School is not preparation for “real life.” At Bennett Day, school is real life. It’s a place where we innovate, create, grow, connect, and discover.
Our interdisciplinary curriculum is driven by student interests and inquiries.
The City is Our Classroom
Our campus is located in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood.
Our students “learn by doing” in a truly hands-on environment.
Connect With Us.
Fill out the form below if you’d like to register for a Virtual Open House, take a Virtual Tour, or simply learn more about Bennett Day School.
PreK-12 Private School
Your student is more than a grade or test score. Our individualized assessment model moves away from the standard ‘A’ through ‘F’ grading scale to provide each learner with specific feedback based on their strengths and areas of challenge.
Our high school is the only in the nation working directly with IvyWise to provide each student with the best in college counseling. In 2019, 92% of IvyWise students were accepted to one or more of their top-three choice schools.
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.
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.
What Makes Us Different?
Our Advisory program’s philosophy is rooted in Stanford’s Project Wayfinder, a curriculum that empowers students to find their purpose and cultivate a meaningful life.
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.
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.
Every Bennett Day teacher spends 300 hours on professional development and cross-subject collaboration each year.
We Are Bennett Day.
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 kindergartners. Just 6 years later, we have 250 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.