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British School of Chicago

Private | PK-12 | 835 students

BSC is best known for offering a high-performance international education.

 

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Living in Chicago

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $335,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,080.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

3 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 12 ratings
2013:
Based on 10 ratings
2012:
Based on 8 ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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82 reviews of this school


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Posted August 2, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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.


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted July 11, 2012

This school is truly outstanding. I have two children a boy and a girl at very different ages with very needs. The school is able to recognize the needs and interests of each child so that there is individual attention and teaching. The staff are so enthusiastic that these children learn without even knowing how much they are actually absorbing. I have heard rumors that this school is too academic - since when has striving for the best been a negative quality in school - is this not what we pay for and want for our children? My daughter is going into her 6th year and my son his 3rd year at the school and in those combined 7 years of being at this school, not once has either child told me that they did not want to go to school. I am so grateful to have this school in Chicago which has nurtured my children in all aspects of a true education. It is not just about books but a love of learning. The school has been criticized for not enough parental involvement. I totally disagree. There is ample opportunity for parents to be involved however there always needs to be balance. I do not want a few loud, pushy parents running the school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted May 6, 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


Posted February 1, 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


Posted September 7, 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


Posted June 7, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted March 4, 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


Posted 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


Posted January 6, 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


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About these ratings

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Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

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

College readiness and student pathways

Percentage of students going to 4-year college 100% (2013)
Read more about resources at this school
Source: Manually entered by a school official.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
College counselor(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Dance teacher(s)
Gifted specialist(s)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Nurse(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Security personnel
School psychologist
Special education coordinator
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by school staff French
German
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Industrial shop
  • Science lab
Clubs
  • Math club
  • Science club
  • Technology club

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Textile design
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Theory
Performing and written arts
  • Dance
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Computer animation
Clubs
  • Art club
  • Arts and crafts
  • Drama club
  • Student newspaper
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Gym
Clubs
  • Martial arts (judo, tae kwon do, karate, etc)

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Honors track
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
Staff resources available to students
  • Gifted specialist(s)
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • School-sponsored trips to college campuses
Clubs
  • National Honor Society
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:30 am
School end time
  • 3:30 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:00 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Michael Horton
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 3 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • No
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • CISTA
  • ECIS
  • NIPSA
Fax number
  • (773) 506-4805

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • College prep
  • Honors track
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • STEM
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Global
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Vocational or skills-based training offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • College counselor(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Gifted specialist(s)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
  • School psychologist
  • Security personnel
  • Special education coordinator
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Career/college counseling
  • Counseling
  • Differentiated learning programs
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • School-sponsored trips to college campuses
Transportation options
  • Accessible via public transportation
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Gym
  • Industrial shop
  • Internet access
  • Learning lab
  • Library
  • Music room
  • Playground
  • Science lab
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Crew / Rowing
  • Fencing
  • Judo / Other Martial Arts
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Crew / Rowing
  • Fencing
  • Judo / Other Martial Arts
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Textile design
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Theory
Performing arts
  • Dance
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Computer animation

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Art club
  • Arts and crafts
  • Book/reading club
  • Chess club
  • Community service
  • Drama club
  • Girl scouts
  • Homework help/study buddy club
  • Martial arts (judo, tae kwon do, karate, etc)
  • Math club
  • Model UN
  • National Honor Society
  • Science club
  • Student council/government
  • Student newspaper
  • Technology club
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events found for this school
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School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Volunteer in the classroom
School leaders can update this information here.
 

How to apply

Does this school have an application or enrollment process?
 

No

Planning Ahead

College preparation / awareness offered
School-sponsored trips to college campuses
SAT/ACT prep classes
College presentations or information sessions
College prep programs/courses during the year
Students' post-graduation plans in 2013
4 year college - 100%
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

814 W. Eastman Street
Chicago, IL 60622
Website: Click here
Phone: (773) 506-2097

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