Our School

Near North is one of the country's largest and oldest Montessori schools. Founded in 1963 and in our current home since 1989, NNM provides a welcoming, enriching environment for every family that walks through our doors. Our faculty promote confidence, independence, and curiosity in each student, inspiring them to learn freely and explore bravely. At Near North, your child will find unique learning opportunities rooted in the Montessori philosophy, world-class teachers, lifelong friends, and a community of diverse, passionate families.

Explore the links below to earn more about our school.

Our Facilities

In its current location since 1989, Near North’s campus in centered around our four-story Division Street school. Erected in 1892, NNM’s campus features:

  • Two gyms
  • Technology lab
  • Science lab
  • Art and ceramics studios
  • Four music practice rooms
  • 300-seat theatre
  • Indoor swimming pool
  • 14,000-title library
  • Outdoor, ground-level courtyard, and rooftop playscapes

Completed in 2012, the Bergen Wing includes a gymnasium, rooftop play area, and outdoor playscape, that allow greater physical education opportunities, and for the for entire school community to gather.

Farmessori, Near North’s acre urban farm, is both a teaching farm and a year-round working farm that supplies the Sandwich Shoppe with eggs, honey, fruits and vegetables. Through lessons designed around the food cycle and sustainable farming, students of all ages learn how to grow produce and interact with botany in a hands-on way. During the warm months, students are busy cultivating and harvesting a variety of vegetables and flowering plants. Throughout the winter, students maintain crops inside greenhouses, nurture seedlings in grow labs located throughout the school and finally transport those seedlings into the gardens when spring arrives. They work cooperatively year-round to care for chickens, goats, and honey bees.

Our Classrooms

Average Teacher to Student Ratio:

Parent/Infant Classes 1:6
Toddler Classes 1:6
Level 3-6 (pre-K – Kindergarten) Classes 1:10
Level 6-9 (1st, 2nd & 3rd grade) Classes 1:14
Level 9-12 (4th, 5th & 6th grade) Classes 1:16
Level 12-14 (7th & 8th grade) Classes 1:13

Teacher Credentials:

All classes have at least one head teacher and one assistant teacher. Some classes, such as the 3-6 classes, have two assistants and a head teacher. All head teachers are either Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), American Montessori Society (AMS) or North American Montessori Teachers Association (NAMTA) certified.


Ages Served

6-months (Parent/Infant) through 14 years (Junior High)

Enrollment (as of 2018)

580 students

Racial/Ethnic Diversity

Black & Biracial: 9.8%
Asian & Biracial: 22.8%
Hispanic/Latino & Biracial: 16.6%
Multiracial & Other: 5.7%
White: 45.2%

NNM's Memberships and Accreditations

Professional Memberships:

Administrators of Illinois Montessori Society (AIMS)
Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)
American Montessori Society (AMS)
Illinois Montessori Society (IMS)
Lake Michigan Association of Independent Schools (LMAIS)
National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
National Business Officers Association (NBOA)
North American Montessori Teachers Association (NAMTA)


Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)
Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)
Independent Schools of the Central States (ISACS)