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Our School

Our mission is specializing curriculum for differentiated learners.

At Metropolitan Schoolhouse, differentiated learning is taken to a new level by recognizing and nurturing the unique abilities and talents of each student. Our goal is that through this differentiation we will facilitate the development of curious, kind, and knowledgeable young people who will go on to create a better tomorrow for all of us.

By connecting classroom learning to the real world we encourage our students to become lifelong learners.

This is our story.

Metropolitan Schoolhouse came into existence organically through a dire need of a school just like ours. A place where the school meets the students, rather than forcing the students to fit into the rigid structure of a school.

Our founder, Jennifer Kelly, worked with our founding students as an educational therapist prior to the CPS Teacher Strike of 2012. She wanted to provide some stability for her clients and began full day programming during the strike. As the strike came to a close, the parents urged her to keep doing what she was doing. Jen took the rest of the year to lease a space, build a curriculum, and hire teachers. Metropolitan Schoolhouse opened its doors for its inaugural school year in September of 2013.

What started with four students has now become close to forty. Each year has welcomed new challenges and has been met with innovation. We began, quite literally, as a one room schoolhouse and have now expanded into multi-classroom space which includes a library, kitchen, therapy room, and sensory room. We’ve expanded our staff from one teacher dedicated to her students to over ten professionals that share their expertise and talents with all of our students. Each year we’ve continued to add resources and programming that respond to the unique needs of our students.

We are proud to be a leader in inquiry-based, hands-on learning – fostering cohesion between our grade levels and enhance real world application of all teaching and learning occurring at Metropolitan Schoolhouse.

We’re unique in how we tackle success.

Metropolitan Schoolhouse prepares whole-person, student-centered learning through an innovative and individualized curriculum with a team of educators that hail from multi-faceted backgrounds. We are truly dedicated to the development and success of our students.

Differentiation

Differentiation is the foundation of all teaching and learning at Metropolitan Schoolhouse. We keep the needs of our students at the core of all decision making. Due to our small class sizes we are able to adapt both large level curricular decisions as well as day by day lesson planning to the individual needs, abilities, and interests of each one of our students. Upon enrollment, the student, parent, and appropriate staff, will come together to craft individualized goals for the year. These goals will take into account academic and social emotional areas of need and will be reflected upon throughout the year in conferences with parents, teachers, and students all taking part.

Small Class Sizes

Small class sizes are a keystone of the Metro experience. Our average class size is seven students. Teachers are able to form connections and build meaningful relationships with each one of their students, which goes on to foster a more successful learning experience. The insight gained from the relationships we build with our students allows for more effective collaboration and implementation of tools and plans necessary to meet students’ individual needs. We have five multi-aged pods with an average of five students. We have one grades K-2 Pod, one grades 3-5 pod, two middle school pods, and one high school pod.

Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning is integrated throughout all teaching and learning at Metropolitan Schoolhouse. In addition to academic classes, all students receive group-based Social Emotional Learning (SEL) instruction which focuses on the development and real-world application of social flexibility, coping strategies, and executive functioning skills. Throughout the course of the school year, weekly SEL lessons encourage students in perspective-taking, examining how the brain and body communicate during emotional experiences, and recognizing when to utilize individualized tools to support regulation and learning readiness. Metropolitan Schoolhouse utilizes the skills system® and Zones of Regulation® curricula to scaffold this learning, as well as specialized activities tailored to best meet the goals of the group and the individual needs of each of our students.

Inquiry-Based and Hands-On-Learning

Students learn about the world by being a part of it – not just through reading a book or looking at a screen. We encourage our students in bringing the skills they learn at Metro into their everyday lives. This process includes the collaboration of parents and their child’s outside professional team. At Metro, we support through intentional field trips, life-skill training (such as taking the CTA and cooking) and classes such as Math Applications, English Applications, and partnering with other organizations in the community to bring learning to life.

Our Faculty

We pride ourselves on having a highly flexible staff that is able to adapt to the diverse needs of our students. Our staff responds to the varying needs of our students and maintains regular communication with parents regarding student progress. We maintain a staff of five core teachers as well as a variety of aides and additional faculty to support our students. Our teachers have a wide range of teaching and learning experiences from several different states here in the US as well as abroad. Our teachers model a love of learning, and as a school we respect this love by investing in the continuing professional development of our teachers. We have professional development days throughout the year that are responsive to the needs and interests of our staff and allow us to serve our students more effectively.

Meet our team

Read a message from our founder.

“As a child, I spent my free time walking the halls of Hines VA Hospital, smiling to brighten the day of those I encountered. It was at this young age I realized the impact that one person can have on the life of another.

My grandfather, Chester A. Olszewski, is the inspiration for Metropolitan Schoolhouse. He is the person who introduced me to volunteering and opened my eyes to the beauty and complexity of the world around us…” Read more

Jennifer Kelly, Founder

Become a Metro family.

If you’re interested in applying to join our Metro family, we strongly encourage you to do so. We’ll invite you in for a tour and get a jump start on making sure we’re a great fit!