History

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Founded in 1963 as an Illinois not-for-profit corporation, Near North Montessori School began with the commitment of three families who wanted their children to receive a useful and comprehensive education. As the cornerstone, they chose the developmental philosophy originated by Dr. Maria Montessori in Italy at the turn of the 19th century because it considers the academic, social, physical, and psychological needs of the whole child.

The families pooled their resources, hired teachers, and launched the school with one Montessori 3-6 program. Five years later, Near North began its first elementary level class. The school continued to grow its population and enhance its programs to serve children through the junior high years. In 1989, after 26 years at 1010 West Chicago Avenue, Near North Montessori School purchased a building at 1434 West Division Street. More recently, the Jacqueline A. Bergen Building (named after our retired Head of School) was completed in 2012. The Bergen Building includes a new gymnasium, a rooftop play area, a meeting space, and a large outdoor playscape, finally giving the growing community a large communal space.

Near North Montessori School Timeline

1963    Near North Montessori opens with one half-day 3-6 program
1967    Elementary program begins (ages 6-9)
1970    Middle elementary program begins (ages 9-12)
1975    Full-day 3-6 program begins
1976    Toddler program begins (ages 18-30 months)
1977    Junior High program begins (ages 12-14)
1980    Renovation of 1010 West Chicago Avenue, fourth 3-6 class opens, second lower elementary class opens
1988    Third lower elementary class opens, second middle elementary class opens
1989    Purchase 1434 West Division Street facility, fifth 3-6 class opens, fourth and fifth lower elementary classes open
1990    Third middle elementary class opens
1992    Fourth middle elementary class opens
1993    Development Office established
1994    Second junior high class opens
1995    Third junior high class opens
1996    Endowment Fund established
2000    Playground renovated
2001    Awarded Blue Ribbon for Excellence in Education by the US Department of Education
2004    Sixth 3-6 class opens
2009    Farmessori established, public Capital Campaign launched
2010    Renovation project: new HVAC system, improved dinner meeting space and creation of dedicated junior high environment
2012    New gymnasium facility opens with a rooftop playground and natural playscape
2013    NNM celebrates 50 years, approximately 575 students enrolled