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Beacon Academy, Chicagoland’s first Montessori-based high school, will open its doors this fall in downtown Evanston at 622 Davis St. The school will start with approximately 30-40 students in the ninth- and tenth grades. The plan is to expand the school to include 11th- and 12th-grades and ultimately serve between 250 and 300 students. The school plans to draw students from across the North Shore and the north side of Chicago.

Danielle Loevy, President of Beacon’s Board of Trustees, says the school will offer students a truly unique experience. According to Beacon’s website, the school “places a priority on experiential learning, entrepreneurial thinking, and in-depth interdisciplinary studies. Beacon students will master the skills, knowledge, and habits of mind necessary to meaningfully contribute to a complex and diverse world with compassion and confidence.” 

The school will be led by Jeff Bell, former Academic Dean at St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School in Tennessee and Assistant Academic Dean and English Department Chair at Lake Forest Academy.

Beacon Academy said in a press release that the school “will combine classic Montessori principles of freedom, independence, and student-centered learning with the academic challenges of the highly respected International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Students will have the opportunity to work in a project-based learning environment that reaches out to community institutions such as the Piven Theatre, Evanston Art Center, The Musical Offering, various departments at Northwestern University including the Center for Talent Development, Evanston Public Library, and the McGaw YMCA.”

Additionally, the school will offer college counseling and placement, athletic opportunities, and bi-annual internships.