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Alcuin Montessori School

Private | PK-8 | 165 students

Established in 1961, Alcuin is one of the oldest Montessori schools in the U.S.
 
 

 
 

Living in Oak Park

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $260,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,000.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 2 ratings
2013:
Based on 2 ratings
2012:
No new ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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23 reviews of this school


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Posted Thursday, October 23, 2014

I've looked at just about every Montessori school in the area, and Alcuin is head and shoulders above the rest in terms of providing a nurturing environment for the children and a commitment to the Montessori philosophy. We have one child currently in the preschool and one in elementary. All of their friends who go to Mann and elsewhere always seem so negative about having to go to school, but our kids just love going to Alcuin - no negativity there! Our children are so loved by all of the teachers and staff. They are all so warm and caring! Alcuin recruits and retains the very best, and the leadership has such a strong commitment to professional development for their staff. I'm in no hurry for my kids to grow up, but when they do, I know that Alcuin's Middle School will be the best place for them to navigate the complexities of those teenage years. It's such a safe, caring, family-like environment, especially compared to the other middle schools in the area. You can spend countless hours researching schools in the area just like we did, but once you set foot inside of Alcuin's door and do an observation of the classrooms, you'll know you've found something truly special.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 25, 2014

I can't say enough about Mrs. Quigley and what she has taught our son. Her kindness and steady guidance allowed our son to flourish in a time most needed.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 3, 2013

This bad review is for Pat Ellis who is the Business Manager, with whom parents will work for contract and money. Our daughter was in Alcuin 2011-2012. Our family had to leave U.S. before the school year ends for some reason and sent notice to all the involved PIC in Alcuin, telling them our departure date. We had a refund check from the school, but Pat mailed it out 10 DAYS after it was issued and that was 3 days after we left the country. We had no chance to receive or deposit the check and it expired after 120 days. This summer, we moved back from overseas. We sent email to Alcuin requesting a renewed check of refund, but nobody replied after 10 days until I had to put the principle in the mail exchange. It did work. I got an immediate reply from PAT saying she would issue a new check to us. In my mail I advised our address change and requested the check payable to me, not my husband, because he was on business trip and will not be back in 2 months. While, PAT still issued it payable both of our names and sent it to our previous address. Apparently, PAT has no interest reading the email from their customer and did not to give me any convenience in depositing the check.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 12, 2013

Our daughter attended from parent-infant through the toddler community. Wonderful experience. The teachers are outstanding! Truly Outstanding! The administration is attentive, approachable and responsive. Our bright daughter was well supported and during her time there, increased her confidence and self-reliance. The emphasis on community, peace and compassion are essential skills to encourage and develop in our youngest learners, this is a routine part of the curriculum. Alciun exceeded our expectations!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 24, 2011

My daughter went to this school for 3 years, and I could not have wished for a better start to her education. The teachers are awesome, every thing and every one excelled in all fronts. Great job guys... and happy thanksgiving.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 15, 2011

Love, love, love. There is nothing more I can say about the school. The Executive Director is always available to parents, the admissions/marketing person is very communicative and easy to talk to. Plus the teachers are AMAZING! I can't say enough good things about this place. Our son has never been happier.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 18, 2011

My son is currently in Alcuin's extended day program (kindergarten) I can't imagine not having him here all the way through 8th grade. At Alcuin, he is respected as a human being, and appreciated as a child. The school realizes that everyone learns at their own pace. The new Executive Director is full of inspiring ideas, has an open door policy and embraces parent ideas and suggestions. The Admissions Director is well informed, polite, funny (humor counts for alot in my book) and keeps the parents in the loop with up to date information. We love our son's teacher for her patience and knowledge. Like I said, we can't imagine not having our son here till her graduates 8th grade.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 14, 2010

We moved to Oak Park so that our son could attend Alcuin. The teachers, staff, parents and students are amazing. It is an amazing environment for a child to develop a love of learning. Why should you consider Alcuin for your child - From their site "Alcuin students are learning how to think, how to make decisions, how to manage their time, work independently, and most importantly, how to be a respectful and compassionate human being" Our son is in his second year and we are extremely happy with our decision to send him to Alcuin. I feel the school does a great job at communicating with the parents about what is happening at the school and in the class room. Contact anyone listed on the school's site at http://alcuin.org/ to learn more. Come join this passionate community and provide this amazing educational experience for your children.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 14, 2010

We have 2 kids at Alcuin. Our fifth grader has been here since she was 2, and our little one also started at 2. We expect both kids to attend through middle school because we and they are so happy with the faculty, the (recently improved) staff and even the wonderful old facility. It's the oldest Montessori school west of Boston and its history has made it resilient as well as special. What it lacks in facilities is more than balanced by the rich breadth of program.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 18, 2009

Both of my children attended Alcuin s primary program and I could not have been more satisfied. The teaching is exceptional and I also found the administration to be professional and dedicated. The Executive Director is top-notch. Teacher turnover is virtually nonexistent and the (rather small) turnover in the administrative office has allowed Alcuin to acquire some excellent new team members, including a communications specialist! Donations of time and money are components to every private school experience so I did not find this out of the ordinary.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 11, 2009

Alcuin Montessori offers a fabulous Montessori education to students from toddler - Middle School. I have one son in 6th grade and one in 8th and am so thankful for the school. Not only are my children academically engaged and prepared, but they are involved in the Oak Park community and have become active students and stewards. Their social skills and conflict resolution skills have been supported and developed - they are truly learning how to learn and learning how to live.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 10, 2009

As a former Montessori teacher and administrator, I have been thrilled with the experience my children and my family have had in our 4 years at Alcuin Montessori school. The faculty is loving, dedicated, and philosophically exceptional. Having the choice between sending my children to a top notch city Montessori school and Alcuin, in Oak Park, I have found Alcuin offers the best of both worlds. My children are safe, yet independent, inquisitively respectful, joyfully challenged, and learning and growing at their own pace. I would encourage anyone interested in providing their children with the best of what education has to offer, to explore Alcuin Montessori School and enroll!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 5, 2009

My child loves his teacher (she's wonderful and has so much patience and love) and he truly looks forward to going to school every day. The admininstrative staff is always available and open to answer any questions with a smile.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 25, 2009

My children have been at Alcuin since they were 3 and 4 years old. They are now in 3rd and 5th grades and flourishing, academically and emotionally. They exhibit confidence and grace in the things they do at school, home and elsewhere. I attribute so much of this to the Montessori education they are receiving. Most importantly, my eldest attended 1st and 2nd grades at the Oak Park public schools, and we found the education at Alcuin so much more invigorating. I know my children will reap the benefits of this type of educational inquiry for many years to come.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 22, 2009

We have two children who attend Alcuin one in elementary and one in primary and the teachers are wonderful. Our experience with the administrative staff has been first rate.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 16, 2009

My daughter has been here for 5 years and I'm constantly impressed with how she grown academically, emotionally and intellectually while at Alcuin.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 30, 2009

My son was at another Montessori school for two years and struggled the entire time. I had just about given up with Montessori when I enrolled him at Alcuin. In the month he's been here, he's already begun early reading and cursive. He's accomplished more in one month here than two years at the other school. I am ecstatic and grateful.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 18, 2009

my daughter has been going there 3 years (parent/infant through 1st year primary) she loves it and is an articulate well adjusted kid for a 3 year old.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 26, 2009

Though this school has had some rocky administrative changes in the past few years, that has not prevented the teachers from being incredibly committed, knowledgeable and excellent. A new facility would certainly help increase the appeal of the school, but the quality of education is fantastic and the partnership between parents and teachers to support children is of the highest caliber.


Posted November 24, 2008

This school's leadership has incredibly low standards. Communication with parents and among staff is virtually non-existent. No one in the administrative staff takes responsibility for running the school so most of the work is left to the parents. The long-time teachers are great, which is the only positive element. There has been increasingly high staff turnover in the past five years, though. Tuition is overpriced and pressure to donate on top of tuition and required volunteer time is outrageous.
—Submitted by a parent


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

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

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

What is the GreatSchools Rating?

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

 
 

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

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

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 71% 51%
Two or more races 11% 3%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 6% 4%
Black 6% 18%
Hispanic 5% 24%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 1% 0%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by school staff French
Italian
Spanish
Urdu, Portuguese, Urdu
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • ISACS Provisional Member School (2013)

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

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Textile design
Music
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Video / Film production

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • Urdu, Portuguese, Urdu

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:30 am
School end time
  • 3:15 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:15 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Gina Gleason
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 2 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Montessori
Associations
  • AMS
Fax number
  • (708) 386-1892

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Montessori
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • None
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
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • Urdu, Portuguese, Urdu
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Parent center
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Swimming
  • Yoga
Girls sports
  • Swimming
  • Yoga

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Textile design
Music
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Video / Film production
School leaders can update this information here.

Photos

School culture

Dress Code
  • Neither uniforms nor dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
More from this school
  • Celebrating over 50 years of Montessori excellence, Alcuin Montessori is among the oldest Montessori schools in the United States. Located in historic Oak Park, Illinois (the homes of Ernest Hemingway and Frank Lloyd Wright), Alcuin Montessori’s mission is to inspire a lifelong commitment to intellectual exploration and personal excellence by providing an outstanding educational community founded on rigorous academics, independent thought and individual development.
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2013-2014 school year
$1000 - $14000
Vouchers accepted
Yes
Financial aid offered
Yes.

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
local public schools
Fenwick High School
Trinity High School
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

324 N Oak Park Ave
Oak Park, IL 60302
Website: Click here
Phone: (708) 366-1882

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