Our Admissions Committee looks for motivated students with strong academic ability from diverse backgrounds. Applicants are evaluated based on their current school reports, standardized testing, current teacher recommendations, interviews and our own evaluation process.

List of 9 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. What does North Shore look for in its students?

    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?

    The Upper School has about 225 students ranging from 55 to 60 per grade.  The Middle School has roughly 125 students with grade sizes ranging from 40 to 50.  The Lower School has about 185 students with 20-35 per grade.  Class sizes are intentionally controlled to maintain healthy student and teacher interaction.
  • Q. Where do North Shore students come from?

    Our students come from 20 different suburbs and Chicago.  Our top communities by representation are Winnetka (150), Wilmette (69), Evanston (64), Glencoe (49), Glenview (39) and Chicago (37).
  • Q. I've heard it is difficult to get into North Shore. What are the best entry grades?

    Naturally, junior and senior kindergartens are prime entry grades. North Shore also increases class sizes in 5th, 6th and 9th.  The availability of space in other grades is tied to attrition of current students.  We encourage applications to all grades.
  • Q. Are North Shore students diverse?

    Equity, inclusion and diversity are fundamental 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. Is there an entrance exam?

    For junior kindergarten through 1st grade we administer 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 take the Independent School Entrance Exam ISEE, but we also accept the SSAT.
  • Q. Can my child visit the School?

    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?

    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 reserved around the circle lot directly in front of the Upper School.  
  • Q. If my child is wait-pooled and does not get in this year, are we first in line for new openings next year?

    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.

North Shore Country Day School administers its educational programs, including admission and financial aid, without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin.

North Shore Country Day School is a junior kindergarten through 12th grade, college-preparatory school founded in Winnetka, Illinois in 1919.  With rigorous academic pursuit as the cornerstone, North Shore provides many opportunities for all students to excel – in the classroom and the laboratory, on the stage and the playing field, in their communities and beyond.