Wolcott School

                                    Winter 2016 



At Wolcott, we mean it when we say we are 'Built Around The Strengths Of Our Students'. What better way to demonstrate our commitment to nurturing students' strengths than with our plans for a new Arts and Athletics Center!

The new Center, conveniently located two short blocks from our main campus building, will include:
  • Spacious gym with regulation-size basketball court and bleacher seating for 150
  • Generous stage for performances with audience seating for 350
  • Increased studio space for art, music, and a maker's lab
  • Urban garden
Thank you to our generous donors who have already committed to this important project. 

To donate and to learn about naming opportunities, please contact Kelly Ramos at (312) 610-4927 or kramos@wolcottschool.org
Quick Links

Our 3rd Annual Career Week was packed with activity. To prepare our students for success in college and beyond, Wolcott faculty and career consultants worked with students to: 
  • engage them in career interest surveys
  • match them with workplaces in their areas of interest
  • allow them individual time with professionals in their areas of interest
  • work with them on resume writing, interview skills, networking in the digital age, and college course selection
Special thanks to our professional presenters and to our hosts sites -- Erie House, Erikson Institute, Method, Thompson Hotel, Judge Sandra Ramos, Circuit Court of Cook County, Emmi Solutions, Tribeca Flashpoint College, Suite Partners Live Lab, SRAM, UIC Neuro-lab, Wheeler Kearns Architects, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Macy's, Handcut Foods, and MLCo. 
Students tour Method Soap Factory in Chicago's Pullman District

Future Health and Human Sciences professionals visit the UIC Neuro-Lab

Student experiments with equipment at Suite Partners

Freshmen operate Patient Simulator at Northwestern Hospital

Students interested in Engineering and Manufacturing visit the Method Soap Factory

Founder of SRAM discusses marketing strategies with students

Seniors visit the HandCut Foods kitchen and use ingredients from local midwestern farms to create a seasonal chili

Sophomores visit MLCo and learn about global logistics and supply chain management

A huge congratulations to our 15 seniors who have received acceptances into 53 colleges and have received merit scholarships exceeding $1,463,000 to date. We expect that more decisions and merit scholarships will be awarded over the next few months. According to one of our seniors, "All of the work we did on finding the right match and fit really paid off for me. I am thrilled with my choice and credit Wolcott for making it possible." Seniors are now focusing on topics related to transitioning to college, with special attention paid to roommates, laundry, orientation, freshmen classes, finishing senior year strong, and leaving the familiar.  

Meanwhile, our juniors are busy preparing for their college search with trips to local college campuses, workshops about the college search and selection process, the interview and admissions process, and financial aid. On March 9, Veronica Haaud from the University of Chicago and Lori Greene from Butler University will turn the Wolcott audience into an admission committee as they review sample applications to determine who will be admitted, deferred, or denied. For a current list of colleges that have visited or are planning to visit Wolcott this year, click here.

Visit From United World College-USA

Wolcott will host nine students from the United World College-USA on Wednesday, March 9. UWC-USA, a two-year International Baccalaureate residential program, is located in Montezuma, New Mexico, and is one of 15 UWC campuses located on 5 continents. Students who will attend Wolcott School for this international exchange opportunity are from Denmark, New York, Amsterdam, Peru, Michigan, Senegal, Armenia, and China. 

Congratulations Class of 2016. We look forward to honoring you at Wolcott's inaugural graduation on June 2, 2016. Go Wolves! 

Thank you to all of our Annual Fund donors. Due to the groundswell of support, we have RAISED OVER $600,000 and ACHIEVED 100% PARTICIPATION FROM OUR BOARD OF TRUSTEES, FACULTY AND STAFF, AND STUDENTS!


There is still time to donate. The Annual Fund Campaign runs through March 31, 2016. 

June 14th at Conway Farms in Lake Forest, IL 

The proceeds from this year's Golf Outing will benefit our new Arts and Athletics Center. To make a donation, contact Kelly Ramos, Director of Development, at kramos@wolcottschool.org or (312) 610-4927. 


Ask any parent of a graduating senior and they will tell you that high school passes exceedingly fast. In designing our curriculum, we repeatedly ask ourselves - - how do we pack the four, fleeting years of high school with knowledge and understanding that lasts a lifetime? At Wolcott, we know we can only achieve that goal if our students experience learning as engaging, meaningful, and relevant.
I am always struck by how committed our faculty is to the idea of deeper learning, and how inventive and innovative they are to achieve that end. Together, we have created a curriculum that I consider to be truly expeditionary learning, one which emphasizes critical thinking, conceptual understanding, and application of knowledge, rather than memorization of facts and acquisition of basic skills.
Here is a window into the types of expeditionary learning taking place at Wolcott:
Our participation in the National Hour of Code extended well beyond an hour of coding at school. That same day, our students visited Microsoft's offices and were not only trained by technology specialists, but also spent time with Microsoft's IT department to learn more about coding as a career. 
In conjunction with our wellness curriculum (part of our required PE class that meets 4x/week) and our college readiness curriculum, our seniors prepare for life after high school, including visits to a local bank to learn about personal banking and budgeting and an industrial kitchen to learn to prepare recipes for healthy eating at college. 
Our Internship class prepares students for all aspects of the work force. Students start by focusing on resume and interviewing skills. They study job descriptions and job applications, and identify workplaces that match their interests. They initiate contact with potential employers, navigate their way to their job sites, and ultimately work at a variety of jobs throughout the year. Through employer evaluations and self-assessments, students gain a better understanding of themselves and heightened confidence in their self-driven experiences.
From school-wide initiatives such as Career Week to individual explorations into science, creative writing, or Spanish, we strive to engage our students on as many levels as possible. We believe our focus on expeditionary learning not only prepares our students academically for college, but also sparks their excitement for learning, heightens their desire to volunteer and give back, and increases their self-awareness, confidence, and capacity to persevere.
We will be honoring our first graduating class this June. I am eager to hear their reflections about Wolcott. I am so proud of our seniors' success in the college application process and marvel at how quickly their time with us has passed. 

Dr. Miriam Pike
Head of School
The admissions office has had a busy season. Applications have increased significantly since last year. Families have visited from as close as Wicker Park and as far as Manhattan, Illinois. Over 40 families joined us for Curriculum Night and experienced an insider's view of our classrooms and clubs in action.

I have enjoyed meeting so many new families, learning about each applicant, and discovering what brought them to Wolcott. Whether it be through word of mouth, a teacher's recommendation, or a late night internet search for schools that serve students who are "smart with executive functioning difficulties," every family that I meet shares an interest in finding the best school environment for their child and an appreciation of our strength-based curriculum. It has been an honor meeting so many new families. Thanks to all of you for taking the time to get to know Wolcott. 

For the Incoming Freshman Class in 2016-17
Limited Spaces Are Available in Grades 10 and 11

The best way to learn more about Wolcott is to visit. Feel free to contact me for more information or to schedule a tour.

Rachel Spiro, Director of Admissions

Two Upcoming Admissions Events

Tuesday, March 22nd, 7 PM
Parlor Meeting for Prospective Parents
RSVP required
Contact Rachel Spiro for details

Wednesday, April 13th, 9 AM
Informational Coffee for Prospective Parents
Followed by school tour 

At the 2015 Winter Performing Arts Showcase, our community gathered together to celebrate the creativity of our student body. Performances ranged from original music compositions, old classics, theater, dance, and comedy monologues. The multi-purpose room was filled with a standing-room only audience.


Computer Science students are actively participating in the implementation of our NSF grant. These courses introduce students to the foundational concepts of computer science and challenges them to explore how computing and technology can impact the world, including the social ramifications. Faculty and students work together not only to understand and create their own apps and programs, but also to assess the efficacy of teaching and learning for the purposes of adapting the new AP Computer Science Principles curriculum. Click here to read more about our NSF grant. 

Students work with Microsoft engineers at their workplace during National Hour of Code


Our students regularly work with kindergartners at Talcott Elementary. Other partnerships include Horizons for Youth, Streetwise, Chicago Turkey Brigade, and the Christopher House.

Students form an assembly line to package snack bags for Streetwise vendors and Horizons for Youth students


Our community programming and First Friday lecture series continue to be a huge success. National expert Nancy Mather presented to a standing-room only crowd on 'Understanding Dyslexia: Assessment and Intervention'. We are proud to have presented local experts, Alyse Siegel, Jane Herron, and Lisa Berghoff as part of our First Friday lecture series. We encourage your to spread the word about our First Fridays. They are always informative and free and open to the public.

Upcoming Events:

Friday, March 4th, 
Drs. Timothy Dohrer and Thomas Golebiewski
Building Successful Social and Emotional Competency in Teens
An informal, informational presentation and discussion for parents. For more information or to RSVP, click here.

Wednesday, April 27th 
Frank Bruni  
Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania
For more information or to RSVP, 

Wednesday, May 11th
Leaving the Familiar: Transitioning to College 
Save the Date

The James Tyree Center develops outreach programming and leading research on adolescent educational development and learning differences.

Congratulations to our Girls Volleyball and Boys Basketball teams for well-played seasons. We look forward to cheering on our spring Track and Field, and Boys Volleyball athletes.
View on Instagram  Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter
  Wolcott School524 N Wolcott Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622  WOLCOTTSCHOOL.ORG

Wolcott School | 524 N Wolcott | Chicago | IL | 60622