FRequently Asked Questions


Where is the Nautilus school located?


We are located in the historic Beverly neighborhood on the southside of Chicago at 1917 West 93rd Street, in a shared space with Church of the Holy Nativity.



If it’s in a church, is it faith-based?

No, our school is not faith-based, and the church is not our permanent home.  However, we enjoy a wonderful partnership with them as they are very gracious hosts and neighbors.


Is The Nautilus School private, public, or charter?

We are a private, independent school which means that we enjoy a lot of autonomy in our curriculum and methods.  Our funding comes from tuition, grants, fundraising and philanthropy.


How long is the school day and year?

The school day begins at 8:30am and ends at 3:00pm.  School begins for students the day after Labor Day and runs through early June.


What ages/grades does Nautilus serve?

Our school does not have traditional grade levels.  However, ages will range from 4-9 years old in the 2019-20 school year. We will continue to add children each year, as our learners mature. By 2024, we will serve learners through traditional 8th grade. For more information about mixed-age classrooms click here.


What is the Learner-teacher ratio?

Our class of up 15 learners has two certified teachers, with adjunct members providing enrichment such as yoga, art and music.


What’s for lunch?

Students bring packed lunches from home, which can be refrigerated through the morning if necessary. Additionally, families sign up to provide daily snacks.


Is after-school care available?

Yes, after-school care is available until 6:00pm for an additional fee.


How is the curriculum developed?

We do not follow a standardized curriculum.  Instead, curriculum is informed by the unique needs and strengths of the students - ours is a constructivist approach.  Topics and themes explored will be developmentally appropriate for students.  Given the young age of our inaugural class, we are planning to provide robust learning around reading and math fundamentals so that later content is accessible to them.  Other content areas will be very well integrated - we do not see the arts, sciences, or physical/outdoor play as “extras,” but instead as valuable components of the core curriculum.  We do not plan to teach subjects in isolation; rather scaffold students’ understanding of the connections between content areas.


What makes a family a good fit?

We are looking for families to be actively involved in shaping The Nautilus School and realizing our vision.  Our’s is truly a community of learners that includes staff, students, and their families.

Nautilus may be good fit if your family is...

  • Seeking a unique learning experience for your children

  • Interested in non-traditional options

  • In search of small class sizes

  • Not in favor of standardized curriculum and testing

  • Willing to be part of building something new and innovative

  • Excited about joining a community of learners

  • Looking for a learner-centered approach

  • Prioritizing an “open-walled” classroom, with time outdoors and in the community


How much is tuition?

The cost to attend The Nautilus School is $8,250 a year / $825 a month, September through June.  The deposit made at time of registration will be applied to first month’s tuition. 

  • 12% discount for paying a year in advance

  • 10% discount for siblings

There are also opportunities available for families to be compensated for contributions to the school in the form of reduced tuition. Please inquire to learn more.


Can Nautilus accommodate children with special learning needs?

Our flexible approach to learning is a great fit for many students who thrive best in a non-traditional setting. Our learning environment is designed to provide space for students to move around comfortably. We have flexible seating options and room for individual self-regulation.  

While we do not have specific special education services (or support staff such as speech/language, occupational, or physical therapy), we do provide an individualized curriculum at The Nautilus School. The low student-to-teacher ratio means students receive a lot of 1:1 support. We expect many families to find that Nautilus is a good environment for their children with special needs.

We’d love to learn more about your child’s specific needs so together we can determine if Nautilus might be a good fit. Please contact us at to set up a conversation to discuss.

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