Baker Demonstration School

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Baker Demonstration School is an independent preschool, elementary, and middle school located in Wilmette, Illinois, serving students from Chicago, Evanston, and communities along the North Shore. Baker's practices and programming are based on the progressive education philosophies of John Dewey and Elizabeth Harrison, which emphasize an inquiry-based learning approach of "learning by doing."[1]

Baker Demonstration School is a member in good standing of the National Association of Independent Schools, the Independent Schools Association of the Central States, and the Lake Michigan Association of Independent Schools.

History

Founding and Early History

Baker was founded in 1918 by Edna Dean Baker and Clara Belle Baker as the laboratory school of the National Kindergarten and Elementary College (now National Louis University).[2][3][4][5] In 1918 when Elizabeth Harrison was still President of the National Kindergarten and Elementary College, Edna Dean Baker became Assistant to the President and then Dean of Curriculum.[6] For ten years previous to that time, Edna Dean Baker had served as co-director with her sister, Clara Belle Baker, of the Evanston Elementary School, a kindergarten through fourth grade grammar school in Evanston, IL.[7] When Edna began her work at the National Kindergarten and Elementary College, Clara Belle Baker also joined the College, co-founding the demonstration school to give teachers-in-training a laboratory to practice their instructional skills.

Edna Dean Baker became President of the National Kindergarten and Elementary College in 1920. Within her first decade as president, she facilitated the move of the campus from Chicago to Evanston, and the construction of Harrison Hall as the main building for both the college and the demonstration school, which was renamed The Children's School.[8]

Under Clara Belle Baker's direction, The Children's School published curriculum guides that served as a national model for preschool and elementary education.[9]

The demonstration school remained housed in Harrison Hall until 1965, when the school moved into a newly-constructed building at 201 Sheridan road on the western part of the existing campus.[10]

Independence from National Louis University

In April 2004 National Louis announced plans to sell its 7-acre Evanston Campus, including the building at 201 Sheridan Rd. that housed Baker Demonstration School.[11] Baker entered into negotiations with National Louis, and in September of 2004 National Louis relinquished control of the school and granted Baker Demonstration School its independence. Baker Demonstration Schools board and leaders raised the funds to buy the historic campus. National Louis accepted their offer in April of 2005.[12]

Campus

Main Building

Baker Demonstration School has occupied the building at 201 Sheridan Rd since its construction in 1965. The four-story building has undergone extensive renovation and includes the following features:[13] Template:Div col

  • McCormick Library with 24,000 volumes of Children's Books
  • Indoor swimming pool
  • Full-size Gymnasium with retractable bleachers
  • Carlson Theatre: 165 seat performance space
  • Science Lab
  • Drama and Yoga Studio
  • Art Studio

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Athletic Field and Outdoor Spaces

Baker features a 14,000 square foot athletic filed bordering Sheridan Road. The field is used for physical education, sports practices, and community gatherings. In addition to the athletic field, the school features two outdoor playgrounds, one used by early elementary students, and the other by older students.

Academics

Preschool and Kindergarten[14]

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  • Half-day preschool program: 8:30 – 11:15 a.m. (3 or 5 days per week)
  • Full-day preschool program: 8:30 – 3 p.m. (3 or 5 days per week)
  • Baker Demonstration School takes a play-based approach to the emotional, cognitive, and academic development of students in its Preschool - Kindergarten program.

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Primary (Grades 1-3)[15]

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  • Weekly Spanish, Visual arts, Music, Technology classes
  • Daily physical education, weekly swimming
  • Baker Demonstration School's Primary program is rooted a "learning-by-doing." All academic subjects are integrated into the daily learning lives of students.

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Intermediate (Grades 4-5)[16]

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  • Weekly Spanish, Visual arts, Music, Technology classes
  • Daily physical education, weekly swimming
  • Baker Demonstration School's Intermediate program integrates learning across disciplines as students build core skills and content knowledge through exploration and creation.

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Middle School (Grades 6-8)

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  • Core Academic Subjects: English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Latin, and Physical Education/Swimming.
  • Arts Core Subjects: Music, Drama, and Visual Arts,
  • Electives: 2- and 3-Dimensional Art, Photography, Instrumental and Vocal Music, Technology, and Drama and Performance.
  • Baker Demonstration School's Middle School program seeks to create a safe and supportive environment in which students can acquire critical thinking skills and take greater responsibility for their own intellectual growth.

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Special Programming

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  • CircEsteem
  • Mudlark Theatre
  • Science Olympiad
  • Spanish Club
  • Latin Club
  • Swimming
  • Water Polo
  • Chess Wizards

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Athletics

Fall

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  • Boys Cross Country
  • Girls Cross Country
  • Girls Soccer
  • Boys Soccer

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Winter

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  • Boys Basketball
  • Girls Basketball

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Spring

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  • Girls Track
  • Boys Track

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Demographics and Statistics[17]

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  • 28% Students of Color
  • 25 Different Zip Codes
  • 26% Multilingual Students
  • 91% of Faculty hold Advanced Degrees
  • 8:1 Student to teacher ratio
  • 16 Student Average Class size

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Notable alumni

  • Andrew Pink[18]'97 - member of the 2012 British Olympic men's volleyball team

References

  1. "Baker Demonstration School". https://www.bakerdemschool.org/. 
  2. "CENTENNIAL HISTORY". https://www.bakerdemschool.org/centennial-history/. 
  3. "Baker School to purchase National-Louis campus". https://dailynorthwestern.com/2005/04/18/archive-manual/baker-school-to-purchase-national-louis-campus/. 
  4. "Elizabeth Harrison and the Kindergarten Movement in Chicago". https://www.nl.edu/about/history/nluandkindergartenmovement/. 
  5. "Evanston Women's History Project". http://evanstonwomen.org/project-database/. 
  6. "The National". https://digitalcommons.nl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1003&context=yearbooks. 
  7. "The Evanston Elementary School". http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/nlu_kinder/id/662/rec/11. 
  8. "Curriculum Records of the Children's School". https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.b3116089;view=1up;seq=9. 
  9. "Curriculum Records of the Children's School". https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.b3116089;view=1up;seq=9. 
  10. "Addition to National College of Education". Chicago Tribune. 15 May 1964. 
  11. "School to Buy College's Campus". Chicago Tribune. 19 April 2005. 
  12. "School to Buy College's Campus". Chicago Tribune. 19 April 2005. 
  13. "Campus". https://www.bakerdemschool.org/campus/. 
  14. "Preschool". https://www.bakerdemschool.org/preschool/. 
  15. "Primary". https://www.bakerdemschool.org/primary-team/. 
  16. "Intermediate". https://www.bakerdemschool.org/intermediate-team/. 
  17. "Our Approach". https://www.bakerdemschool.org/our-approach/. 
  18. "Archived copy". http://www.bakerdemschool.org/alumni-news.html. 

External links

Template:Places in Wilmette, Illinois Template:Private schools in Cook County, Illinois Template:Coord