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FAQs

Q. What does North Shore look for in its students?
A. Because we are a small independent school, we are selective.  Our students consistently rank among the top performers.  We look for students who enjoy learning, immerse themselves into the opportunities the School offers and live school life to the fullest.  They are motivated, interested and curious learners. In making admissions decisions, we also consider the student’s “fit” with North Shore – his or her ability to succeed in, and contribute to our collaborative educational environment.

Q. How many students are in each grade?
A. The Upper School has about 215 students ranging from 45 to 60 per grade.  The Middle School has roughly 125 students with grade sizes ranging from 35-45.  The Lower School has about 190 students with 20-35 per grade.  Class sizes are intentionally controlled to maintain healthy student and teacher interraction.

Q. I've heard it is difficult to get into North Shore.  What are the best entry grades?
A. Junior and senior kindergartens and the grades in which North Shore increases class size (5th, 6th and 9th) are good points of entry. The availability of space in other grades is tied to attrition of current students.  We encourage applications to all grades.

Q. Do siblings or children of alumni get preference?
A. Just as we evaluate each applicant as an individual, based on their own merits, we consider sibling and “legacy” children the same way focusing on whether North Shore would be a good fit. We then consider their relationship to current or former North Shore students before making a final decision.

Q. Is there an entrance exam?
A. For junior kindergarten through first grade we complete a developmental screening with the applicant.  Grades 2-5 are tested on math, reading/comprehension, spelling and writing during their day visit.  Applicants to grades 6-12 usually to take the ISEE, but we also accept the SSAT

Q. If my child is wait-pooled and does not get in this year, are we first in line for new openings next year?
A. Wait-pools are not carried from year to year. Although we do not ask for a new application form, prospective students must repeat the admissions process when seeking admission in any succeeding academic year.

Q. Can my child visit the School?
A. Yes, as part of the application process, most children visit the School and spend time with the class they will join. The exceptions are junior and senior kindergarten applicants who attend a play group in December of their enrollment year.  Applicants to other grades schedule their visit days through the Admissions Office.

Q. Where is the Admissions Office and where should I park?
A. 
Visitors are asked to check in at the reception desk in the Upper School where a representative from the Admissions Office will assist you.  Visitor Parking is reseved around the circle directly in front of the Upper School.  

Q. Are North Shore students diverse?
A. Diversity and inclusion are fundemental values at North Shore. We have families with diverse racial, cultural, socioeconomic and religious backgrounds.  Approximately 25% of our students are people of color.

Q. Will my child fit in?
A. Teachers, students and parents all do their best to make new families feel welcomed and valued. 

Q. Where do North Shore students come from?
A. Our students come from 17 different suburbs and Chicago.  Our top 5 communities by representation are Winnetka (159), Wilmette (68), Evanston (66), Glencoe (54) and Glenview (37).

Q. Is there a dress code?
A. North Shore does not have uniforms, but requires that student’s clothes be neat, clean and modest.

Q. How much homework will my child have each night?
A. Homework varies with each grade.  From second through fifth, students usually have 30 minutes to an hour of homework most nights.  Grades six through eight typically have one to two hours.  Upper School students average two to three hours per night.