Advertisement
Advertisement

No rating

GreatSchools Rating

British School of Chicago

Private | PK-12 | 835 students

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

 

Be sure to visit

 

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

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.
OR
Your email address will never be published or shared.
Indicates a required field

82 reviews of this school


Sort by:
Show reviews by:
Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted June 6, 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


Posted June 2, 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


Posted June 2, 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


Posted June 2, 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


Posted June 1, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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.


Posted March 6, 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


Posted 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.


Posted 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.


Posted 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!


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted September 3, 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


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.

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
Searching for school events...
Date
Title
  • {{date}}
    {{title}}
Export calendar
Outlook.com
Microsoft Outlook
iCal Format
Google Calendar
Print Calendar
Uploading, please wait...
POWERED BY
Tandem

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

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Compare this school
to nearby schools

Compare schools »

Compare

Add this school to compare

Nearby schools


CICS ChicagoQuest
Chicago, IL






ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT