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Philosophy and Mission


First kindergarten class at City Day, 1981

Since our founding in 1981, the student has been the center of all we do at Chicago City Day School. We have structured our curriculum to challenge students while also giving them room to learn according to their unique abilities and styles. Our excellent teachers are experts at differentiated instruction; each of our students is engaged and inspired. 

We encourage students to stretch themselves. That means students occasionally will fall short of their goals. At City Day, "failure" is just another learning experience. We help students overcome setbacks and develop the insight and confidence necessary to succeed going forward.

Our classrooms hum with activity, as students collaborate and teachers guide them toward discovery. The curriculum, while firmly rooted in tradition, embraces innovation and prepares students for next-generation challenges. 

City Day teachers, administrators, and students work together toward a common goal — intellectual growth and academic achievement. We hold students to high standards, and we provide the support they need to achieve them. 

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We keep class sizes small, to ensure a strong relationship between teacher and student.

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We make it a priority to foster open, spirited, and respectful class discussions.

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We connect our students to vital educational, civic, and cultural resources throughout Chicago.

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We integrate technology throughout our program and encourage a design-based approach to its use.

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We give students opportunities to apply their learning to real-world settings.

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We encourage students to ask questions, try new things, and take risks.


The School sees as its mission the preparation of students intellectually, socially, physically, emotionally, and aesthetically to participate in a changing and increasingly complex society. 

The School seeks to develop each child's intellectual abilities in a nurturing environment. To this end, we offer an academically challenging program in a noncompetitive school climate in which children are encouraged to take risks.

Our purpose is to prepare students to achieve academically at a level which is commensurate with their abilities. Through traditional curriculum we seek to enable students to be successful in high school and beyond. Through active, positive, and mutually respectful interaction among their peers and with their teachers both in and out of the classroom, our students will be prepared for active, positive participation as members of society.