Welcome to the Ancona School

Dear Friend,

Thank you for visiting our site and considering our remarkable school for your child’s education. 55 years ago, 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. I am proud to say that 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. 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.

  • Our school transcends the handcuffs of traditional education. Here exploration, self-motivation, and collaboration trump standardized testing and rote memorization. Our children never lose their passion for learning; it just grows.

  • Long before diversity was a buzz word, Ancona defined it. It’s been in our DNA from the day we opened our doors. More than any other private 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 my word for it. You are invited to attend an upcoming Admissions Open House and see for yourselves the magic of Ancona. You won’t be disappointed.

Kind regards,

Nancy Nassr
Interim Head of School


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 >