Baker Demonstration School
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|Baker Demonstration School|
|Wilmette, Illinois, United States|
|Motto||"Love to learn. Cherish the journey. Serve the world."|
|Head of School||Daniel Schwartz|
|Grades||Toddler Program–8th grade|
|Number of students||350|
|School color(s)||Red and white|
|Athletics||Basketball, track, soccer, flag football, swimming, monopoly|
|Publication||The Baker Bulletin|
Until 2005, Baker was the laboratory school of National-Louis University. In 2005, Baker became an independent school, though still affiliated with National-Louis University. That affiliation will come to an end in June, 2012. Baker has begun a relationship with Northwestern University. Baker, a progressive school whose teachers differentiate and provide experiential learning environments for its students, is a provisional member of the Independent School Association of Central States and in the final phase the three year full accreditation process.
Head of School Daniel Schwartz joined Baker, having served for 12 years as Washburne Middle School Principal in the Winnetka Public Schools. He was Assistant Principal of the school for four years prior to becoming Principal. Before relocating to the Midwest, he lived in Boston, where he worked as Director of Education at the USS Constitution Museum, and was a teacher in both the Boston and Brookline Public Schools as well as at New Perspectives High School, a private therapeutic school. Mr. Schwartz earned his B.A. in History from the University of Connecticut, his M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Lesley University in Cambridge MA, and is currently working on his dissertation at National-Louis University. His dissertation topic is What are the Implications of Progressive Education for School Leadership? Kimeri Swanson-Beck serves as the Instructional Coordinator.
Approximately 80% of Baker graduates attend public high schools such as Evanston Township, New Trier, Northside College Prep, and other CPS selective-enrollment high schools. 15% attend parochial schools Loyola Academy and St. Ignatius with the remaining 5% attending independent high schools: Latin, Francis W. Parker and Roycemore. Baker graduates routinely score high on high school entrance examinations, achieve advanced placement and do well in all high school environments.
Baker is noted for its Middle School Certamen team, who recently[when?] came in second place in the North Shore Junior High Certamen and won prizes in the Northern Regional district. Other school activities include sports such as basketball, flag football, track and soccer teams.They are also world Monopoly tournament challenge winners. Baker competes with other junior day schools and local public schools.
Baker launched Baker Summer Discovery in 2010 for children aged three though ninth grade.
The roots of Baker Demonstration School reach back to the founding of National College in 1886. College founder Elizabeth Harrison was deeply interested in the individual child and in understanding children's behaviors. Her enthusiasm and commitment to early childhood education sparked a fire of equal dedication in one of her students, Edna Dean Baker. Edna Dean's sister, Clara Belle Baker, founded the Children's School and became its first director.
The school first opened at 2944 Michigan Avenue, on what was then the "Gold Coast"; in 1918 and moved to the North Shore on the Evanston campus in 1926. By 1929, the Children's School was a complete elementary school with classrooms of nursery through eighth grade. Our school took on the challenge of "charting new ways for better educating the individual as a member of a changing and developing society, and to prepare children for living together in a democracy.";
Clara Belle Baker's vision carefully linked the study of children and the preparation of teachers. A progressive pioneer, she believed that children enjoyed being challenged by unanswered questions and problems. The school soon came to be highly regarded for its style of "learning by doing.";
When Clara Belle Baker retired in 1992, the school was renamed Baker Demonstration School because of the demonstration of best practices in classroom methods.
Notable people who have attended Baker (but not necessarily graduated) include: actor, Charlton Heston; former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld; Eric Pierce; Playboy CEO, Christie Hefner; Nobel peace prize runner up Louis Nelson, Adrien Daniel and John Kinne.
In 2005, Baker became an independent school, though still affiliated with National-Louis University and also now involved with Northwestern University. Baker is a provisional member of the Independent School Association of Central States. Baker is governed by a self-perpetuating 18 person board of directors.