Before the Governor made the decision to close all Illinois schools, Bennett Day had already made the difficult decision to close effective end-of-day (6:00pm) on Friday, March 13.
It is the school’s steadfast view that even just one child, parent, grandparent, teacher, or administrator in harm’s way is now too many.
But parents may not consider private schools because of some commonly held myths. Here are five misconceptions about private schools along with the myth-busting realities.
Bennett Day Co-founder and CEO, Cameron Smith, included among Crain's Chicago Business Notable Entrepreneurs
After becoming parents, Cameron Smith and his wife began thinking about their son’s education. Smith concluded that there weren’t many options for progressive, independent schools in Chicago and found that many families move to the suburbs when their kids reach school age, even when they would prefer to live and work downtown. That led to his starting Bennett Day School, an independent K-12 school in West Town.
Bennett Day School was featured on WBEZ Morning Shift’s “What’s That Building?” series.
“At the corner of Grand and Morgan in West Town stands a connected pair of five-story buildings — one a commanding red-brick and the other a contemporary brick, metal and glass. Together, their histories illustrate how the surrounding neighborhood has changed over the last century.
The private Bennett Day School moved into the older building in 2016 and the newer building is an expansion that’s set to open this fall. But before it was a private school with a new wing, the building offered gathering spaces and educational services to families in need.”
“A better parent is one that can teach and demonstrate a growth mindset”, with Cameron Smith and Dr. Ely Weisnchneider
As a part of a series about “How extremely busy executives make time to be great parents” Thrive Global interviewed Bennett Day CEO, Cameron Smith. Cameron was inspired to create Bennett Day School after the birth of his first son in 2010. As a new parent, he recognized that there are very few options for progressive independent schooling in Chicago. Both the motivation to innovate and a commitment to the city inspired the creation of Bennett Day School.
“…times have changed. In the last 10 years, a school’s ability to dig deep into the specific skill sets of students and provide meaningful information about their strengths and challenges has grown dramatically. Through competency-based education, we can now provide more relevant, personal assessment for each student and use that assessment to truly develop an equitable model of student success—as long as we are willing to accept innovation.”
Creative content platform, Fupping, recently featured Bennett Labs’ Story Dealer cards as one of their top ten gifts to give kindergartners.
“Going from daycare to school is a rough transition for most kids…there’s a lot for kids to enjoy about kindergarten. And you and the rest of the parents can help with this transition by throwing a party for the kindergarten class to enjoy! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it absolutely must have gifts. Don’t know which? Take a look at the best gifts to give to a kindergarten class right here.”
But Cameron Smith did it. And here’s how.
With a decade of Private Equity experience & Kellogg MBA in-hand, Cameron had a big idea: Create an innovative way to educate students.
And he’s done it with Bennett Day School, one of Chicago’s premier private schools.
In this 20-minute interview, Cameron reveals why he made the switch, the things he’s learned about recruiting & building a team, and the mistakes he’s made.
Bennett Day School conducts official outreach to the wider community using several social media sites, including Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. The school currently offers pre-kindergarten-4th grade. A high school program opens next year. A lower grade is also being added each year. The school is in the West Loop and has 190 students.”
‘It’s part of a dialogue between the students and teachers,’ said director of admissions Amanda McQuade, noting teachers eat with their students, teaching them how to converse and conduct themselves. Eating is carefully integrated into the curriculum; for instance, kindergartners eat in their room.”
Private Schools Adopt Personalized Approach to Learning
Boran was lucky to find just such a place at Bennett Day School, a relatively young and quickly growing private school in Chicago focused on learning through experience.”
The flagship campus building, formerly known as Chicago Commons, was built in 1900 as a settlement house. It now houses one of the most progressive educational environments in the city.”
Private School Planner - Bennett Day School
Private Schools Grow in the Chicago
“Bennett teachers are using a Montessori-like approach to education, called Reggio Emilia. The school also has a TinkerLab – a Silicon Valley trend that emerged from the Maker movement that believes people should be creators, not consumers…”