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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 4 ratings
2013:
Based on 12 ratings
2012:
Based on 8 ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

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77 reviews of this school


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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 December 7, 2013

Unfortunately I must agree with previous posters. This school is good in the lower years - and when kids are young and at varying stages of reading readiness, the differentiation is great. As kids get older, the cracks appear. The peer group isn't great. Lots of social issues. Authoritarian leadership. And what disturbs me the most, really a lack of teaching of critical thinking skills. They accelerate the kids, but the teaching is fast and narrow instead of broad and deep.
—Submitted by a parent


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


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 January 24, 2013

Our daughter is half way through her first year (she started at BSC in 4th grade). While I believed the school to be one of the best, I did not think that it could live up to its PR. But it is as good as everyone says, and better. The teachers are exceptional, bright, enthusiastic, energetic. They are all recruited from the UK to teach at this school and what they do seems to be more than just a job to them. There actually IS individual learning, and our daughter has benefited enornously. What we wanted for our daughter was to learn "a love of learning" and she is getting that. At our our parent conference after the first term, the teacher seemed to understand our child and what motivates her to learn, almost as well as we do. The curriculum is quite advanced, there is caring discipline. I agree that children are not assessed in the U.S. conventional way (A,B,C..). A child is measured in terms of his or her own progress in particular suject over the course of the year. We have found it helpful, but as importantly, our daughter finds it helpful in determining what she needs to work on. The international atmosphere can not be found in any other school in chicago.
—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


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.

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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