We are currently accepting applications for the 2024-25 school year. Join us at an Admissions Coffee & Tour.

Purposeful. Personal. Project-Based.

We are a private, PreK-12 school committed to advancing creativity, innovation, and the development of lifelong learners and leaders.

light bulb project based learning icon

Project-Based Learning

Learning is driven by student interests, not textbooks.

Reggio Emilia learning icon

Reggio Emilia Inspired

Our approach fosters curiosity, community, and sense of self.

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Progressive Education

We focus on process and real-world problem-solving

Connect With Us.

We are a private, PreK-12 school committed to advancing creativity, innovation, and the development of lifelong learners and leaders.

PREK-12 PreK-12 Private School in the West Loop

Competency-Based Assessment

Competency-Based Assessment

Your student is more than a grade or test score. Our individualized assessment model moves away from the standard grading scale to provide each learner with specific feedback based on their strengths and areas of challenge.

College Counseling

College Counseling

College counseling is embedded into our advisory program, where students have regular conversations with advisors about their interests and goals, so as to better understand themselves as learners.

Project-Based Learning

Project-Based Learning

Our Project-Based Learning environment not only emphasizes subject-based skills but also gives learners the opportunity to apply them across disciplines in a manner that mimics the skills necessary to be an effective citizen of the world.

Test Prep

Test Prep

with Academic Approach

We have partnered with Academic Approach to offer every student a dedicated opportunity to prepare for the SAT through an extension test prep program that begins in 9th grade.

WHY BENNETT What Makes Us Different?

Engaged Educators

Every Bennett Day teacher spends 300 hours on professional development and cross-subject collaboration each year.

Flexible Project-Based Learning

Learning is driven by student interests (not textbooks), which helps them connect to the world in authentic, relevant, and meaningful ways.

Internship Experience

Every Bennett Day Upper School student participates in at least one major internship during their time here. Internships provide every learner with an experience that is personally fulfilling and gives them insight into their learning and work pathway going forward.

School Starts at 9:00 AM

At Bennett Day Upper School, school starts at 9:00 am. Research shows that a later start time more closely aligns with the adolescent “biological clock” and can boost academic performance.

Travel Opportunities

Each year, all Upper School students go on a trip that is related to a project they are working on. During the 2019-2020 school year, for example, students traveled to San Diego to interview recently arrived immigrants as part of that trimester’s project-based learning theme of migration.

BENNETT DAY We Are Bennett Day.

About Us Our Story

Co-founder and CEO, Cameron Smith, was inspired to create Bennett Day School after the birth of his first son. As new parents, he and his wife, Erica, recognized that there were few options for progressive, independent schooling in Chicago. While reflecting on his own education, Cameron thought of his time in business school at Kellogg, where the process of learning was about creative problem solving, project-based inquiry, collaboration, and teamwork. Determined to build a school that mirrors this learning experience for children, Cameron began researching forward-thinking PreK-12 educational approaches. In this exploration, he gravitated toward the Reggio Emilia philosophy developed in Italy, which emphasizes key life skills like inquiry, innovation, teamwork, resilience, perseverance, and critical thinking.

Through bold action, thoughtful leadership, community support, and commitment to the vision, Bennett Day School opened its doors in 2014 with 23 students. 10 years later, we have 350 students in preschool through 12th grade, and this is just the beginning. We hope you’ll join our community and be part of the incredible story we’re writing.