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Why Choose a Preschool - 8th Grade School

1. An authentic school experience starts early
An Early Childhood program in a school setting allows for our youngest students to experience school in an authentic way. Children experience Catherine Cook’s Library, Gymnasium, IDEA Lab, AV Studio, and school performances. Our Book Buddy program encourages extended early literacy opportunities. Providing a continuous program for Grades PS-8 allows for fewer transitions for students and engenders long-term relationships between Catherine Cook staff, students, and families.

2. Our teachers and staff build relationships
With a student population of around 560 students enrolled in three divisions, Catherine Cook has a “small” feel with “big” opportunities. Housing each division by floor (Early Childhood, Lower School, and Middle School) fosters a small school feeling where everyone knows and cares about each other. Yet, there are plenty of opportunities for students in all divisions to co-mingle, creating a bigger sense of community. Curriculum at Catherine Cook is developed with the academic, social, emotional, and physical needs of the students in mind.

3. We understand your child's strengths and passions
In the Elementary and Middle School years at Catherine Cook, your child’s academic strengths, interests, learning styles, and gifts become defined and understood by you and your child's teachers. By 8th Grade, we know your child as a learner, which sets the stage for a collaborative effort to find the ideal high school match.

4. High school selection is a team effort
Our Middle School staff and High School Placement Director work in partnership with you and your child to find a high school match that recognizes your child’s unique gifts, interests, and achievements. Catherine Cook students are well-prepared, self-assured, self-confident, and well-rounded students as they transition to high school.

5. We're in it together at Catherine Cook
The opportunity to make a transition at the end of 8th Grade, and your child’s involvement in choosing their high school, is a satisfying and confidence-building opportunity that will serve them well as they adapt to high school and beyond. Making this transition with their 8th Grade classmates provides support and opportunities for celebration.

6. Change is good!
In 9th Grade, children are eager to experience new friendships, new learning environments, and new social settings. Students often take this opportunity to reinvent themselves as they get in touch with their emerging interests and talents. Our high school placement process prepares students for the next chapter of their lives at the top selective enrollment public and private high schools in Chicago and across the country. View our most recent high school placements here.

7. Connections last a lifetime
Relationships made at Catherine Cook continue throughout life. Our Alumni maintain close connections with the friends, faculty, and staff they met during their years at Catherine Cook.