In the fall of 2015, a small group of educators, parents, and families began dreaming of a new kind of school somewhere on the West Side of Chicago. Since then, we've seen the Lord provide in miraculous ways to establish The Field School as not only a wonderful school, but a model for broader community, church, and city renewal.
In the fall of 2015, a small group of educators, parents, and families began dreaming of a new kind of school somewhere on the West Side of Chicago. This school would be an exceptional, classical Christian school that puts disadvantaged children at the front of the line. In classrooms, the city, and out in nature, students would go mind-to-mind with the greatest thinkers, artists, and leaders in history, encompassed on all sides by the love, wisdom, and glory of the Creator of all things.
After looking at over 30 West Side leasing options and hitting many roadblocks, a church was chosen in the nearby suburb of Oak Park. We welcome 45 students Pre-K through 1st Grade, and most of our staff work for free. Our charter states that half our seats will always be reserved for children from low-income homes.
Just six weeks in, The Field School learns about the upcoming auction of Key Elementary school, a vacant and boarded up elementary school campus in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago. A divinely-appointed day yields $250,000, and the Board votes in faith to submit a bid on the campus.
The Field School's bid is accepted with one condition: We must rehabilitate at least one of the two buildings in the next few years, or the whole campus will be forfeited back to the city. Renovation of the north building alone would cost an estimated $3.7M.
The Field School grows to 77 students, with two and half times more applications than available seats. A group of Field School moms advocate for additional grades to be added for older students, thus starting the Cohort (6th through 8th Grade). These two moms lead the class for free.
The Field School opens an additional Pre-K class and grows to 121 students. From this year forward, there are between three and four times as many new applications each year as there are available seats.
Phase 1 of the campaign to renovate the north building of our Austin campus begins.
Field School families and friends give generously and commit $1.9M for the Austin campus north building. Learning of a New Market Tax Credit opportunity that would provide $1.5M to complete building campaign, the community rallies to give an additional $1.1M in six weeks, securing the match!
The Field School grows to serve more than 200 students from Pre-K through 8th grade. Renovation of the Austin campus north building begins.
With renovation of the north building completed, The Field School moves to our permanent location in the Austin neighborhood!
Full middle school programming is developed with more established middle school curriculum, houses, service hour, and field trips.