Metropolitan Schoolhouse Expands to Accommodate the Growing Number of Diverse Learners Across Chicago Seeking Academic Excellence and Social-Emotional Learning

Metro’s enrollment spikes during “Fall Freak Out” when parents recognize their child needs a more innovative and individualized learning approach

CHICAGO--()--Metropolitan Schoolhouse, Chicago’s only SK-12 independent school to pair academic rigor with social-emotional learning recently expanded to newly renovated space in Ravenswood formerly home to the German International School of Chicago. Metro can now support the growing number of diverse learners citywide who benefit from its proven, innovative and customized learning model that empowers these students to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

Between October and November, Metro’s enrollment spikes when parents experience “Fall Freak Out” and realize their child is no longer a fit for a typical classroom. The student often has learning concerns associated with anxiety, ADD/ADHD or other processing challenges, and the Metro model is designed to support this type of learner. Families can learn more about Metro at its Open House on Sunday, November 17 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

“Many traditional schools have not evolved to meet the needs of a growing number of students with different learning styles so it’s not surprising that Fall Freak Out has become so common,” said Jennifer Kelly, Ph.D., founder and executive director, Metropolitan Schoolhouse. “Metro is redefining the learning environment by delivering the same academic excellence found at mainstream schools coupled with critical social-emotional skill building to help diverse learners meet their greatest learning potential.”

Based on a traditional curriculum, Metro’s differentiated learning experience extends across all subjects: humanities, literature, math, science, social sciences, STEAM, and foreign languages. Metro’s 3:1 student to faculty ratio is the lowest in Chicago and ensures students have the support necessary to achieve their academic and social-emotional goals. An IB PYP Candidate School, Metro’s hands-on, inquiry-based learning bridges curriculum to real-world experiences help students make authentic, meaningful connections that promotes critical thinking, creativity and a curiosity about the world. The school’s 1:1 Chromebook program integrates adaptive learning software to provide the scaffolding students may need.

“Metropolitan Schoolhouse has empowered many of my school age clients to successfully reconnect with school—trust their teachers, build meaningful relationships with peers and tackle authentic curriculum—and discover the strength of one’s voice as a successful life-long learner,” said Jane Herron, a Chicago-based educational consultant.

At Metro, social-emotional learning is integrated throughout the day to optimize learning. A full-time social worker and trained ancillary staff are available to help students navigate a frustrating academic task or peer interaction as it’s happening. Social groups and other SEL curriculum are incorporated each week so students gain important life skills such as effective communication and conflict-resolution skills, leadership, resilience and self-advocacy.

Metro’s new space was professionally designed to provide a multi-sensory environment to help students ready their bodies and minds for learning, such as:

  • A sensory room features swings, crash pads and balance boards help students organize their bodies through movement
  • Modular classroom furniture creates flexible seating to support group or individual work
  • Transition spaces bookend classrooms for breaks or group projects
  • Abstract murals are purposefully placed in each classroom to help direct students’ eyes towards the central instruction area

Metro would like to thank the following local and national partners for their generous contributions to its new space, including: JC Licht Andersonville; Kathy Hlavac Design; Meeting Tomorrow; Olympia Flooring; Rexx Rug; Proceiling Tiles and SGC Contractor, Inc.

About Metropolitan Schoolhouse:

Metropolitan Schoolhouse is the only SK-12 independent school in Chicago created specifically to serve bright students with learning differences. Metro’s whole-child, student centered approach provides academic excellence and social-emotional learning to empower students with anxiety, ADD/ADHD, processing and other learning challenges to succeed in the classroom and beyond. The Metro model is redefining the learning environment using a proven innovative and individualized learning plans and 3:1 student to faculty instruction to deliver true differentiation. For more information, visit


Samantha Kaplan

Release Summary

Chicago's Metropolitan Schoolhouse expands to help diverse learners achieve success in class and beyond with its individualized learning model.


Samantha Kaplan