A brand-new school is launching in Chicago this fall. City Elementary will offer an educational program tailored to children with diverse learning styles and developmental needs in kindergarten through second grade. As an extension of the philosophy and methods of pediatric therapeutic services center LEEP Forward, City Elementary will provide a strong education while simultaneously encouraging regulation, social engagement, and peer interactions.
Using a range of teaching modalities based around the unique needs and interests of each student, City Elementary will offer a safe and nurturing place for learning and growing that respects the developmental readiness of each child. Through an understanding of the inner life of each student, City Elementary will foster empathy, confidence, kindness, and a life-long love of learning. Students will learn the core curriculum and endeavor to meet the benchmarks established by Illinois State Standards and Common Core Standards. The school’s project- and play-based experiential approach will allow children to co-create the learning experience based on their passions.
Lead Teacher Amanda Skinner is a certified special education teacher and learning behavior specialist. She has an MS in Special Education from Western Governors University in Salt Lake City. She taught most recently at Giant Steps Therapeutic Day School in Lisle, where she developed lesson plans and IEPs for students with autism, and provided one-on-one instruction to a classroom of eight. She also managed a team of program assistants and therapists.
Assistant Teacher Tressa Allard joins us from New York City, where she taught most recently at PS 372, The Children’s School. She has worked in both special and general education, teaching children in pre-K through third grade. She has an MS with a focus on special education and learning disabilities from Hunter College, the City University of New York. Ms. Allard has a particular interest in dance education, and has taught creative movement, gymnastics, and yoga.
Our new school is being spearheaded by a group of parents who want to continue to educate their children following the LEEP Forward philosophy into the elementary years. LEEP Forward’s director and founder Lorell Marin is providing invaluable assistance in this effort. We are also supported by an engaged board and consultants drawn from the education, child development, and business communities in Chicago, including pediatric neuropsychologist Warren D. Rosen, Ph.D., Daniel Ryan, Ed.D., founder of The Children's School, Tom McDougal, M.A.T, math education consultant, and Marvin Zonis, Professor Emeritus Booth School of Business, University of Chicago.
City Elementary admits the students of any race to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school, and does not discriminate on the basis of race in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, or athletic and other school-administered programs. Race in this definition includes color and national or ethnic origin.