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Francis W. Parker School (Chicago)

Francis W. Parker School is an independent school serving students who live in the Chicago area from junior kindergarten through twelfth (senior year in high school) grade. Located in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, the school is based on the progressive education philosophies of John Dewey and Colonel Francis Wayland Parker, emphasizing community and citizenship.[7] Tuition and fees range from $29,710 for kindergarten to $37,240 for grade 12.[8]

Francis W. Parker School
Francis W. Parker School.JPG
330 W. Webster Ave.


United States
Coordinates41°55′22″N 87°38′16″W / 41.9227°N 87.6379°W / 41.9227; -87.6379Coordinates: 41°55′22″N 87°38′16″W / 41.9227°N 87.6379°W / 41.9227; -87.6379
School typeIndependent Private school
MottoEverything to help and nothing to hinder [1]
FounderCol. Francis W. Parker[1]
CEEB code140830[2]
PrincipalDan Frank[3]
Staff238 (combined)
Faculty238 (combined)
GradesJunior Kindergarten12
Enrollment944 (2018-19)
Average class size67
Campus typeurban
Color(s)     blue
SloganEverything to help, nothing to hinder
Song"We Thy Children"
Athletics conferenceISL
Team nameColonels[4]
AccreditationNorth Central Association of Colleges and Schools[5]
Newspaper"The Weekly"
School fees$310–$2,480[6]
Tuition$29,300–$37,240 (does not include charitable donation)[6]



Founded in 1901, Parker boasts the first official parents' association as well as one of the first school newspapers to be written, typeset, and printed by students: The Parker Weekly, which began publishing in 1911.[9]

Parker has 944 students, and has undergone considerable physical renovation between 2000 and 2009. Parker added an AstroTurf field which started construction in June 2012, and it was finished in September 2012. During the 2008–09 school year, the Auditorium was completely renovated, with new classrooms, more seating, office space and a balcony. In the 2016-17 school year, renovation began for the new Kovler family library. The new library will include a balcony, reading nooks, a Lego table, and movable bookshelves. [10] [11]

Parker announced that the University of Chicago will take over publishing responsibilities for the school's publication of Schools: Studies in Education, a national education journal featuring the narrative and analytic reflections of educators and students nationwide.[12] The school is a member of the Chicago Independent School League (ISL).[13]

Many notable figures have spoken at Parker during the school's tri-weekly assemblies known as "Morning Exercise", including Barack Obama, Albert Einstein, Jane Addams, and John Lewis. In addition, the Chicago Humanities Festival frequently utilizes Parker's auditorium for guest speakers. Doris Kearns Goodwin, Camille Paglia, and Ta-Nehisi Coates have all spoken at Parker's Heller Auditorium for the festival.


Parker is part of the Independent School League (ISL) athletic conference,[14] and its mascot is the Colonel named after the school's founder, Colonel Francis Wayland Parker. The school has six sports during the fall season with eighteen interscholastic teams, three sports in the winter with fourteen teams, and five sports in the spring season with nineteen teams throughout the middle and high school. Sports at Parker range from boys and girls soccer, to tennis, basketball, baseball, cross country, track and field, and field hockey. Parker has a no-cut policy regarding its athletic department in the middle school, meaning any student who tries out for a team will make it, and over 65 percent of the students play on at least one team throughout the academic year. However, the high school hosts both varsity and junior varsity teams.

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ a b c A Brief History of Francis W. Parker School, Francis W. Parker School, 2010, archived from the original on September 16, 2009, retrieved April 4, 2010 Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  2. ^ High School Code Search, College Board, retrieved April 4, 2010
  3. ^ From Our Principal, Francis W. Parker School, 2010, archived from the original on March 22, 2010, retrieved April 4, 2010 Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  4. ^ a b Chicago (F.W. Parker), Illinois High School Association (IHSA), April 1, 2010, retrieved April 4, 2010
  5. ^ "Institution Summary for Francis W. Parker School", AdvancED profile, North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, retrieved April 4, 2010
  6. ^ a b Tuition and Fees, Francis W. Parker School, 2015, retrieved April 2, 2015
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ 2016–17 Tuition Schedule
  9. ^ The Francis W. Parker School yearbook, Volume 1
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 15, 2017. Retrieved June 19, 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ Construction Complete: North Wing Renovation, Auditorium Renovation and Fourth Floor Addition Archived March 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Francis W Parker School
  12. ^ Francis W. Parker School Studies in Education, "The Individual and the Curriculum", The Elementary School Journal, September 1920
  13. ^ [2]
  14. ^ Athletics
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h Akouris, Tina (February 10, 2009), "Francis W. Parker: A legacy of individual, team titles", Chicago Sun Times, retrieved April 4, 2010[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ Carreno, Richard (2011). Lord of Hosts: The Life of Sir Henry 'Chips' Channon. Philadelphia, PA: WritersClearinghousePress. pp. 43–46. ISBN 978-1-257-02549-7.
  17. ^ Felsenthal, Carol (July 11, 2007). "The Lost World of Kup". p. 6.
  18. ^ March 2008 Alumni e-Newsletter Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, Parker Alumni Community
  19. ^ Katharine Q. Seelye, Astead W. Herndon: Ayanna Pressley Seeks Her Political Moment in a Changing Boston. In: The New York Times, 1 September 2018.

External linksEdit