school's main focus, but instead the focus is actually on the students. What a nice surprise. And good news for my child.

- submitted by a parent
March 30, 2008
As a long term parent at the school I echo most of the comments shared by the other parents. I however would recomend that you 'do' send your kids to the school as the educational standards are excellent and children thrive at the British School. My child is very happy at the school and is doing very well. I, however, fully support other parent's views on communcation by the school adminstration and leadership. They need to remember that the parent's are customers and be treated as such. Work needs to be done here by the school adminstration and leadership. This IS where the parent's frustration arises. I only hope the leadership learns from these messages. Apart from the communication this is a good school.

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2008
Poor leadership of the school limits its potential. Parents are not allowed in the new building. OK for England, but it certainly doesn't work in Chicago.

- submitted by a parent
March 25, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
March 24, 2008
The school has fantastic qualities such as moticated teaching staff, a good budget and resources and small class sizes. Negatives are the leadership of the school. They can be extremely rude and limit the success of the school as they are not focused on the children's learning but solely on profits. Shame as it could be a good school, but it is simply average under its present leadership.

- submitted by a teacher
March 19, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
March 17, 2008
I have 3 children at the school with different personalities, learning styles and capabilities. I have found the curriculum to be excellent and individualized. The teachers are energized, motivating, talented and really nurturing. I have been very impressed the results and what my children have learned. As with most private is more important than that? The new school transition has been challenging for the staff but they are responding to parental requests. Shocked by some of the other reviews. I know many, many happy families.

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 16, 2008
One of the best school in Chicago : outstanding curriculum including French,Spanish and Latin and differentiated learning. Caring teachers. Americans might not be used to the European style where parents are less involved and curriculum is more loaded with varied subjects even at a young age. Discipline and respect are also taught. My daughter is learning at her own pace not at all emotionally distressed. But the elite education comes at a very high price tag and unfortunately because of this there is hardly any racial diversity.

- submitted by a parent
March 14, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
March 14, 2008
The academic standards at this school are vry high. Each child is taught to his/her ability. the teachers are over all enthusiastic and caring of their students. It is a school suoa bit with growing pains but will become a sollid educational choice int he city of c with many fun rogjects

- submitted by a parent
March 13, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
March 11, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
March 10, 2008
We had very high hopes for this school. Unfortunately, we were very disappointed with the harsh treatment of the children by the teachers and staff and unreasonable expectations from very young children. The cirriculum is notably outstanding, however, we did not believe it was worth the emotional toll on our child. The headmaster and the administration as a whole are authoritarian and patronizing toward parents. It is very unfortunate that there is little availability in private education in Chicago. I would strongly dissuade parents from choosing this school. Many children are unduly stressed and unhappy.

- submitted by a parent
March 04, 2008
There is no high school here and doubtful that there ever will be one.

- submitted by a parent
February 26, 2008
My child started at the school in September. His teacher is wonderful and he has a nice group of classmates. The learning and curriculum is rich and we are very pleased. There are some issues regarding parent communication and involvement around entry/exit into the new school. This is an issue, but the the overall education the children are getting should not be overlooked.

- submitted by a parent
February 26, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
February 22, 2008
Profit not student oriented. Parent interaction is kept to a Minimum. This could be do to the current administration or be a 'British' phenomenom, however, the actions of the school conflict in many ways with the basic tenents of American education. Most parents here are very unhappy with the school but have no where else to go...

- submitted by a parent
February 21, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
February 20, 2008
Headmaster and senior staff are arogant and rude. Parents have no input here. Chose another school for your children.

- submitted by a parent
February 19, 2008
Rude arrogant staff. Profit based school and it really shows. Parents are not even allowed in the new building. Do not go here--you will regret it!!

- submitted by a parent
September 25, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
August 17, 2007
This is by far, the best school in Chicago. The teachers are fantastic, the curriculum is challenging, yet stimulating and the kids come from good families who care about their kids and want to give them the best education possible.

- submitted by a parent
June 18, 2007
I am very pleased with this school. I have had only positive experiences with both the teachers and the administration. The academic programs are excellent with an appreciation for learning to subject matter rather than learning for the test. There is an extensive music program with a blossoming music school as well as a variety of extracurricular programs. The sports programs are growing as the school grows but the children are either outside or in the gym twice daily. So physical fitness is a priority. Other priorities outside of academics include citizenship, manners, values. I believe parents are as involved as any other school. The administration seems to be working on opening up. I think some of this may be due to the school's British origins. American parents are used to more of a say in things. All in all I highly recommend this school to anyone.

- submitted by a parent
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British School of Chicago
814 W. Eastman Street, Chicago, IL  60622
(773) 506-2097
Last modified British School of Chicago is a Private school that serves grades PK-12
British School of Chicago Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 108 reviews. Top