Bennett Day School is certified with SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) via the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and can assist students with the I-20 process to apply for an F-1 Visa.
Applicants will be required to demonstrate English proficiency.
Learning is driven by student interests, not textbooks.
Reggio Emilia Inspired
Our approach fosters curiosity, community, and sense of self.
We focus on process and real-world problem-solving.
Connect With Us.
Fill out the form below if you’d like to speak with a member of our admissions team.
PreK-12 Private School in Chicago
Students are 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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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 students. Just 8 years later, we have over 300 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.