Waters Elementary is a unique neighborhood public school that has created a joyful learning environment that integrates art, ecology and music into the common core curriculum. As a neighborhood school, located in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago, it celebrates community and values diversity and inclusion.
Visitors to Waters Elementary can see a campus that has been shaped over the years through the interaction of the community and the culture of the school. The South end of the campus is a magical place with several 300+ year old oak trees standing over native prairie grasses and flowers. Nestled within the oak savanna is a community garden with plots tended by people from the neighborhood and other plots that are planted and cared for by students. A campfire ringed with natural seating and a wood-fired pizza oven are used throughout the year for weekly “garden nights” and other events. In the fall, younger students enjoy storytelling and cider with roasted potatoes that were planted by students in the Spring. Adjacent to the garden is the playing field which is a favorite spot for impromptu games of soccer, frisbee, wiffle ball, tag, and countless invented and unnamed games.
The common core curriculum of math, science, language arts, and social studies is taught by teachers who delight in engaging students through hands-on learning and cross-collaboration with the fine arts, technology, and environmental programs. For students at various levels of reading and math, teachers create differentiated learning experiences that are tailored to fit each student.
Waters Today is a volunteer-based organization that raises private funding to support the arts and ecology programs as well as other strategic initiatives of Waters Elementary.
Total IIC Funding: