Small Schools 

With no more than 350 students in an elementary school and 500 in a high school, small schools foster environments in which parents, teachers, and students get to know one another well. Educational programs focus on: environmental studies, service learning, technology, peace, entrepreneurship, leadership, international studies, the arts, construction and Socratic dialogue.



Smaller numbers of students, a more intimate and personalized learning environment, and a cohesive vision among teachers characterize small schools.

Small schools are a vehicle for teachers, students, parents and other school community members to implement strategies that they know will benefit the students. Small size alone does not make small schools successful. Instead, the small size serves as a platform on which other important elements of successful schools can best flourish. For example, the manageable size of a small school allows the faculty to meet frequently to discuss the day-to-day operations of the school, as well as to design curriculum, discuss student progress and meet with parents and community members.

Teachers with a shared pedagogical or thematic vision choose to work together to design the school's educational program.

Attendance Boundaries

Yes, for most schools.

Enrollment Requirements

Acceptance Criteria

  • Priority is given for students living in boundaries. Applicants outside of boundaries can apply if space is available. (Some schools have different admissions requirements; please see the individual school's profile for more information.)

Download Application Form

Contact school for application type.

For more information, visit the website for the Office of Access and Enrollment at

Related Links

Elementary School Types

CPS School Locator  School Profile Pages

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