Consider Independent Schools in Your Chicago Luxury Real Estate Purchase

Along with location and square footage, there’s been another hot topic for Chicago real estate buyers and what they want in a new home: schools. Parents and even would-be parents are more interested than ever in what their real estate purchase means in terms of education options for their children.
Luckily, Chicago has a number of choices, all the way from pre-kindergarten to high school. There are various top-rated public schools, many that require students to live within a surrounding boundary in order to enroll (these are known as neighborhood schools). Private schools are another option, with schools like Parker and Lab consistently being ranked at the top, and students here go on to attend the most prestigious colleges in the country.
Progressive Schools a Growing Consideration
Another option is an independent progressive school, which has garnered the interest of many parents who feel that traditional curriculum is too heavily focused on standardized metrics like test scores.
Progressive education uses a hands-on, individualized approach with students, emphasizing problem solving and critical thinking along with social skills and responsibility. The idea is to focus on education with a “real world” approach, versus traditional curriculum which progressive proponents say is focused more on rote learning.
I’ve found that more and more clients are planning the future school attendance for their children, and they want options when shopping for Chicago real estate. Luckily, Chicago is home to a number of independent schools that take a different, progressive or more specialized approach to education—especially in elementary schools, as high schools still must prepare students for the testing and coursework that comes with (traditional) higher education.
Here’s a look at some of the independent schools you’ll find in Chicago:
Catherine Cook School, Old Town
Serving students from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade, the mission of this independent school is to “create experiences that go beyond the acquisition of knowledge.” The school aims to build students to be global citizens through a personal learning approach that tailors to students as individuals.
Bennett Day School, West Loop
A brand new school in downtown Chicago that models itself after more historic progressivism, promoting “co-constructive learning” that facilitates the development and curiosity of individual students.
Goddard School for Early Childhood Development, Lincoln Park
This global pre-K-12 academy is part of an international network of schools, and students are frequently in contact with other GEMS students that span more than 150 different nationalities and 4 continents. The program here focuses on physical, expressive and creative arts for a “holistic education.”
Lycee Francais de Chicago, Uptown

Combining the best of the French and American education systems, the multi-cultural, dual language curriculum here stresses diversity and global citizenship.
Faith-based, Montessori and Waldorf schools are also options for independent education in Chicago. If you’re in the market for a new Chicago home, opting for a private school may offer more options, since you won’t be limited to the boundaries of a neighborhood public school. But, the price tag of a private education can grow quickly, especially if you have more than one child.
If schools are an important consideration for you in your Chicago real estate purchase, give me a call. I can provide you with more information on neighborhoods, types of schools or connect you with an expert if you are looking closely at what type of education might be available for your children. Contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at