Archives for August 2016
Everything You Need to Know about Public and Private Elementary Schools in Wilmette
By: Rebecca Lee
District 39 elementary schools, like all other public schools of the North Shore, are among the best of the state and even the country. Yet, many parents choose to send their young children to local private schools, which often meet the various unique needs of students in ways even the most well-resourced public education cannot.
If you are a Wilmette parent of an elementary aged child, and you are exploring all of his or her options, here’s what you need to know:
D39 Elementary Schools
The majority of Wilmette students are serviced by District 39 schools. Only the northwestern area of Wilmette goes to District 37/Avoca/Marie Murphy Schools instead. In D39, there are four public elementary schools that service grades K-4: Central, Harper, McKenzie, and Romona! Children attend a school based on the location of their homes. This being said, all four schools offer equally rigorous and diverse education, and have been recognized throughout the state and country. In fact, Central and Romona have both received the prestigious Blue Ribbon School! After 4th grade, all D39 students join together at Highcrest Middle School for 5th and 6th grades and then move to Wilmette Junior High for 7th and 8th grades.
The elementary education of District 39 is made up of a curriculum map, which dictates the topics of Math, General Music, Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, Spanish, and Technology to be covered throughout the year. Teachers can control the timing and sequence of these topics based on the needs of their students. In fact, District 39 encourages teachers to not only assess but appreciate differences among students and adjust instruction to maximize their learning and growth. In addition, students regularly work in the library and attend art classes, both of which are exceptionally well-resourced. As students progress from first to fourth grade, they are exposed to different and more elevated material that prepares them for middle school.
The Parent Teacher Association at each school provides crucial support. Such relationships between parents and the schools are unique to public education at District 39. Specifically, these volunteers are responsible for the fundraising to support numerous field trips, guest speakers, events, and extracurriculars that enrich the education of students. Throughout the school year, students can join groups from Math Team to Robotics Club, take classes such as Cooking or Beading, and play sports and games before and after school. Events such as the International Festival at Romona teach students about the world around them in an interactive and exciting way.
The kind of well-resourced public education offered at District 39 elementary schools is very difficult to find elsewhere, which is why so many families move here to raise their children!
The Cove School
In 1947, The Cove School was the first school in the country built exclusively for the education of children with learning disabilities. Originally founded as a residential facility for young children, the school later added a day program and a high school program and moved locations several times as enrollment grew. Ten years ago, The Cove School moved to its current location in Northbrook.
The Cove School, approved by the Illinois State Board of Education, serves approximately one hundred and fifty students from all over Chicagoland area. These students, who could not learn and thrive in other academic environments, find Cove to be a safe haven. To meet each and every need of each and every student, the academic program at Cove is based on small classroom sizes and a strong faculty. A specialized teacher and his or her assistant, supported by a speech and language pathologist, social worker, reading specialist, occupational therapist, and technology specialist, teach a class of approximately ten students. The teacher and specialists often teach together, and occasionally the specialists work with students in small groups outside of the classroom. Furthermore, the recently renovated campus of The Cove School provides students with spaces to exercise, socialize, express themselve, meet with social workers, receive therapy, and even explore potential career paths. As a result of such a strongly equipped faculty and state-of-the-art facility, education at The Cove School addresses not only academic but emotional and social growth of children, which is especially crucial to develop throughout elementary school.
Additionally, students at The Cove School are offered a wide range of extracurriculars! The Fine Art Department specifically offers classes such as drawing and printmaking, as well as music and dance programs that encourage students to perform. Students of all ages can also play on athletic teams, participate in the student council, contribute to the school newspaper and yearbook, or plan for Prom on a committee. All of these extracurriculars are overseen by highly qualified faculty members, who work to foster not only ability, but cognitive and emotional growth of students. Furthermore, to encourage community between families, the school hosts events such as the Cove 5K Run-Walk and Bowling Night.
Most students of The Cove School are funded by their home school districts. Those who pay tuition privately pay $39,500 a year. Financial assistance, payment plans, and scholarships are available to those who qualify.
Baker Demonstration School
Baker Demonstration School was founded as the laboratory school of National Louis University. In 2005, Baker became an independent school that currently serves approximately 360 preschool to middle school-aged students from all over the area!
Baker offers a progressive education, which fosters the physical, social, emotional, and cultural development of each student through hands-on teaching that challenges and cultivates.
Specifically, students of first through fifth grades are taught through a curriculum that coordinates all classes from Music to Mathematics to Reading to present one topic in a variety of ways. In doing so, the curriculum ensures that students expand the width and especially the depth of their knowledge! This has proven especially effective at Baker, where the student to faculty ratio approximates 9 to 1. In addition to core academic classes, students participate in physical education everyday and Spanish class two days a week. They also regularly attend music and art classes, work in the library, and use technology to supplement instruction. Baker also houses a state-of-the-art science lab, a swimming pool, an art studio, a music and drama suite, an auditorium, and a gardening and compost center!
Yearly tuition for elementary school students ranges from approximately $18,000 to approximately $20,000. Because Baker seeks to serve a socioeconomically diverse student body, the school offers financial assistance to those who demonstrate the need. This being said, Baker maintains a small and select student body, so the application and admission process is quite thorough!
St. Francis Xavier School & St. Joseph School]
St. Francis Xavier School (a Blue Ribbon school) and St. Joseph School both offer education that emphasizes academic excellence and social awareness in a distinctly Catholic environment. The core curriculums of both elementary schools are made up of Language Arts, Math, Science, Religion, and Social Studies.
Specifically, the curriculums are designed to support students of a wide range of learning aptitudes. At St. Francis Xavier, students who are deemed gifted are placed in elevated math classes so that they are appropriately challenged. At St. Joseph, beginning in third grade, students are grouped in every subject according to ability, which again ensures that they are appropriately challenged. Science and Social Studies teachings are dictated by a curriculum based on Catholic values. Additional music, technology, Spanish, and physical education classes are offered.
St. Joseph uniquely offers a number of organized service opportunities to students throughout the school year, as service is an aspect of the school’s mission. Similarly, clubs at St. Francis Xavier are dedicated to community service. Both schools also offer extracurriculars such as Girls on the Run, concert bands, student council and Cub Scouts. An integral part of Catholic elementary education is the development of the spiritual lives of children. Students participate in regular Mass, study Religion, and receive Communion and eventually Confirmation.
Yearly tuition at St. Francis Xavier costs approximately $6,160 for one enrolled child. Additional fees support the use of technology and purchase supplies. Yearly tuition at St. Joseph costs approximately $5,630 with an additional fee for technology use. Both schools offer payment plans.
Everything You Need to Know about Pre-Schools in Wilmette
By: Rebecca Lee
It is no secret that the North Shore suburbs of Chicago are home to some of the most excellent schools of the country. What arguably makes the North Shore such an exceptionally educated community is the way students are prepared beginning at an extremely early age. In fact, much research shows that early childhood education plays a crucial role in the academic, emotional, and social development of children. In Wilmette alone, there are a number of renowned preschools and kindergartens, both private and public, which many parents would affirm made all the difference in the education and growth of their children.
If you are a Wilmette parent of a young child, here are the preschools and kindergartens available to you, and what you need to know about them:
Trinity Church Nursery School
Onlookers are immediately struck by the gorgeous facilities of the non-denominational preschool located at the church on 1024 Lake Ave. Children have plenty of space to learn and play indoors and outdoors, which is evident based on the numerous photographs on the Trinity Church Nursery School website.
TCNS is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. The school offers programs for a variety of age groups, all of which utilize “meaningful, developmentally appropriate activities” and “offer a delightful blend of free choice and structure,” according to their website.
Two year-old toddlers enroll in the Parent-Tot class (tuition is $825), where parents or caregivers, along with a teacher and assistant, introduce their children to interaction with peers through activity such as music, art, and story time. These children are guaranteed spots in the three year-old (tuition is $3272) then four year-old programs (tuition is $4202), where they are instilled with self confidence and emotional intelligence, and taught letters and numbers and even Spanish vocabulary. As they get older, they work with different specialists who teach a variety of skills, from adding and subtracting to following a recipe. These classes run for approximately two hours a day, a couple of days a week. When students become of kindergarten age, they attend the school for about three hours a day, two days a week (tuition is $2110). In this class, they are offered a wider variety of activities such as music, time on the playground, and even yoga.
Enrollment is competitive, so sign your child up quickly! TCNS also has established a fund to offer financial assistance to needing families.
Banner Preschool has been a part of the Wilmette community for forty years at 3220 Big Tree Lane. Also accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the play-based preschool offers programs for a range of ages that all seek “to protect the spirit, imagination, curiosity, and love of life in young children,” their website says.
Two year-old children attend a two-hour class, two days a week (tuition is $2410). The class is divided into “younger” two year-olds and “older” two year-olds, and led by two teachers along with an assistant. Especially the “younger” two year-olds are not required to be potty trained. Three year-old children attend a two-hour class either three times a week (tuition is $3350) or five times a week (tuition is $5290). These students are offered Lunch Bunch (they must bring their own lunches) in the early afternoon, as well as an optional additional multi-age Explorers class. Four year-old children attend a two-hour class (tuition is $5000) that meets five times a week, and are also offered Lunch Bunch and the multi-age Explorers class. Morning Care, beginning at 7:00 AM, and After Care, ending at 6:00 PM, are available to working parents for these age groups! Kindergarten-aged children are offered classes that meet two, three, or five days a week. Lunch Bunch and After Care are also available to these students, but Morning Care is not. Depending on the chosen program, tuition can cost from $2515 to $7230. Along with these core programs, Banner Preschool uniquely offers a class that teaches Japanese language and culture to children ages two through five! This class meets for two hours, two days a week ($2775).
Early Childhood Center of Wilmette
Located at the Wilmette Community Recreation Center at 3000 Glenview Road, the Wilmette Park District Early Childhood Center offers a program for three and four year-olds. This program is also licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and the Creative Curriculum they utilize is endorsed by the National Association of Educating Young Children. Based on this approach, the needs and growth of each child are met and fostered. Children “develop their social, emotional, and physical skills” through a variety of individual and group activities including “blocks and dramatic play, small and large motor activities, quiet time, experiences with music, art, literacy, and science,” according to their website. This two-hour class is offered two, three, or five days a week for three year-old children, and three or five days a week for four year-old children. Children of all ages must be potty trained to enter any class. For working parents, the Early Childhood Center offers a Full-Day Preschool, which extends the above program. These children stay for a provided lunch and playtime. In addition to this class, “older” three year-olds and four year-olds are offered a special early-morning program. The fine motor and cognitive skills of these children are fostered at a more advanced pace. Tuition for these programs varies based on the residency of families, but appears generally less expensive than the aforementioned private preschools. Early Bird Babysitting is also available regularly beginning at 7:30 AM to working parents!
Rose Hall Montessori Preschool
Rose Hall Montessori has stood at 1140 Wilmette Ave, right in the heart of Wilmette, for thirty four years. Rose Hall believes that “each child has an inner drive to learn and that he passes through sensitive periods to various kinds of learning [such as] order, language, numbers, and socialization,” as the school is a member of the American Montessori Society and the Alliance for Early Childhood. Furthermore, the school emphasizes the development and cultivation of skills such as empathy and compromise, which they believe equally as important as academic rigor.
Rose Hall offers a program to toddlers as young as sixteen months! Little Explorers, which meets once a week for an hour and a half, brings together children of sixteen to twenty four months (tuition is $900). They use puzzles, shape sorters, color works, fun songs, and movement games to explore the world around them. Accompanying parents also have the opportunity to get to know one another! Two year-olds attend the Toddlers program, which meets for two hours two or three times a week (tuition is $2780 or $4100, respectively). Here, they are provided with all kinds of resources to learn numbers and vocabulary and shapes and colors. Group snack and outdoor playtime teach children to clean up after themselves, compromise with their peers, and put on their own coats and shoes! Rose Hall also offers a Half Day Preschool five days a week, which teaches children ages three to six based on a curriculum of five components: Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language, and Cultural (tuition is $7200). These core programs are enhanced with hands-on lessons of botany, art history, music, French, and even yoga! Children of kindergarten age can choose from the Rose Hall Kindergarten Enrichment Program or the Traditional Montessori (tuition is $4160). The Kindergarten Enrichment Program, as the name suggests, is intended for children already enrolled in a public school kindergarten. Here, they study large units such as Art History, Community, Continents, and Rain Forests for approximately three hours a day, three days a week. On the other hand, the Traditional Montessori meets five days a week for three hours a day, and can replace kindergarten. Children who attend this program study Math and Language at higher levels, develop skills of leadership, and also participate in the previously mentioned units of study. Both of these programs offer lunch! The Lunch Bunch program at Rose Hall is creatively structured, as teachers use this time to work on manners and responsibility.
As with the other private preschools, the application process appears thorough and competitive, so enroll your child quickly!
Connecting Kids Preschool at District 39
Located at Romona School and with a solid mission of inclusion, District 39’s Connecting Kids Preschools gets rave reviews. Its mission is to provide a developmentally based preschool program in a nurturing, language-rich environment. As a collaborative team of Early Childhood Specialists, we utilize a curriculum designed to teach to each child’s potential and work together to develop individualized programming. Our inclusive model promotes learning, acceptance, and self-esteem within a diverse population.
With a student-teacher ratio of 3:1, Wilmette’s 3-5 year olds benefit from a high quality developmental environment. Classes run 2 hours and 20 minutes per day and 1-2 paraprofessionals assist. Certified Early Childhood Teachers lead each class, along with a Speech-Language Pathologist and Occupational Therapist who develop and facilitate weekly groups in their area of specialty. The school practices an integrated team approach which involves collaborative assessment and planning for every child on a regular basis.
Connecting Kids is aligned with District 39’s philosophy of inclusion, whereby children with special needs are integrated, or included, in a classroom with typically developing children. Under this model, the program makes it possible for children with special needs to participate in all classroom activities, with modifications as needed. This enables typically developing children to be more accepting of people with disabilities and act as role models for the children with special needs. Additionally, all children benefit from being under the guidance of a team of Early Childhood Specialists. Four days a week costs $3,355 and days a week costs $4,180.
Ronald Knox Montessori
Ronald Knox Montessori School has stood at the edge of Kenilworth Gardens, adjacent to Mallinckrodt Center since 1963. From its location, next to the gorgeous Mallinckrodt Park area, RKMS provides a nurturing, stimulating environment for children from six months through six years of age.
RKMS is a parent-governed and professionally operated non-profit that dedicates itself to the Montessori educational philosophy. At the heart of its belief is the notion that the greatest learning occurs when children are allowed to choose their own path to development. At RKMS, children are encouraged to explore a world of activities under the watchful eyes of competent, Montessori-trained teachers. In this setting, children cultivate concentration, motivation and self-discipline along with a life-long love of learning, high self-esteem and respect for others and the world around them.
RKMS offers a Parent-Child program for children aged 6 months – 23 months, meeting twice a week for 90 minutes. Not only do the children receive excellent developmental activity, parents have the opportunity to meet and bond with other local parents. Tuition is $2,300 for s days/week – four day options available. There are several options for their Toddler program (students age 2+ by September 1) with AM, PM, early bird, half-day options and additional enrichment opportunities. Tuition ranges from $7,100-$12,350. The primary program is for students age 3-6 and has 1/2 day. full day and full day Kindergarten options available. Language, Math, Science, and Geography are the academic areas of the classroom that children work in each day. Additionally, children form and shape their social-emotional skills as they practice working in small groups, learn how to problem-solve with their peers, and lend a hand when others need help. Art, Reading, Writing, Yoga and Science enrichment is also offered. Tuition ranges from $12,300-$15,600 for base tuition with enrichment costing an additional fee.
As with the other private preschools, the application process appears thorough and competitive, so enroll your child quickly!
Commuting from the North Shore? So Many Options!
By: Rebecca Lee
“The commuter rail station is to a suburb what the airport is to a city–the gateway to the world,”
-Joseph Schwieterman, DePaul University expert on public policy and transportation.
Wilmette and Glenview were ranked among the top five optimal suburbs for commuters in a report from the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University.
The towns at the top of the list are generally older suburbs that settled years before cars were a popular means of transportation. Thus, train stations are located in central areas so that much of the population can walk or bike then take car-free commutes to work. The study also evaluated facilities, amenities and services available to those without cars, retail areas surrounding stations, clocks and community information accessible to riders, cleanliness of trains, and even nighttime light level of parking lots. Stations were also rewarded for power outlets, free WiFi, and coffee places. Evidently, the stations that ranked high on the list are of towns that prioritize residents who are commuters to work and school. Therefore, those seeking suburban housing who also want a variety of options of transportation should consider towns such as Wilmette, Glenview, Highland Park, and Winnetka.
Specifically, Wilmette boasts two transit service stations: CTA and Metra. CTA Linden Station, found at 349 Linden Ave, runs on the Purple Line and takes passengers to Howard Station in Evanston at various times all days of the week, or stops throughout the Loop in Chicago at rush hours on Monday through Friday. Specifically, the express transit services from Linden Station to the Loop begin at 5:20 AM until 9:25 AM, then run again from 2:25 PM to 6:30 PM. From the Loop to Linden, trains run from 6:05 AM to 10:10 AM, then 3:10 PM to 7:15 PM. All of these arrive and depart approximately every fifteen minutes. These trains, of course, primarily and conveniently serve those who work and study in downtown Chicago. Riders can park their bikes in a sheltered area or pay $4 a day to park their cars at the station. A single ride on the CTA costs $3, and riders can purchase passes for as many rides as they need. Metra Train Service, located at 722 Green Bay Road, runs from Kenosha, Wisconsin to downtown Chicago. Metra trains are almost continuously available and stop more frequently than do CTA trains. A one-way ride costs anywhere from $3.50 to $7, depending on the time and location. Similarly, a monthly pass costs from $95 to $200. Both the CTA and the Metra discount ticket prices for students. Clearly, a resident of Wilmette has convenient access to not only Chicago, but a variety of other suburbs as well.
The Metra Station at the Glen of Glenview, another North Shore suburb, was also highly lauded as an accessible, spacious, and even clean station. Both Amtrak and Metra trains depart daily from the station. Although most riders of the Amtrak are travelers, the Metra primarily serves commuters. As previously stated, the Metra arrives and departs during popular hours of commute from and to various areas of Chicago. The station stands at a prime location for residents of Glenview: the Glen. So, not only can one easily catch a train to virtually anywhere at almost any time, he or she can grab dinner, drink coffee, or even shop while waiting.
Can I plant in Fall? Ask the Expert: Liz Hoffman, West End Garden Center
ASK the EXPERT: Liz Hoffman of West End Garden Center
West End Florist & Garden Center
3800 Old Glenview Rd. Evanston, IL 60201
Can I plant in Fall?
Yes you can! Fall is fantastic for planting.
Gardeners love fall. Not only is it a beautiful time of year, it is also a great time of year to plant, divide and transplant. We have cooler air temperatures which is easier on both plants and gardeners. The soil is still warm to promote good root development and help with establishment by having less stress on the plant. You may not have to water as much. Furthermore, typical Chicago Falls have more days that are nicer to plant in than unpredictable spring weather.
You can plant almost anything in fall.
Fall annuals for beds or containers include pansies, violas, kale, cabbage, mums, grasses, asters. Perennials cover a wide variety from flowering plants (rudbeckia, salvia, nepeta) foliage plants (hosta, heuchera, and pulmonaria), grasses (sporobolis, pannicums), groundcovers (ajuga, vinca). Shrubs can add impact to any garden in the sun or shade from hydrangeas to lilacs. Shade trees and flowering trees add great bones to any yard; provide increase in property value and a decrease in utility expense. Tulips, crocus, daffodils, hyacinths, snowdrops, alliums and many others are planted as bulbs in the fall to create early to late spring “wow” color. Not only can you plant for beauty you can also plant for eating. Cool crop veggies often make a second appearance in late fall markets so take advantage and plant some Swiss chard, kale, spinach, radishes, etc.
Fall Season for planting and transplanting in the Chicago area is from mid-August through October because our average first frost date is October 25th-November 15th. This gives the plants enough time to establish before the harshness of winter weather.
Fall is fantastic not only because it is a great time to plant, sometimes your local independent garden centers and nurseries have items on special so saving money and beautifying your home at the same time.
Check with us at West End Florist and Garden Centers for questions, help, special promotions, soil amendments or installations. We would love to help.
www.westendflorist.com Or follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/westendevanston
Co-Owner and General Manager of West End Florist and Garden Center a fourth generation family business. West End was originated in 1908 in the Luxembourg tradition of truck farming in the little known village of Gross Point, IL which later became part of Wilmette and Evanston, IL. The business has seen many changes in both its operation and surroundings; however it continues its family tradition of serving the gardening needs of the north shore. Elizabeth has been active in the business since grade school and has been working full time from 1997. Elizabeth currently grows both for retail clients and contractors over 250 different varieties of perennials. Her rose selection is a well kept secret among professional landscapers. Furthermore, she maintains a close network with other greenhouses to obtain most needs and wants for her everyday customers. Elizabeth and her brother Jim own J and E Nursery in Libertyville, IL. She is active in the IGA (Illinois Green Association) and is a certified Nursery Professional in both perennials and woodies, ANLA (American Nursery and Landscape Association), SAF (Society of American Florists), Teleflora Unit Board, Wilmette and Evanston Chambers of Commerce.
The Malibu Beachfront Home of "Jan Brady" Proves a Wise Real Estate Investment
An example of the power of wise real estate investment.
Lots of opportunities on the North Shore to invest in real estate – the fall and winter months can reveal some great deals too! Eve Plumb, better known as Jan Brady, just made 7,000% profit on the Malibu beachfront home she purchased as an 11 year old. Call me today to find your next real estate investment on the North Shore!
‘Brady Bunch’ star Eve Plumb sells Malibu home — see inside – TODAY.com
By: Jordan Mute, Today.com
“Here’s a story of a lovely lady” named Jan Brady who’s quite a real estate mogul these days.
The days of “The Brady Bunch” might have come and gone, but Eve Plumb who played Jan Brady in the hit show is still riding the wave of her early fame. The actress turned painter recently sold her home in Malibu for $3.9 million.
The 58-year-old purchased the beach house back in 1969, the first year of her role as Jan Brady, for $55,300, reports the Los Angeles Times. She was just 11-years-old. Talk about being wise beyond her years! The bungalow style home, which is located on one of Malibu’s picturesque beaches, includes three bedrooms and 1.75 bathrooms. The home was listed by Brian Linder and William Baker of Deasy/Penner & Partners. While slightly dated, the décor inside has a tropical feel, making it perfect for a beach retreat. Whitewashed wood gives the home a light and airy look.
“The most notable feature was, of course, the site on Escondido Beach Road, with one of the largest oceanfront parcels available in the area,” wrote J.J. Juarez of Deasy/Penner & Partners in an email to TODAY. “It was essentially a little cottage, with no heat or air conditioning, but a fabulous view on one of the best private beaches in Southern California.”
A wrap around deck allows for sunset cocktails on the beach. Sign us up!
And if the new owner isn’t interested in the home’s 50s style charm, there’s a sleek and modern rendering from Meis Architects of what the current 850-square-foot home could transform into with a little TLC.
Source: ‘Brady Bunch’ star Eve Plumb sells Malibu home — see inside – TODAY.com
Realtors as Sherpas?
So. . .
Ever thought of a Realtor as a Sherpa?
Hadn’t crossed my mind either but the folks at Adwerx have made the connection: if you were going to climb Mt Everest, you would know what tools to get and you could acquire those tools but you would not know the way to utilize everything or the path to the top so you would hire a sherpa.
The same goes for buying and selling homes. Clients have access to many resources online and otherwise but don’t always know the best way to make sure the deal hits the closing table so they hire a Realtor. I am proud to be featured as a Realtor in Adwerx’s ongoing series #BeTheSherpa for exceptional service to my clients. Read my story here. Call me if you are thinking about buying or selling as I’d love to open your next door too! @Adwerx.