By Susan Fong
Although summer is in full swing, “back to school” is on the minds of students, parents, and teachers. Gazette Chicago offers a guide to schools in this area. Local schools are vital to a good education, and this area offers several educational options for learning in a great environment and preparation for future success.
Bridgeport Catholic Academy (BCA) 3700 S. Lowe Ave., (773) 376-6223, www.bcachicago.org, facebook@BCA.Bandits; St. Gabriel Catholic School (SGCS), 4500 S. Wallace St., (773) 268-6636, www.saintgabes.com, facebook@SaintGabrielElementarySchool.
Bridgeport Catholic Academy, located in the Bridgeport community, and St. Gabriel Catholic School, located in the Canaryville community, are the two schools that are part of the newly formed Nativity of our Lord & St. Gabriel Parish. BCA and SGCS offer a faith-filled education that is focused on academic excellence for students pre-K through eighth grade. The schools are committed to being diverse, inclusive, and open to everyone.
BCA and SGCS offer three-and-four-year-old full day preschool, an aftercare program, various sports teams, sacramental preparation, weekly school Masses, and altar server opportunities. BCA and SGCS have curriculum designed to educate your whole child with 1:1 tablets and Chromebooks based on grade; smart boards; STEM programs; and Spanish, art, music, and gym classes. Ninety-five percent of eighth graders tested into their first choice high school.
Various financial aid and scholarship opportunities are offered throughout the year.
Your children deserve the best education while embracing their faith. For admission information or to schedule a private tour, call or visit the BCA and SGCS websites.
Daystar Academy. 1550 S. State St., (312) 791-0001, www.daystaracademy.org, Facebook: www.facebook.com/DaystarSchool, Instagram: @daystaracademychicago, admissions: firstname.lastname@example.org, information: email@example.com.
Established in 1997, Daystar has been serving students in a faith-based, culturally engaged, globally minded environment for over 25 years. As the school continues to grow, Daystar has coupled its unique learning practices with the International Baccalaureate (IB) framework to offer a world-class education to its students in grades pre-K through twelve. The school’s diverse student body is composed of a variety of cultural, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds, strengthened through the school’s need-based financial aid program.
The Daystar curriculum allows students to engage with subject matter in experiential ways and promotes curiosity, problem solving, and respect of differences. Daystar believes the city is the students’ classroom; the cultural richness of Chicago and the surrounding area is an exciting and practical arena for students to reinforce learning and realize real-world application.
Daystar’s student body has a current enrollment of 320 students in grades pre-k through twelve. As an IB World School, Daystar is authorized to offer IB programming for all students.
Student-to-teacher ratio is kept intentionally low so that every student’s needs can be met. Teachers come alongside students as they learn together through projects, collaboration, problem solving, inquiry, and exploration. High academic performance and test scores are the result of rigorous instruction, and ensure acceptance into top Chicago high schools.
As a faith-based school, Daystar teaches students that all are loved and valued in God’s eyes. As a result, the student body is composed of students of a wide range of backgrounds of belief, each loved and valued by the Daystar community. To schedule a tour, visit the school’s website.
Francis W. Parker School, 330 W. Webster Ave., (773) 353.3000, www.fwparker.org.
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage, and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.
At Parker, teachers will nurture your child’s knowledge, encourage their individuality, foster their citizenship, and instill confidence in them. Since 1901, Parker has provided a solid intellectual foundation that empowers students to follow every path and explore every angle.
Your child will discover a world of endless possibilities on a six-acre campus in the heart of Chicago with students in junior kindergarten through 12th grade coming together from across the city. Parker students go beyond basic coursework and excel in their exploration and mastery of learning. Parker students are taught to speak up and speak out and use their talents and passions to make a difference in their community.
This year, the school will have 945 students benefitting from a student-to-faculty ratio of eight to one. Founded on the belief that diversity enriches learning and that a diverse community benefits everyone, the school is deliberately composed of a diverse group students, faculty, and employees.
One hundred percent of Francis W. Parker graduates go on to enroll in distinctive institutions around the globe, and 80% of alumni complete postgraduate degrees.
The school is now accepting applications for the 2023-2024 school year. Admissions open houses will be held as follows: Lower School (junior kindergarten to grade three), Saturday, Oct. 15, at 10 a.m.; Middle School (grades six through eight), Saturday, Oct. 22, at 10 a.m.; and Upper School (grades nine through 12) Saturday, Nov. 12, at 10 a.m. RSVP fwparker.org/admission-events to attend.
Francis W. Parker School awards $5.6 million in financial aid. Need-based financial assistance is available and the school is committed to access and equity. There is no fee to apply; visit fwparker.org/apply.
Saint Ignatius College Prep, 1076 W. Roosevelt Rd., (312) 421-5900, fax (312) 421-7124, www.ignatius.org, Facebook, Twitter.
A Jesuit Catholic school, Saint Ignatius offers a diverse community dedicated to educating young men and women for lives of faith, love, service, and leadership. Through outstanding teaching and personal formation, the Ignatius classroom sets the foundation for intellectual excellence, integrity, and life-long learning. Inspired by the gospel, this community strives to use God’s gifts to promote social justice.
Fall recruiting events are coming up. For anyone who is a potential future Saint Ignatius student, the Campus Visit Program is recommended. On a typical day, 20 eighth grade students visit the campus to “shadow” a current freshman. They follow a freshman schedule, eat lunch in the dining hall, and see firsthand what it is like to be an Ignatian.
There will also be an opportunity to meet other students, teachers, club moderators, and coaches. Campus visits take place on regular school days from mid-September to mid-December. Registration should be completed online.
Saint Ignatius will host its annual open house on Sunday, Nov. 13, from noon to 4 p.m. Guests should arrive at Holy Family Church, where a brief presentation will be given by members of the school’s administration, followed by a journey through the school where teachers, club moderators, coaches, and current parents will be available to meet attendees and answer questions. Reservations are not required.
The Saint Ignatius entrance exam is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3, from 8 a.m. to noon. The High School Placement Test will be given to eighth grade students only. A $25 testing fee is required. No calculators are permitted.
St. Jerome’s motto is “Where tradition meets innovation.” St. Jerome is a vibrant community of learners in Bridgeport—celebrating faith, providing students with a strong academic foundation, and looking forward to the future.
The Catholic faith is at the root of all that St. Jerome’s does, and students are immersed in a faith-filled experience. From actively participating in prayer services and Masses, to sacramental prep and learning the importance of service and giving back, St. Jerome students embrace and live out their Catholic faith.
St. Jerome’s Early Learning Campus, opened in the fall of 2020, houses preschool through second grade, with the Main Campus serving third through eighth grade. Both campuses are geared toward the developmental, social, emotional, and academic needs of students. By their eighth-grade year, students matriculate to a variety of high schools and are well equipped for the academic rigor of high school, along with the lifelong skills of compassion, empathy, and respect.
This year, St. Jerome School celebrates 100 years of providing an excellent Catholic education to students. St. Jerome’s welcomes you to be a part of its community as it opens the new chapter of its next 100 years.
St. Jerome’s invites you to schedule a tour at either campus to learn more about its community and see firsthand the engaging ways its students learn and grow together. For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.