MAGE grew out of two emotions: love and frustration. The love is for the gifted children of Chicago. The frustration is due to the lack of proper educational options for those children.
For gifted children in the City of Chicago, the options are few:
Public gifted programs that claim to teach a year above the rest.
Rigorous private schools that do the same but for a premium, and run like a social club for the wealthy.
Move away or commute.
While some gifted children will thrive even in a regular school setting, some will not. In other cities, there are alternative options to the above, namely, usually a plethora of gifted private schools.
We, the founders, asked ourselves, what makes a school a great school for a gifted child? If we were to reimagine what that would look like in Chicago, what would that be like? What is your dream for your child? Is your child thriving in their current environment? Do they have intellectual peers and real friends? Do they have teachers that understand them? Are they learning something new every day in every subject, or did they tune out a long time ago? If you are satisfied with your options today, this is not the right school for you. We are here for those who want more, and who want it now. We have a desire for an education that provides limitless learning, pacing, and an intellectual peer group, as well as quality direct instruction, with a proper social and emotional, integrated curriculum. And more! Play time appropriate for age, arts, and enough time outside. Individualized, set for the just-right rigor for each child.
Let’s face it, while the state made recent strides in acceleration in public schools, there is much work that still remains. Illinois is a state that does not have dual enrollment, while states like Kentucky and Florida do, starting in 6th grade. This is why our top High Schools that look so good on national lists look great - because the kids can’t take college level courses and are bottlenecked into them. But what are all those kids doing prior to the high schools? They are being force-fed grade level curriculum or are studying by themselves without an instructor in the hallway somewhere. The parents usually have to take a very active role to even get that. So how about we turn that around and give those kids something great instead. No more sitting through someone else’s lesson and never getting a turn to learn.
After sending children to many top private and public schools for several years, and not finding an environment that teaches to the strengths of gifted students, we feel that we need to try to build what most major cities already have - a private gifted school. There are no selective enrollment charters allowed in IL, and there is no public university interested in opening a gifted lab school in Chicago. Therefore, our only option is a private, tuition funded school. We are not for profit and are the only school in the state for IQ 130+ with a focus on HG+PG kids.
We have a mission to try to stop the brain drain out of our city and state. We hope to take a stand and build community with you for gifted families in the city and the surrounding areas. We have inquiries from all other Northwest Indiana, Southwest Michigan, and from many cities south of Chicago especially, because there is no private gifted option south of Chicago until one gets to Springfield, and nothing for elementary grade children.
Come and build with us. Come and be heard.