History of the School

In 1981, the Chicago City Day School was founded. At this elementary school, which celebrates childhood, children receive an education which is both rigorous and nurturing.

The founding headmistress, Galeta Kaar Clayton, continues to guide the School with the vision of a place for childhood learning in an enriched academic, aesthetic, and morally active environment. First and foremost an advocate for children, Mrs. Clayton’s vision of school has often been expressed as a place where children must feel safe, where they can find happiness, and can be challenged to take academic risks.

An understanding of the School’s particular history is key to appreciating its consistency in mission and philosophy. Starting with 23 children in a church basement and a small cadre of teachers, staff, and trustees, Mrs. Clayton’s vision has been positively embraced and implemented by an ever-expanding school community. It is a vision articulated in the daily encounters of teachers with students, in faculty meeting discussions, and the evolving curricular and activity choices scheduled. It is a vision from which the Board of Trustees and parent body have built a two-acre campus that now accommodates over 275 students in a state-of-the-art multiplexed facility.

To this day Galeta Clayton is still the Headmistress, and many of the original faculty and Board members are still at the School. Although the School has experienced enormous growth, the original vision is still in place. The Chicago City Day School is a beautiful example of a dream for excellent and caring education come true!