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TCS Moves to its New Home in Fall 2023

In Fall of 2023, The Children's School (TCS) will relocate to the First Baptist Church of Oak Park's beautiful building at 820 Ontario and Oak Park Avenue in Oak Park - just three blocks from TCS' current location. (This is the building on the northern edge of Scoville Park, adjacent to the main branch of the Oak Park Public Library.)

Besides its excellent location, our new space will feature 9 classrooms, a library, a tinker room, an art room, a block room, and offices, as well as access to many beautiful shared spaces such as the gym and the sanctuary.


In January of 2023, the Archdiocese of Chicago, informed TCS it could no longer lease the St. Edmund's parish school building due to maintenance concerns that could only be remedied through costly repairs. The school immediately launched a search for a new facility. The search spanned the entire near-west suburban Chicago area, evaluating more than 36 properties.


"We are fortunate to have a cadre of capable and committed Board members, faculty, and parents/guardians on the TCS team. We could never have accomplished this wonderful result without the incredible expertise and capabilities of the facilities search and lease negotiation committees: Sandi Carr, Emily Lorentzen, Mary Quest, Jon Sieg, Lucy Coria, Mike McGuire, Jay Smith, Steve Nasralla, Chris Knight, and others," says Ms. Christina Martin, Director of Curriculum and Instruction at TCS.


“We identified First Baptist Church of Oak Park (FBCOP) as the most suitable for our needs in terms of location and space,” says Sandi Carr, President of the TCS Board of Directors, who is also a registered architect with experience in designing school facilities.



“The First Baptist building is beautiful and with some renovation it will be an ideal space for our child-centered, play- and project-based, and democratic approach to teaching and learning,” says Christina Martin.


Director of Administration Pamela Freese, Ph.D. agrees: “We are also thrilled to remain close to established community partners, to have elevated train access to the city for our many field trips, and be within walking distance to so many wonderful local resources, libraries, parks and businesses.”


"“As faithful followers of Christ, First Baptist believes children not only represent the future, but they also lead us today through their actions and words. Therefore, the addition of The Children’s School aligns with our congregation’s effort to be an integral part of our community, and we look forward to welcoming them as long-term tenants this Fall,” says Senior Pastor David John Hailey of FBCOP.


Our new location at First Baptist Church includes working side-by-side next to their longstanding preschool that has been there for more than 90 years! We appreciate their history and our teachers look forward to learning more about their work. We welcome the possibility of sharing ideas, and participating in collaborative events and opportunities for both of our schools.

The new location will be the fourth home for TCS. Founded in 2004 by Daniel P. Ryan, Ed.D., our school started with 13 students in grades K-1 who met at Unity Temple’s Gale House in Oak Park. In 2006, the school relocated to the school campus of St. Mary of Celle in Berwyn, gradually expanding to K-5 and adding a middle school in 2014. In 2018, TCS moved to St. Edmund's parish school building, as the site offered space for expanding programs and could accommodate a full enrollment of 135 students.


The move will transpire after contactors complete necessary renovations in the Fall of 2023. “We enjoy a productive relationship with the leadership of First Baptist Church of Oak Park (FBCOP) as we work together on the renovations necessary to meet our needs," says Sandi Carr.


Christina Martin concurs: "We are excited about the welcoming and collaborative spirit we are already experiencing from folks at FBCOP."


Leaders from both TCS and FBCOP finalized all of the paperwork on Wednesday, June 7th, granting TCS a 10-year lease for the facility with an option to renew.


As part of its celebration, TCS hosted its 2023 graduation Monday, June 5, at the First Baptist Church of Oak Park's facility. TCS is also planning several volunteer activities over the summer to prepare for the move later in the fall.


"2023-2024 is an important historical milestone for The Children's School," says Pamela Freese. "Not only will it mark a move to our new home, but it will be our 20th anniversary!"


Applications for admission for Fall 2023 will be open through the summer despite moving preparation, and interested families are encouraged to apply online or attend a virtual information session.






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