Welcome to the Ancona School!

Thank you for considering our remarkable school for your child’s education. In 1962, our founders saw a changing world, where traditional education was as relevant to life as tidy rows of desks were to learning. They believed that school should be a transformational experience that educates students beyond the classroom. Over 55 years later, Ancona is fulfilling this vision. Powered by the genius of children, Ancona is a real-world laboratory on living, learning, and working together.

We challenge students to learn the academic and life skills they need to become engaged learners and leaders of the new society they will help create.

  • Our school draws upon the time-tested insights of Progressive and Montessori education: from 3 years old through kindergarten, children learn in multi-age Montessori classrooms; our 1st-8th grade curriculum is student-led and Montessori-inspired. We integrate modern research-based pedagogies to create a dynamic learning community that values each child’s unique abilities and interests. Ancona’s curriculum is ingeniously thoughtful and creative, because it is developed by extraordinary teachers and designed for highly engaged, active learners.

  • As a school, we courageously take a stand on issues of social justice.

  • Ancona transcends the barriers of traditional education. Here exploration, self-motivation, and collaboration trump standardized tests and rote memorization. Our children develop a passion for learning that flourishes at Ancona and beyond. 

  • Long before diversity was a buzz word, Ancona defined it. It’s been in our DNA from the day we opened our doors. In fact, Ancona piloted the nation’s first Head Start Montessori program. More than any other independent school in Chicago, Ancona opens children’s hearts and minds to others of differing racial, cultural, ethnic, and economic backgrounds.

  • Ancona students learn how to learn, how to think, and how to navigate and evaluate the myriad claims and bits of information that come their way in this information-saturated age.

Don’t just take our word for it. Explore our site and schedule a visit. See the magic for yourself!


A commitment to the whole child

A child centered education that prepares students for life beyond the classroom.
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An unprecedented commitment to a global learning community. 60% of our student body are persons of color. 25% of our students are diverse learners. 33% of our families receive need based financial aid. Learn more >



Multiage open classrooms, integrated units of study, and experiential learning in and outside of the classrooms create an environment for young learners to flourish. Learn more >



Ancona adheres to Maria Montessori’s belief that children are naturally motivated, active learners who build their own understandings of the world as they interact with their environment. Learn more >

Ancona Graduates


Ancona graduates enroll at Chicago’s most selective high schools. They distinguish themselves as scholars, athletes, artists, and intrepid world travelers with a genuine commitment to social justice. Learn more >