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St. James Lutheran School

Inquiry-Based Learning with a Christian Worldview

You want your child to think critically, solve real world problems and creatively express himself while showing love for his neighbors. We do too.

Every student at St. James

is academically challenged to

reach his or her potential. Building on each child’s natural curiosity our teachers guide them to explore their world and develop skills emphasizing critical thinking and problem solving. At the same time each student learns to live in community as respectful and caring neighbors who know God’s love for them.

Take a Closer Look We have five early childhood classrooms, an elementary division consisting of grades 1-4 and a departmentalized middle school that graduates students to Chicago’s best high schools. With a middle school sized gym on the fourth floor and a student library with over 2,000 volumes, St. James is the best value for an education with a Christian worldview in the city of Chicago.

St. James Lutheran School was founded in 1857 and is the oldest, continuously operating school in the City of Chicago.


Families do not have to be Lutheran to attend St. James. Our student body represents 12 denominations.

Our faculty have an average of 13.6 years of teaching experience and 54% of them have or are pursing a master’s degree.


We offer after school music lessons, 16 clubs and 86% of students in grades 1-8 participate in athletics.

Our families come from 24 zip codes and have a wide range of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

We work with families to help make a St. James education affordable. Each year $350,000 is given in tuition assistance.

: 10:1 Student-Teacher Ratio

High School Placement

We intentionally keep class sizes small so that students receive individual attention and opportunities for small group work. Our faculty are experts at differentiating instruction and proactively planning lessons based upon students’ readiness, interests and learning profiles.

Our faculty and administration guide students and parents through the high school admissions process. St. James graduates go on to succeed in Chicago’s premiere high schools. In fact, 97% get into their first choice school.

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Educating the Whole Child While academic excellence is our first priority, a child is more than simply the sum of his or her knowledge. God has created each one of them to engage their world and explore as much of its beauty and mystery as they can.

At St. James we know that no two children are the same. We provide opportunities for each student to find their unique interests and learn to express themselves through multiple disciplines. Through participation in athletics, academic clubs, art, music, drama, and a variety of other learning experiences, a St. James graduate is a confident and well-rounded individual.

Learning is for KIDS Knowledge • Inquiry • Discovery • Success INQUIRY - BASED LEARNING We live in an information world. To be successful, students need to be prepared to do more than simply remember and repeat facts. They need to be able to conduct research and apply knowledge. An inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning emphasizes intellectual engagement and fosters a deeper understanding through the development of a hands-on and minds-on experience by the student.



Problem solving skills are developed in correlation to each student’s ability to analyze, research and form conclusions about specific problems and scenarios. Through multiple approaches to a problem and review of the data of both success and failure students learn to be more confident and try new experiences.

Creativity is at the center of how we interact with our world. Our students learn to express themselves in new and imaginative ways and are willing to go beyond the barriers of their limitations. Our classrooms are a safe place where children are not afraid to fail. Our goal is to create an environment that fosters imagination leading to discovery.



One of the signature features of our inquirybased learning is the opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and curiosity toward a project for an entire week. This helps students discover their interests, explore new directions, develop collaborative skills and think critically as they follow the projects’ rubrics. The project rubrics are designed by the faculty to make sure that the students learn through as many disciplines as possible including math, science, language arts, history and social studies.

All of our students participate in ageappropriate field education. For students to gain the greatest benefit, field education is thoughtfully chosen and relates to standards, curriculum and the students’ interests. Our teachers use best practices by introducing a field education experience in advance and providing opportunities for the students to apply new concepts and information in the days after the event. Highlights have included outdoor education at Walcamp, visits to local businesses and museums and overnight trips to Springfield and Washington DC.

Early Childhood Early childhood education is essential for a child’s success. Research shows that children are born learning, and that their first years of life impact the success they experience later in school. In addition to the development of cognitive skills, the foundations for social skills, self-esteem, perception of the world and moral outlook are established during these years. Our highly trained teachers understand the developmental changes that typically occur in these years. Since children learn best through hands on manipulation, we encourage each child’s interaction with materials, formulating conclusions and testing those conclusions to refine understanding. As children are innately curious, we focus on student inquiry to guide instruction. The more a child is invested in their learning, the greater success they will have. Our early childhood teachers constantly observe and monitor each child’s progress. We use those observations to inform lesson plans and activities while employing a variety of instructional formats to differentiate learning opportunities.

Learn More About Our Early Childhood Program Curricular Overview by Subject Area Program Offerings Learning in Action – Daily Photos with Descriptions


Elementary In the Elementary grades students develop reading, writing and mathematical skills. These enable children to more effectively investigate, describe, measure and communicate findings about the world in which they live. Students progress from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Young mathematicians consider various algorithms for computation on their way to becoming expert problem solvers. Junior scientists learn to apply the scientific method as they investigate the wonders of God’s creation. In social studies, students explore their families, neighborhoods, communities and states, resulting in a well-rounded individual with a basic grasp of history and an appreciation of other cultures. Regardless of the curricular area, the elementary student is provided with daily opportunities to learn by doing. A variety of hands-on experiences help students make the leap from concrete lessons to more symbolic and abstract concepts. In the process, St. James’ students grow as independent learners and effective team players.

Learn More About Our Elementary Program Curricular Overview by Subject Area Learning in Action – Daily Photos with Descriptions

Middle School Our middle school educators are specialists in their content areas and advocate for every student to ensure success. Departmentalized instruction, student accountability and project-based group work are all part of a learning process which fosters confidence and selfassurance. Middle school mathematicians move through transitional math to pre-algebra, algebra and geometry. Science highlights include a fascinating investigation of forensics and an annual trip to the Concordia University Science Olympics. Writers’ workshops and novel-based reading units highlight the integration of reading and writing for lovers of great literature. Social studies includes the study of history, geography, civics and current events. Students learn to integrate these disciplines to better understand the world they live in. Our middle school graduates are responsible students who are able to organize and interpret information, make difficult and important decisions and confidently continue their learning process at Chicago’s premier high schools.

Learn More About Our Middle School Program Curricular Overview by Subject Area

Learning to Love God and Love Neighbor At St. James, we teach that the Bible is the door to understanding truth, goodness and beauty, and that Jesus Christ is God incarnate who dies for our salvation and rises in defeat of death to bring eternal life to this new creation. We teach that God’s purpose for us is to take care of everything the way God would want us to because it all belongs to Him. And here at St. James we teach that our vocation is to love our neighbor because God first loved us. As a result, students learn to see the world through the Bible’s lens and apply its truth to a wide range of filters, forming a Christian worldview.

All students participate in daily Bible study and weekly chapel. Early childhood classes emphasize God’s love for us and His work through family and school to take care of us. At the elementary and middle school levels, in addition to teaching Bible stories, students learn how to dialogue with others who have different opinions. Our objective is that each student leaves St. James with confidence in what they believe and a willingness to share their faith with others.

Together we can prepare your child to love learning, love God and love others. Partner with us.

St. James Lutheran School 2101 N. Fremont Street Chicago, IL 60614 773.525.4990

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St. James Viewbook 2015  

Inquiry-Based Learning with a Christian Worldview

St. James Viewbook 2015  

Inquiry-Based Learning with a Christian Worldview