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PK-8
Private
Wilmette, IL
Students enrolled: 350
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

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201 Sheridan Road
Wilmette, IL 60091

School website
(847) 425-5869
(847) 425-5801
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Baker Demonstration School address.

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December 17, 2014
Baker is an amazingly close school community. I have children in second and fourth grades and I would say that almost every adult in the building knows them by name. Not only do the faculty and administration make an extraordinary effort to know every child, but this sense of community is fostered among the students as well. It is fairly common that an eighth grade student will greet either one of my children by name and have a conversation with them. This feeling of closeness and the trust it creates between students and teachers and students and their peers has an immense impact on learning. My children are not afraid to take risks, they embrace their creativity and passions, they don't worry about trying new things and possibly failing, they are able to be self-advocates and to ask for help without fear that they might look dumb. This environment frees them to truly love learning and to challenge themselves without hesitation. This is why we believe that Baker provides and exceptional educational experience.

- submitted by a parent
November 21, 2014
Baker leaves a lot to be desired! All three of my children are performing at below grade level because of a lack of educational integrity at this school. Please look closely before you pay for this school. Many children require tutors to keep advancing. We agree, buyer beware!!!

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2014
Our children all attended Baker and our experience with the school spans from PreK to 8th grade. Each section has tremendous strength. While not every day was perfect, the vast majority of teachers "got" each of the kids and their learning styles, personal strengths and weaknesses which allowed the kids to be kids and learn what they need to know to succeed. I am not talking about "special services" for a learning challenged child, I am talking about meeting each kid - smart, middle of the road or otherwise - at the place they are to allow them to grow and succeed. The classes were small and the friendships forged were life long. Our kids moved on to New Trier where they were very successful in such a differently structured environment. Middle school prepared them for the rigor and their years at baker prepared them as thinkers and leaders. Our HS son recently wrote at paper on educational philosophies and schools. He thanked us for sending him to Baker after he studied other schools in Chicago and the North Shore (both private and public). He and his NT classmates agreed that Progressive Education at Baker better prepares students for HS (and life).

- submitted by a parent
October 09, 2014
For the last 7 years our daughter has found in Baker an exceptionally caring and nurturing environment that embraces her as an individual, fosters her creativity, and has made her love to learn. As parents, we have found in Baker the personalized attention, academic rigor and results that make us realize we were right to choose Baker over public school. The best part about the school is that while our daughter is excelling academically, she also has access to robust arts and physical education programs, and is being taught by teachers who also value and foster social-emotional growth. This all contributes to what we believe is a very unique educational experience for which we are extremely grateful.

- submitted by a parent
October 07, 2014
I have two children attending Baker school in grades 1 and 2 and I can say that for the first time, they love going to school every day. They are challenged, stimulated and educated in ways that allow them to learn at their ability level, which appears to be very high... and also to tend to their individual interests. Daily swimming in the school's indoor pool and PE gives them athletic and team sport education together with creative art and music departments. They create colonial families of their own to understand American history; have created butterfly atriums in the centre of the classroom to understand evolution and science... create their own businesses to experience math and business management. They learn through experience and creative expression. There is also a strong emphasis on reading, vocab and understanding not only mathematical equations but why and how they attain the right answers. I can only account for early years, but it is definitely the right school for children that are explorative, inquisitive creative and want to understand the why and how not just the formulae!

- submitted by a parent
October 07, 2014
Baker is an amazing place, an oasis in a sea of schools trapped in the teach-to-the-test, less arts and PE trends so prevalent in schools these days. We've had two children at Baker for the past 8 years, one about to graduate, so we have been through the ups and downs as the school found its equilibrium after going independent. Some of challenges Baker faces are what I'd call high-class problems: ensuring parents fully understand the progressive mission of the school, demonstrating how well graduates perform in high school (very well indeed), and balancing the need for teacher autonomy with curricular oversight. But make no mistake: the vast majority of parents I have spoken to in my 8 years at Baker are passionate advocates of the school, whose kids are actually glad to come to school every day. Both my kids' classes have several transplants from local public schools where they were not challenged enough, not truly seen by their teachers, not asked to dig in and learn vs. memorize, and not understood and respected for who they were. I thank my lucky stars every day that my kids are at Baker, taught by these wonderful teachers and surrounded by such an extraordinary community.

- submitted by a parent
September 29, 2014
Ah Baker -- so much potential, so much disappointment. Bottom line is that too often, Baker does not deliver what it promises in terms of progressive practices and academic excellence. Teachers have neither adequate support in nor oversight of their classrooms. Yes, Baker has many excellent teachers skilled in progressive practice and who really care about their students. If you're lucky, your child lands in one of their classes and has a phenomenal experience. However, pockets of academic mediocrity persist throughout the school. The lack of consistency in curriculum noted by many reviewers is real and quite stunning, especially in the middle school, where for the most part, one teacher is IT for his or her subject for 6-8 grades.. When a teacher who has developed a strong curriculum leaves, that curriculum vanishes with the teacher, sometimes to disastrous effect. Most families seem happy with the early childhood experience but as kids progress through the grades, more and more parents become disillusioned with the school. I know many parents who are gritting their teeth writing those big tuition checks, just "sticking it out" until their kids graduate. Look hard before you come.

- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2014
BE CAREFUL! At the end of first grade I was worried abut my child's reading (or lack there of). I decided to have him tested independently and found out the issues were much worse than I thought. I brought my specialists and their reports to a meeting with school administration. All Baker could offer for academic support (weekly) was 60 minutes of group reading support (the recommendation was 120 minutes individual support) and zero speech and language (recommended was 60 minutes weekly). Baker admins sat in that meeting and told me they would turn my child away if they could not meet his needs and yet they cannot even do half of what was recommended by experts and now it is too late to pull him out for this year. So we are THRILLED to be scraping by financially to pay for a school that can't give my child the resources he needs to be successful as a student. BUYER BE WARE!!!!!!!!

- submitted by a parent
April 29, 2014
We could not be happier with the experience our daughters' have had at Baker. This is a truly progressive school, where education is about meeting the WHOLE child where she is an leading her forward from there. I applaud the school's ability to assist children with social and personal growth as well as intellectual. As middle-class Chicago parents, we were nervous choosing a school with a North Shore address, but Baker is also a dynamic, diverse community of parent's from all over. I could not imagine a better place for our kids to grow.

- submitted by a parent
November 06, 2013
My children have loved attending Baker Demonstration School. One of them is now in high school and succeeding at every turn. Because of Baker's emphasis on really learning, not just memorizing facts, he feels he is quite ahead of many of his classmates who are working for a grade instead of working to learn new and interesting facts and processes. My kids have especially enjoyed the math curriculum and the arts offerings. The advisory program in the middle school creates a well-balanced, community-oriented student body. Every child is important and at the same time, every group of children is important, too. Teachers go the extra mile to teach and coach the children. If you want your child to succeed in life and be a well-rounded person, Baker is the place for you. We have never regretted our choice (or our commute) to send our children to Baker.

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2013
No school is perfect but we like what we see at Baker. This school is probably best suited for kids who do not struggle academically and thus can afford to have a school focus that is based on encouraging creativity, problem solving and social-emotional development rather than needing a primary focus on learning of the fundamentals to pass yearly exams. Yes, some years a Baker kid will have a teacher that leans a bit to the mainstream and yes some other year the kid will have a teacher that may have too much focus on creativity rather than fundamentals, but for the somewhat above average kid, they will be able to weather such variance and by eighth grade will probably come out as a confident, well spoken, creative problem solver that nonetheless still does very well on high school entrance exams and higher level high school classes. Baker is a school for parents who believe that creativity will be the currency of the future and who have the confidence that their children will be able to afford this type of focus and still thrive academically in a traditional high school -- 'tiger moms' need not apply, as the Baker educational experience is decidedly not for everyone.

- submitted by a parent
October 11, 2013
Too much variation between teachers...they are given too much leeway to direct their own destiny to the detriment of the students. Need some kind of standards for measurement. Not a great bridge to high school.

- submitted by a parent
May 19, 2013
This is a terrific school! The community is amazing and the children actively participate in their own learning.

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2013
Baker is an oasis, teaching in a way that helps children find their passion, enjoy the process of learning, and learn to problem solve in the way that adults do in their jobs. Academic outcomes of Baker kids are very strong, and yet children still learn to problem solve, to find their interests and pursue them, and to self-motivate.

- submitted by a parent
March 01, 2013
A focus on socialization, progressive learning models, small class sizes. It sounds like a dream come true, right? The only problem is that not all teachers adhere to the standards. My experience has been we'll have three great years, then we'll have a year stuck with a new teacher who still thinks they're at a Chicago Public school--rigidity and lack of creativity. Luckily, we've had more good teachers than bad. A couple of people complained in comments that it's not academically challenging enough for their kids. I know these parents and they're the ones who want rocket scientist kids--I assure you they don't have rocket scientist kids; my son has a child in his class with a genius IQ and he is challenged every day. Baker meets the demands of above-average to incredibly gifted students. I would say that kids who are "average" students tend to flounder at Baker. Most kids are reading proficiently by Kindergarten and leave eighth grade with an excellent grasp on Latin, high level math and science. And the reason I chose Baker in the first place? Daily P.E. and recess. The kids need it and the schools which provide this are fewer and farther between every year.

- submitted by a parent
September 27, 2012
Like the other poster, we are waiting for additional change to move this school back to what it was 10 years ago. Our kids are more creative based but we worry that they won't get the basics for high school. The teaching approach varies, with some so focused on being out of the box they don't prepare kids for basic science, math, reading, etc. At some point kids have to move to high school and the real world. I would compare curriculum carefully...and look at test scores.

- submitted by a parent
February 22, 2012
Our kids love Baker. They are excited about learning. When they leave school, it is apparent, they have found ways to continue to hold on to the lessons learned.It's not unusual to hear Spanish songs being sung from the kitchen or to observe the recreation of an innovate game from phys ed. When I found myself engaged in a discussion with my 7 year old about whether any other penguin, but an Emperor penguin would meet the height requirements for rides at Great America, I knew he was making the information his own. And when my older son was as excited about the "Battle of the Books" as he was to compete in a basketball game, I knew Baker was the right place for our kids.

- submitted by a parent
February 02, 2012
We're surprised at the teacher turnover in the past few years and the difference in the way teaching is applied. Some classes are good, while others are lackluster. It really depends on how your child learns, but there is such a wide gap from grade to grade. Not sure what middle school holds, as many teachers there are new.

- submitted by a parent
January 11, 2012
We have two children at Baker - a middle schooler and one in the elementary grades. The Baker experience for both my kids has been amazing. The middle school structure - with traveling groups, advisories is a wonderful way to prepare kids for high school. Middle school is a rigorous program that really prepares Baker kids for high school. Many Baker kids move straight to honors and AP classes in high school. I am surprised at the comments that mention free flowing and lack of testing and weak math programs at Baker. I have found that there is a lot of rigor in the curriculum. Baker fosters creativity and an integrated comprehensive approach to learning. Thematic units allow for deeper exploration of key topics, weaving in language arts, drama, music, art, math and social studies. Writing workshops at the 2nd and 3rd grades are "fun" because kids create their own stories and write poetry but in the process are taught to think and reflect. Math homework includes problem solvers and playing math games with friends and parents which ensure that you build critical thinking skills and review basic fundamentals in an effective manner. Baker has been an fantastic experience for us.

- submitted by a parent
December 02, 2011
This is our third year at Baker, and we have been impressed with the quality of education; dedication of teachers, staff, and the board; and the emphasis on how the "whole child" learns. My children are still little, but they get to interact with older kids, and I have seen how Baker faculty and staff foster kindness, generosity, and service each year in each kid. Not only that, but children are taught *how to think.* I was a good student when I was in school, but "book smart." I would have loved to go to a school that got me thinking creatively from Day One, and I am so glad my kids get to experience that at Baker.

- submitted by a parent
November 15, 2011
This school works for those of us who don't want a lot of academic pressur. The focus is on free flowing creative work, but not on testing and keeping up with the North Shore school systems. My kids like it, but I do wonder how we fare without much testing. Could be a concern when we get to middle school and have to think about study habits, high school, etc.

- submitted by a parent
November 14, 2011
I, also, am surprised by the recent negative reviews. We have had our two daughters at Baker going on 8 years, and have ridden the ups and downs of the school's transition to independence and search for strong leadership. We couldn't be happier that we hung in when times were tough. The current Head of School has a deep understanding of what progressive education is and can be, and is gracefully bringing that to bear at Baker. Both old and new staff seem to view him with great respect, as do the parents I know. Enthusiasm at the student, teacher, admin and parent level are the highest we've experienced. We are particularly pleased with the increased focus and funding for science and technology at all levels, as well as the new Spanish teacher. The Middle School faculty, many of them relatively new, have been very impressive, and we are thrilled to have our eldest daughter come home excited to teach us about Latin! While it is easy to get stuck in the mindset of times gone by, truth be told, Baker has entered a new era of growth and dynamism which is palpable to those who experience it.

- submitted by a parent
November 06, 2011
I am a current parent at Baker with one child in Middle School and one in the primary grades. I'm thrilled and impressed by the current leadership. In fact, I'm surprised at the harsh reviews of October 22. The parents I've spoken with are really excited about the health, dynamism and direction of the school. It's true, it took Baker some time to get this leadership team in place, but the current line-up is stronger than it's ever been. Further, the quality of education, particularly at the current middle school, far outshines what my oldest son experienced in the public school system.

- submitted by a parent
October 18, 2011
We have been extremely pleased with our Baker experience. After struggling in a public school, our daughter has thrived at Baker because of competent and dedicated teachers, differentiated instruction, and an incredible student:teacher ratio. On the occasions that I've met with the head of school, he's been thoughtful and engaged. He clearly loves children and can often be found in the classroom. This school is a gem.

- submitted by a parent
October 17, 2011
I continue to be amazed by what students are doing, every day, at Baker. My own children have never been more engaged in school, nor enjoyed school so much, as they do now. If you are considering a thoughtful, progressive approach to education for your child, visiting Baker should be your first step. Don't take others' word for it, come see for yourself the incredibly special school that Baker is for students and families alike.

- submitted by a parent
October 17, 2011
Please come to hear the Baker-hosted series on Progressive Education open to all and free of charge. Noted scholars and educators such as Bena Kallick, author of Habits of Mind: Teaching and Assessing What Matters, will present topics for educators and parents. First one is 10/24/11 with local professor Linda Tafel, "Nurturing the Soil & Sowing the Seeds of Progressive Education in Chicago..." Thanks to our excellent faculty and our nationally-acclaimed Head of School, Baker is connected to current discussions, and bringing the best practices into the classrooms.

- submitted by a parent
October 17, 2011
Baker has arrived as an outstanding independent school. I have had two children at the school for the past six years. While there were several changes with the head of school and with some of the front office staff during that time, the teaching quality remained excellent which is why we stuck it out. Those glitches have been ironed out. Communication is clear and the faculty and administration are highly accessible and committed to the development of all aspects of my children. Baker is a very special school and community of which to be a part.

- submitted by a parent
July 13, 2011
Our daughter will be starting her fourth year at Baker and we could not imagine a better school. She loves going to school, thrives in an academic environment that challenges her and listens to her. In first grade, the class was interested in pirates, her teacher researched and found that Illinois had pirate! The kids built a pirate ship while learning about tall tales and the facts of how America was settled. We love Baker for our daughter and as a family (the community is wonderful).

- submitted by a parent
June 30, 2011
My family's experience at Baker has been extremely positive. Our kids have consistently had incredible teachers AND associate teachers. They have thrived at Baker, and we will continue to stay at Baker not because it's convenient but because we love it. My advice to prospective families: ignore the comments from a few disgruntled parents and go check out Baker for yourself.

- submitted by a teacher
June 16, 2011
My children have had the experience of both another private school as well as the public school system. There is no comparison to what Baker offers in every way and at every level, Pre-K through middle school. From their strategic thinking skills to their test scores to the way they approach their peers and the world around them, I am consistently impressed by what my children have acheived at the hand of Baker and their dedicated, experienced faculty.

- submitted by a parent
June 16, 2011
My children have had the experience of both another private school as well as the public school system. There is no comparison to what Baker offers in every way and at every level, Pre-K through middle school. From their strategic thinking skills to their test scores to the way they approach their peers and the world around them, I am consistently impressed by what my children have acheived at the hand of Baker and their dedicated, experienced faculty.

- submitted by a parent
May 09, 2011
Our son is now in kindergarten after 2 years of preK and we are soon to enroll our second son. So far the experience has been excellent. Yes, the previous full-time Head of School was a poor choice, however, the current head of school has the school heading in the right direction. Our son loves Baker and he is inquisitive and loves learning (at this age what more can you ask for?). The teachers we have had are great. We once heard an ETHS teacher say "You can always tell a Baker student, they know how to think", and that's just the kind of education we want for our boys. It is a great place.

- submitted by a parent
April 14, 2011
My daughter is currently in 5th grade and has been at Baker since Kindergarten. She is a bright inquisitive child and Baker has provided her so many opportunities to expand her knowledge, think creatively, and become a more and more critical thinker. The environment is positive and loving and offers expansive learning in a safe space.

- submitted by a parent
February 13, 2011
We are in our fifth year at Baker and have three children there. We are entirely happy with the progressive education our children are receiving. Yes, there has been a lot of transition in our five years, but we are on a solid track with excellent, experienced leadership, and the bottom line is the teachers care and love the children. My kids are so happy and enjoy the dynamic aspects of a whole-child education (social, emotional, academic, physical).

- submitted by a parent
January 07, 2011
The school is moving steadily forward as an independent school after a contentious separation from relocating National Lewis University five years ago. Recent hires have been solid, and there's a commitment to meaningful assessments, staff development, and critical thinking about both school improvement in general and classroom teaching. We have had two children at Baker, been through the transitions and have found 2010 to be by far the most rewarding year, with in all likelihood better years ahead. The new head is capable, experienced, level-headed and respected. Very positive atmosphere overall. Baker will soon become a go-to school for northshore and northside parents.

- submitted by a parent
October 19, 2010
Baker is a really special community, particularly because of the quality teachers. They are smart, well-educated, flexible, and caring. They are always looking for the "teachable moments." Baker is our second home.

- submitted by a parent
October 06, 2010
Separating from National Louis University was a difficult process, to be sure, but this school has landed firmly on its feet. It's a caring community with smart teachers and happy kids. Can't beat the class size, either - a teacher and associate teacher in each room with fewer than 20 kids! Our family has had a terrific experience at Baker.

- submitted by a parent
August 28, 2010
My child has had 5 terrific years at this school. Every teacher was very unique, but what they had in common was a passion and expertise for teaching and a deep interest in what makes children excited about learning. This school has a progressive philosophy, so if you're looking for a lot of skill-n-drill worksheets, shushing in the cafeteria, marching-in-straight-lines-discipline, this school won't be a good fit. If you're looking for a school where children learn concepts in depth by doing long-term projects together, perform in musicals every year, research their own charity projects, discuss great literature together, swim every week on-site, etc., etc., this school is worth a visit. School starts in a few days, and my kid can't wait...

- submitted by a parent
July 31, 2010
Both of our children have had a fantastic experience at Baker! Great teachers, gym or swimming every day, and a progressive approach to education make this an excellent school for us. We've been there six years.

- submitted by a parent
June 30, 2010
My daughter has been at Baker for 5 years. Every morning she is excited to get up and go to school. All of the teachers she has had have inspired a great love of learning in her. The specials are outstanding: art, drama, music, swimming, library and technology. The classwork is advanced and current (many assignments are done on the class's wiki--and this is 2nd grade!). Baker is also a warm community--the kids feel safe and loved, and they are taught to treat each other and the environment with respect. There is a new director of the school whom I am very excited about.

- submitted by a parent
May 18, 2010
As a very disappointed parent, I do not have an axe to grind and my concerns have nothing to do with children who need support services. I felt that the Baker that was advertised and sold to us was not the Baker we received.

- submitted by a parent
April 22, 2010
As I read some of these negative reviews of Baker, I wonder what axe these parents have to grind. The reality is that Baker is not the right fit for all children. The same is true for any other private or public school. One thing I do know about Baker is that each child is treated as an individual and that faculty and administration work really hard to ensure that this is the right place for a child. Some times they have to make the difficult decision to inform a parent that the school cannot meet a child's need (Baker does not have the public school resources for the types of services required by some children). Therefore, the parent should be happy to know that the school is looking out for his/her best interests, not just to increase tuition revenue.

- submitted by a parent
April 19, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
no rating March 25, 2010
Baker -- This is our first year at Baker and we could not be happier with our experience. While many of the North Shore public, private and parochial schools offer a solid education, few of them -- if any --- rival Baker with respect to the excellent faculty, strong curriculum and nuturing and caring community. Truly a fantastic place.

- submitted by a parent
March 20, 2010
We are very disappointed and will be leaving this school. Our children had pockets of good experiences sandwiched in between distractions, turmoil and periods of uncertainty. Experienced faculty are no longer there and all new hires seem to be younger professionals or those with less experience. Although this may be a way to save money, some programs have become weak having lost the richness of seasoned professionals teaming with those just entering the profession.

- submitted by a parent
February 22, 2010
We were so excited to have our child in the environment described by Baker. Unfortunatly, year after year, we have found that Baker does not live up to what they say they are about. There is a complete lack of leadership to ensure that teachers adhere to the claims the school makes regarding community, kindness, and a progressive child-based learning approach. There was no flexibility shown for how our child learns best. A complaint that we have heard from many other parents. The lack of leadership often results in a lack of professionalism and proper implementation of the educational goals stated by the school. I have witnessed what the other parent states about how children with any special learning needs are treated. They are made to feel a burden on the 'community' and encouraged to leave the school.

- submitted by a parent
February 18, 2010
Baker is a truly unique place. It is a very close community not only of children but also of parents and teachers. My children are happy going to school every day. They love their teachers and friends and are excited about learning. They work very hard all day not to get good grades but for the sake of learning and following their interests. We have been at Baker for 4 years and all of their teachers have known my kids so well, formed strong supportive relationships with them and looked at the whole child. The faciliy is amazing and the arts programs are wonderful. It is an expensive school but well worth the price.

- submitted by a parent
January 07, 2010
My review is for the toddler program. I do not recommend it and we will be going elsewhere next year. Upon touring the school, the program promoted its play-based learning. We were concerned, if anything, it wouldn't be challenging enough, yet the style turned out to be entirely different from play-based. We found the environment very structured (unnecessarily so) and inhospitable. Not at all fun or nurturing as school should be for very young ages. This was an extremely rigid atmosphere in contrast with neighboring schools we've seen, and one we found unappealing and counterproductive. In addition, there is no transitional period here; children are to be dropped off straight away on day one and there is no flexibility for initial tears or confusion. Very unrealistic expectations for 2 year olds on the first day.

- submitted by a parent
January 07, 2010
We joined this school last year after a few years in a public school on the North Shore, where the learning was just not advanced enough for our child. Because Baker focuses their teaching on the individual child, she now is getting the extra learning she craves. She has excelled at Baker, both academically and socially, where the close community environment really nurtures good friendships above the pettiness of the public school cliques and mean girl mentality. Yes, there has been turnover, but the school is working hard to move forward and the core of what the students see everyday has not changed--nurturing, caring learning geared toward whatever the child needs.

- submitted by a parent
January 04, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
no rating December 14, 2009
I am surprised to read the criticisms about this school regarding its treatment of children with special needs. My child, who has a diagnosed learning disability, had a wonderful experience at this school. In fact, in spite of the school's many shortcomings, understanding and addressing the needs of students who learn differently, is something the school does very well. Most of the teachers and support people do a great job supporting children and parents. We felt very understood and supported. The problem is there are too many children like mine at the school. And, there are not enough support people to help these students and help the students in the middle and at the top. Sometimes the school thinks it can do it all but it doesn't have the programs of a north shore public school.

- submitted by a parent
December 06, 2009
It is not easy to watch a great place experience so much turmoil for such a long time. So many administrators, faculty, staff and families have left in the last few years. We too will most likely leave and it saddens me to have to make this decision. What once was a fine progressive school with stellar, dedicated and outside-of-the-box thinking faculty, is now a place its founders would not recognize as the school fights to stay alive. Although its current interim leader and soon-to-be-announced new leader, both have reputations as outstanding leaders, it just might be too little too late. With the current economy the writing just may already be on the wall.

- submitted by a parent
December 03, 2009
My kid has been at Baker for 8 years and he has joined a very competitive high school in the city. He is an incredibly successful and self confident teenager, thanks to Baker. But for many years I worried whether there was enough consistency in the teaching whether they read enough books, whether they cover enough material, etc.... I think most parents believe that every single moment will affect their kids' future for ever. Indeed, even the 30,000USD dollars tuition school have erratic teaching and bad days and they do not affect our kids future as much. Baker is a small school and as such cannot serve the special need children in the same way as large districts do. But, I would not judge the school based on this experience only. While it is unfortunate, there is only so much that a small school like Baker can do.

- submitted by a parent
no rating December 03, 2009
I am a parent of a middle school student too and I agree with the previous post about middle school, and surprised by the negative posting. Teaching is very consistent in middle school and the kids learn to be critical thinkers (no busy work in this school). There are indeed some good recent additions to the school, as the school has implemented a new rigorous curriculum in mathematics in middle school with high level of differentiation. This program is a huge improvement and it is well designed to meet students' need. Small classroom allow students to be closely followed by the teacher. Math and humanities programs are very strong in middle school. Kids cover an high school level curriculum in Latin with excellent faculty. The middle school art program is preparing Shakespear's Midsummer Dream, and once again the approach of the school is excellent. The students immerse themselves in the language, understand the author, and learn how to appreciate theatre. The middle school has a very competent faculty. My only complaint is that sometimes the kids could be pushed a bit more (yes they can!). But, there is no perfect school. This is a small school which probably cannot serve every possible need but it tries hard.

- submitted by a parent
November 24, 2009
We have been at Baker for two years. Our daughter is currently in her first year of Pre-K and was in the toddler program last year. Our experience has been incredible - we have been fortunate to have extraordinary teachers both years. Our daughter is quite shy, but as a result of the support, encouragement, and love she has received from her teachers (and teachers' assistants), she is blossoming before our eyes. She has made many friends and looks forward to school every day. Her homework assignments/family projects have been fun and challenging. I feel like she is getting a well-rounded education (for a 3.5 year old) with art, music, reading, science, and physical education. There is a sense of community in our class and we always feel welcome. We have had a wonderful two years at Baker and look forward to more in the future.

- submitted by a parent
November 18, 2009
My daughter attended Baker Demonstration School for three years. She was diagnosed with learning disabilities. The school offered no support and made us feel very bad. I was surprised by this considering that they were affiliated with National Louis University. Some of the teachers were very insensitive to my child's educational needs. The school has had many different principals in the last twenty years. Parents of children with special needs of any kind should avoid this school.

- submitted by a parent
November 13, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
November 10, 2009
We have had a bad year at Baker and won't return under any circumstance. Wish we could leave now. Baker is not at what it claims to be. It is neither progressive nor welcoming. They say parents are welcome to drop in but they aren't. Two parents and I lingered all of one minute, hoping to address some issues, and were ushered out. Our early childhood teacher is cold, at best, and the assistants seem jaded. We raised our concerns during week 2 and have received no response. The revolving door/head of school has been open each year for years and remains open. It is hard to address any issues when this job is always vacant.

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2009
I have a kid in middle school and could not be happier. They have a new math program that makes a lot of sense and it is entirely designed to accomodate the children abilities. In middle school, they have 6 different levels of math and a strong curriculum. I think this is a recent change and should be mentioned as evidence that the school has put serious efforts in designing what is best for kids. The faculty in middle school is terrific and highly dedicated. There is no busy work and the work at home and in school encourages critical thinking and excellence. The latin program is excellent. The interim principal leadership is terrific. True, it is a small school potentially fragile, but I actually feel that some of it could be diminished if parents step back a little and let the faculty decide what is best for their kids.

- submitted by a parent
October 16, 2009
Prospective parents and students need to check this school out carefully before enrolling. My children also experienced some great teachers who were bright, creative and dedicated to the profession. I moved my oldest child to another school this year as the turn-over in staff, faculty and administration left me feeling quite unsettled. When my son went to visit his old Baker friends and teachers this fall, he found that many of his friends had also moved on to other schools. Most concerning though, was that there were no core teachers there who had taught him in the past. They too had moved to other places. There must be a reason for faculty, staff, administrators and students leaving this school. If you are considering it for your children, check it out carefully. Most of the staff has been there for a very short time-makes one wonder.

- submitted by a parent
October 07, 2009
I agree recent negative posts are misleading. While last year was tumultuous for some parents, the children were thriving. Some examples: First graders studied the U.S. by reading Wild West stories, Native American folktales, Tall Tales, learning the history of jazz in Music, painting their favorite American landscapes in Art, researching states in Technology, reading American poets, and having parents talk about their home states. Third graders studied Economics by creating their own market of goods and services. They studied market influences, visited Green City Market to interview vendors, created pricing and marketing plans, advertising, and made the products. All proceeds were donated to charities which the children researched and chose. There is astounding collaboration between classroom teachers and Specials teachers to make curriculum fully integrated. The interim director has the knowledge and connections to guide the board to a great selection of a permanent director. This is a tremendous school.

- submitted by a parent
October 02, 2009
Baker is an outstanding school. The teachers are terrific, and the environment is both challenging and nurturing. Yes, there have been challenges, and the school is working to establish effective leadership for the long term. But that said, much of the negative commentary here is misleading. These opinions do not, in my view, represent most of us who have children at Baker. In fact, a survey of families done last year showed that the vast majority of parents believe in the school's mission and philosophies, believe that the school is delivering well on them, and see the quality of a Baker education to be very high. I have two daughters there. They love school so much that they are disappointed when the weekend begins! If you are interested in a unique and progressive education for your child, look past this vocal minority here and check out the school for yourself :)

- submitted by a parent
September 05, 2009
The other posts regarding the high turnover among faculty and administration are correct. At this point, a child's classroom experience is uneven at best -- a good year, followed by a mediocre year. The facilities are terrific, and there are some good people there - but altogether it's not nearly enough to take a risk that your child will get what he/she needs in any given year.

- submitted by a parent
September 04, 2009
Our child attended Baker for one year and did not return. We're much happier with the school we started this year. The recent posts that speak about inconsistency, 'be very careful,' etc. are all true and just what our family experienced. My guess is the staff are unhappy with all the administrative chaos and it shows in the classroom. There are a few good teachers, but luck of the draw during this period of turnover and imbalance is not worth the cost or the year we wasted.

- submitted by a parent
August 16, 2009
My 2 children have attended Baker for the last 3 years but will not be returning because of the turmoil in the school. Although many have worked very hard to preserve this school and its core progressive educational values after it separated from NLU, the Board has been unable to maintain its focus. The Board is a closed system and self-appoints its members which conflicts with the democratic principals of progressive education and has contributed to the school's current status. The significant administrative and faculty turnover in the last few years is disruptive for all in the community.

- submitted by a parent
August 05, 2009
My child has attended Baker for the past 5 years. The early childhood program is amazing and has the right balance of play, exploring, discovering, imagining, creating and building -- all part of a progressive hands-on authentic experiential learning experience. However, our experience in the upper grades has not been anywhere close to the earlier experience our child had. The school has had great turmoil at the administration level over the past several years (5 Heads in 5 years!) which has left the school unorganized, scrambling and inconsistent. It is constantly reinventing itself and moving further away from it's progressive roots. Also, the board is closed and self-appointed, which is contrary to the democratic roots of progressive education. I truly hope Baker can find it's way in years to come. It was a great school for my child for many years and hope it can return to that.

- submitted by a parent
August 05, 2009
The June 24 post is laughable. The school hasn't established anything since the ousting of the latest director (as of June 5 or so) and there is no evidence of any return to or establishment of anything. There is no way anyone can tell anything about the upcoming year. The people who ousted the last director will be happier and are trying to encourage enrollment by posting this funny comment but it is delusional. The community which was already fragile has been viciously torn apart for petty reasons. It seems that petty things are more important than the greater good of the school. One more year the children have lost and Baker is one more year behind getting on track and becoming an excellent school. It had the potential but the constant infighting and dogmatic attitudes are going to be the end of it.

- submitted by a parent
no rating July 29, 2009
If you believe in progressive education that also imparts solid academics- I would look elsewhere. The lack of consistency between classrooms and the inability to show the success of their methods drove us out and quick. be very careful- things are not as they appear here. we were told one thing and then experienced quite another. Our children had to be tutored for months before they were up to speed for their new school. wish we would have asked for our money back---

- submitted by a parent
July 27, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
no rating July 17, 2009
After trying it for two years, we have given up on this chaotic institution. Patchy teaching, a Board in turmoil, revolving door for the Head of School position... Not a place for my kids or my family.

- submitted by a parent
July 01, 2009
All three of my children thrived at Baker and I think the school is excellent. It looks like it will survive this terrible economy. Its new administration looks like it has the potential to lead the school to a great place. With collaboration with the board of trustees and a solid commitment by all to their designated role, Baker will be a shining star on the north shore.

- submitted by a parent
June 24, 2009
Baker is the little school that can and will. It has been through some difficult times and is now beginning to re-emerge as the progressive school that so many of us loved. With its most recent administrative changes, I can now again see those qualities that once made this such a special place for children. My children thrived at this school - all children deserve the same. It makes my heart sing to see this school community bond together - students, parents and teachers, past and present, so that Baker can find itself and again be a special place for families. If you have school-aged children (toddler-grade 8) you must check-out Baker. It is clearly a community which embraces children, parents and learning.

- submitted by a parent
April 23, 2009
Baker is a good place for children. Sorry to say though, it used to be a wonderful place for children. Although it remains a place with dedicated teachers, it is moving away from its progressive roots. It seems like it may be losing its uniqueness and becoming more like the other schools in the area. But, it is still a good school, but not what is once was.

- submitted by a parent
September 12, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
August 04, 2008
Baker Demonstration school is outstanding. The teachers extend their caring hearts to our children. They are more than teachers. Our son and daughter started in Pre-K. Our son graduated this year and our daughter will graduate in 2010.

- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
August 23, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
January 10, 2006
My daughter has attended Baker Demo for 4 years and she loves it. She gets so engaged I typically cannot pry her away when I go to pick her up! (she attends all day plus extended care) They have a good music program, a Visiting Artist program, and various sports teams (including swimming). The school is operated as a collaboration between parents, teachers, and administrators and I can attest to the vigorous vitality of this community. The teachers at Baker use the very best educational practices available -- in fact, the school is a model for best practices and regularly hosts student teachers plus teachers from other school systems. Consequently, Baker provides an exceptional education for a fair price (for a North Shore private school). Baker Demo recently gained its independence from National Louis University but is committed to retaining its lab-school levels of excellence and innovation.

- submitted by a parent
December 23, 2005
My children have been at Baker for 9 years. There has never been a day where they aren't delighted to go to school. Baker nurtures the whole child...my child's intellectual, physical and emotional growth. We are thrilled with our Baker experience. The community is warm and welcoming. Baker makes learning an adventure. I think the biggest difference in a Baker education is that the teachers teach the children in their classrooms and not some impersonal curriculum. The children influence the curriculum by being who they are. My children love Latin and Science and they are voracious readers. They have learned how to think at Baker. Baker realizes that learning happens all day, in class, on the playground, in the hallways and the cafeteria. Baker is a speacial place.

- submitted by a parent
May 24, 2004
Baker School is what school should be like everywhere: Strong Faculty, a teaching assistant in every classroom, great sense of community. Strong curriculum integrates music, art, drama and computer science into the regular classroom curriculum. My kids are excited about school and doing well.

- submitted by a parent
May 24, 2004
Baker is a special place. Children are respected and loved for their specialness and uniqueness. Learning is tailored to the individual student. Teachers are exceptional. Learning often centers around 'themes' where each child learns in a way best for them. Teachers are truly exceptional and dedicated. Parent community is involved, open and non-judgmental and outstanding. The children are taught to be respectful, proud, socially conscious, open and inquisitive. Kids learn how to learn rather than merely memorizing facts and numbers. Our two daughters have thrived at Baker.

- submitted by a parent
May 24, 2004
Really great school. A lot of individual attention. Allows children to excel and provides advanced studies for those who are capable of it. 8th grade graduates get into the best high schools and are always testing above grade level. Wonderful environment.

- submitted by a parent
February 23, 2004
This is an excellent school where the children thrive! My pre-K son loves the zoo they have in their room (bunnies, turtles, fish, birds, gerbils, insects, lizards, and more). There are tables and rugs rather than desks and they focus on the development of a love of learning rather than traditional 'half an hour of math, half an hour of science, half an hour for spelling, etc'. Baker goes through the 8th grade and seems to turn out some wonderful kids! Bottom line, pricey, but what an investment for your child!

- submitted by a parent
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About this school

As a laboratory school, Baker Demonstration School remains an important part of the teacher-education program at National Louis University, and regularly hosts interns and student-teachers from Northwestern, DePaul, Loyola and the Erickson Institute. Most of our teaching associates are attaining their Masters in Education at one of these institutions. As an independent school, Baker attends to the learning experience of each child while fostering students' sense of being part of something larger, and preparing them for successful paths beyond middle school.

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Baker Demonstration School
201 Sheridan Road, Wilmette, IL  60091
(847) 425-5869
Last modified Baker Demonstration School is a Private school that serves grades PK-8
Baker Demonstration School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 84 reviews. Top