Curiosity, Creativity, Community, and Engagement

Our teachers cultivate intrinsic motivation and curiosity in students so they engage with their full hearts and minds in the life of the school. We teach children to question, explore, think critically, listen deeply, collaborate, empathize, and create. We teach them to read in search of understanding, to write in order to share their thinking and feelings with the world, and to solve problems in STEM together, achieving flexibility in thinking and depth of understanding over memorization and rote processes. Students express themselves authentically as they innovate, write, construct, brainstorm, design, problem-solve, strategize, act, paint, experiment, and sing, finding inspiration, forging connections, and building self-confidence.

NPES students are curious about perspectives and cultures beyond their own identities and stories, and we help them learn how to find meaning and joy in the rich diversity of our school and city. Parents are involved as partners in their child’s education, classrooms and advisory groups become trusted circles of friends, and students develop a sense of belonging to a school community in which they are known, understood, and valued. NPES students learn the social-emotional skills and cultural competency necessary for their well-being and success, today and in the future.

Our Guiding Principles:

  • Through small class sizes and an authentic, experiential education, our students build academic mastery and learn essential life skills.
  • Art, music, drama, Spanish language and cultures, and athletics are central to the experience and give students important opportunities to develop and excel.
  • Social-emotional learning supports and enables personal growth and full usage of our academic curriculum.
  • Diversity of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives are a critical source of strength in the community.
  • We value each student and focus on the habits of heart and mind together to develop resilient and confident learners.
  • Our students are good citizens who demonstrate kindness, openness, respect, and responsibility.
  • Through a commitment to service, our students learn to see beyond themselves and understand the value of being part of a larger community.

Our Mission

We are dedicated to raising confident, self-reliant individuals, in partnership with families, while instilling a sense of curiosity, a passion for learning and a commitment to having an impact on the broader community.

Our History

North Park Elementary School was founded in 1980 in Chicago’s North Park neighborhood by parents–many of whom were educators–seeking to establish a school for their children with small classes and an academic curriculum that offered breadth. NPES purchased our current building at 2017 W. Montrose in the North Center-Ravenswood area in 1999, enabling the student body to expand. Also in 1999, the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) granted NPES full accreditation, which the school continues to maintain. From 2019-2021 the school completed a full renovation of the campus interior, adding a new science lab, innovation lab, art room, and collaboration spaces for students, faculty, and staff.

NPES now holds the highest enrollment in its history, with 247 students across preschool through eighth grade, including 24% of our student body self-identifying as students of color. This is an exciting time in the history of our school, as we prepare to embark on an inclusive strategic planning process with a focus on expanding the diversity of our school, to chart a future course for NPES as we continue to evolve.

Accreditations and Memberships

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