An Urban Prairie education provides the depth of academic, artistic, and self-knowledge that enables graduating students to attend the high school of their choice. Rather than skimming over new material year after year in order to prepare for the battery of standardized tests faced by public school students, our teachers provide deep learning experiences that resonate and stay with our students for the long term. For example, 6th graders study the Roman Empire by hearing the biography of , playing out scenes from Roman history, singing and playing music from that time period, building a Roman-style aqueduct, and playing medieval games in their sports and movement class. The students leave 6th grade with a real feeling for what it was to live in the Roman Empire.
Beginning in middle school, students are invited to join in Parent-Teacher conferences which occur twice a year. They present and critique their own work, then together with their parents and teachers, they discuss their own progress. Through this process, students learn to self-advocate and discern their own path based on their abilities and passions.
Beginning in 1st grade under the guidance of their teachers, students make their own textbooks. Not only do students learn better when they are actively engaged with the material, they also care deeply for the subject matter because in the process of making the textbook, they have made it their own. During their years of handwork, painting, woodwork, and metalworking classes, they also create many beautiful and useful objects. Students leave Urban Prairie with a rich education and a beautiful portfolio of their own work that speaks volumes about their ability and potential.
Many high schools require a 7th grade transcript as a part of the admissions application. Although our students do not regularly receive grades, 7th grade transcripts will be made available upon request. Middle school students also receive block reports after each morning lesson block.
A 7th grade standardized test score (Chicago Public Schools requires an NWA MAP score for 2015 applications) is often required for high school admissions applications. Urban Prairie currently partners with Test Prep Chicago to offer an information session for parents about any standardized tests that may be required for high school. Students may also sign up for an after school test prep course offered by Test Prep Chicago at Urban Prairie.