Welcome to City Elementary! Our school offers an educational program tailored to kindergarten through third graders with diverse learning styles and developmental needs. Our classrooms are structured to provide small group instruction for children on the autism spectrum, those with significant attentional issues, and those with sensory-integration challenges who use language to communicate.

City Elementary provides 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 is a safe and nurturing place for learning and growing. Through an understanding of the inner life of each student, City Elementary fosters empathy, confidence, kindness, and a life-long love of learning. Students learn the core curriculum and strive to meet the benchmarks established by Illinois State Standards and Common Core Standards. The school’s project- and play-based experiential approach allows children to co-create the learning experience by following their passions.


The Founders

Our school was created by a group of parents.  We are 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.



Karen Daiter, Ph.D., M.Ed., LCSW, Head of School Karen has a long history of working with children with diverse learning styles. She is on faculty at the Institute for Clinical Social Work and also a clinical consultant for The Juvenile Protection Agency. She was the Program Director of the The Holding Circle, a joint project between a Chicago Public School and the Institute for Psychoanalysis in the Woodlawn neighborhood designed to assist at-risk students and schools.   She continues to provide consultation through The Holding Circle related to Restorative Justice practices. Karen is also a psychotherapist in private practice working with children and parents, focusing on issues including neurocognitive development, social-emotional health, mind/body integration, and developmental and transitional issues. Previously Karen was the Head of Social Work Services at a private school in Chicago.



Kate Bonfante, Lead Teacher Kate comes to City Elementary from the Lindamood-Bell Learning Center in Oak Park. While there, she developed instructional plans focusing on language and reading comprehension for children with sensory and cognitive challenges, and implemented learning strategies created using an intensive focus on the needs of each individual child. Kate is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a long-time volunteer with the Special Olympics and Big Brothers Big Sisters. 


Sahara Butler, Art and Science Teacher  Sahara graduated with honors from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Studio and Psychology in the Spring of 2014. After graduating, she worked in an Albuquerque preschool and the New Mexico Association for the Education of Young Children. Through her many volunteer and labor efforts, Sahara has gained experience in working with children, homeless populations, the LGBTQ community, troubled youth, and people in crisis. This fall she is attending Adler University to get her Master’s Degree in Counseling: Art Therapy. 



Rachelle Karnchanaphati, Teacher Rachelle earned her Master’s Degree in Special Education in 2012 from Ashland University. She just moved to Chicago from Columbus, Ohio.  In Ohio, Rachelle taught first grade for nine years and was an intervention specialist for two years through the Autism Scholarship Program. As an intervention specialist, Rachelle provided one-on-one academic instruction to home-schooled students. She is currently working on her certification for Relationship Development Intervention (RDI).  


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Laney WilsonLanguage Arts and Math Teacher  Laney earned her Masters in Education in 2008. She taught Special Education at an elementary school on the south side of Chicago teaching various grades ranging from Kindergarten to 6th as well as different classroom structures. This included “self-contained” classes, Resource, and Inclusion/Co-Teaching. 



The tuition for the academic year is $20,000. Unfortunately at this time we do not have the ability to offer grants or scholarships.  If it is determined that your child requires the extra assistance of a one-on-one aide, the family will need to provide the necessary funding in addition to tuition.


City Elementary is located within KAM Isaiah Israel at 1100 East Hyde Park Blvd. For more information, please contact us at cityelementarychicago@gmail.com.  


City Elementary is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. 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.