Free School of Evanston

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The Free School of Evanston was an alternative school that existed in Evanston, Illinois, United States from 1971 to 1976, for five school years.


The Free School was influenced by Summerhill School. At meetings, parents, students, and teachers were all equal, each having one vote. Tuition was based on a sliding scale percentage of parents' income. The school did not pursue educational accreditation.


The school rented space at:

School years Space Building Address Coordinates
1971-72 basement Unitarian Church of Evanston[1] 1330 Ridge Avenue, Evanston, Illinois 42°02′33″N 87°41′21″W / 42.04262°N 87.68912°W / 42.04262; -87.68912
1972-76 many rooms Wheadon United Methodist Church[2] 2214 Ridge Avenue, Evanston, Illinois 42°03′29″N 87°41′11″W / 42.05817°N 87.68648°W / 42.05817; -87.68648

Student body[edit]

The school enrolled more than 100 students, aged 5–16, divided into lower, middle, and upper age groups. Most were from the Chicago suburbs, with a few from Chicago's inner city neighborhoods.


School year(s) Principal
1971-72 ?
1972-74 Nelson Armour[3][4]
1974-75 ?
1975-76 ?

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Unitarian Church of Evanston
  2. ^ Church later renamed. See "Living in Evanston".
  3. ^ Nelson Armour
  4. ^ Armour, Nelson. "Comment on "Nelson, can you..."". Profile. Facebook. Retrieved 9 December 2012.