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Letter from the Director - Application Year 2024-2025

Dear Prospective Families, 

Thank you for your interest in University Primary School (Uni Primary School), where "Learning is Serious Delight!" Uni Primary is over 50 years old, and is the lab school of the College of Education here at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. We have a Head Teachers in each classroom, who are supported by 2 co-teachers, student teachers, and University volunteers. Our head teachers are master teachers, experts in their practice while still learning. We are a Reggio Emilia inspired school where children Preschool-5th grade engage in creative, challenging, and meaningful curricular inquiries and projects paired with Illinois Learning standards. At Uni Primary, children of diverse talents and abilities form a democratic community of learners nurtured by teachers attuned to best practices in early childhood and elementary education, gifted, and special education. University Primary School has 4 classrooms: Preschool (ages 3-5), Kindergarten/First grades combined (ages 5-7), Second/Third grades combined (ages 7-9), and Fourth/Fifth grades combined (ages 9-11). Ages are typical for the classrooms. Uni Primary does not give preference to University-affiliated families nor a discount for University families; we welcome all families in our Champaign-Urbana and surrounding communities to apply. 

Though it is ideal for families to apply to our school during the yearly spring admission period January 10-March 1, applications across all classrooms continue to be accepted throughout the spring, summer, and current school year when spots are available. At this time applications for preschool, 2nd, and 3rd grade are actively being accepted for the 2024-25 school year (applications for Kindergarten, 1st, 4th, and 5th are closed at this time, and a waiting list is being maintained.)  It is highly recommended that families submit an application during the yearly spring admissions timeframe, even if applying from out-of-state/country, so that your child may receive full consideration for the upcoming school year. A waiting list is maintained for students accepted to the school but for whom there is no available space. The waiting list expires after one year, and families on that list are welcome to reapply.

Prospective families are required to attend the Fall or Spring Open House or make an individual site visit to University Primary as part of the admissions process. Spring Open House for the 2024-25 school year has passed; check back here for our Fall 2024 Open House date. You do not have to sign up to attend Open House; all are welcome and we want you to see our classrooms with children, as we are, in our everyday. In-person site visits/Open House is the preferred visit type, though virtual visits are available for those without proximity to the school. Your child(ren) are welcome to attend the site visit with you, though their attendance is not required. Families scheduling site visits during our spring admissions timeframe should do so on our Applications Page.

When seeking a site visit June-December, email Uni Primary's Director: Dr. Ali Lewis 

Please use the University Primary School Application Page to locate and complete admissions materials and submit the application fee. When completing forms, you may choose to bullet point answers, write in narration, or provide short answers to questions about your child and your wishes for their school experiences. We are interested in child-created, authentic work samples as part of the application materials (rather than worksheets or adult-created materials). We are looking for a philosophical match between University Primary School’s approach to learning and your family expectations for schooling. Children are not interviewed nor screened as part of admissions.

We strongly encourage you to submit all of your application materials within one week of your site visit. Your application is complete when all forms and student work samples are submitted and your application fee is paid. Families with incomes qualifying for free or reduced lunch under Federal guidelines may receive an application fee waiver and any family (regardless of income) may apply for a partial tuition waiver with priority given to low income families. 

Our school is truly a special place where "Learning is Serious Delight!" and we look forward to thinking together with you about your family and Uni Primary School.

Dr. Alisha (Ali) Lewis
Director, University Primary School
Adjunct Lecturer, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign