Letter from the Director

Dear Prospective Families,

Thank you for your interest in University Primary School (Uni Primary School), where "Learning is Serious Delight!" Uni Primary is the Lab School of the College of Education on campus, at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. We are a Reggio Emilia inspired school where children engage in creative, challenging, and meaningful curricular inquiries and projects informed by Common Core standards. At Uni Primary, children of diverse talents and abilities form a democratic community of learners nurtured by masterful teachers attuned to best practices in early childhood and elementary education, and gifted and special education. University Primary School has 4 combined age classrooms: Preschool (ages 3-5), Kindergarten/First grades (ages 5-7), Second/Third grades (ages 7-9), and Fourth/Fifth grades (ages 9-11). Ages are typical for the classrooms.

Though it is ideal for families to apply to our school during the yearly spring admission period January 15-March 1, applications across all classrooms are accepted throughout the school year and summer. It is highly recommended that families submit an application during spring admissions, even if applying from out-of-state, 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. Families on the waiting list may indicate if they are choosing to reapply a subsequent year.

Prospective families are required to make a virtual site visit to Uni Primary as part of the admissions process. At this time, only virtual site visits are offered due to school restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. We seek to make a philosophical match with families, and though we want you to see our wonderful school in action, this year you may visit the classroom spaces virtually. Families of Preschool-5th grades may schedule an individual virtual site tour by contacting the Office Support specialist, Christine at cwyant@illinois.edu, or by calling Uni Primary’s Office at 217-333-3996. 

We strongly encourage you to submit all of your application materials within one week after your virtual site visit. Your application is complete when all forms and student work samples are emailed to: uniprimary-applications@education.illinois.edu and your application fee is recieved by mail.

Please send the $50 application fee by check made out to The University of Illinois to the University Primary School office at: 51 Gerty Drive Champaign, IL 61820. 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. 

Please use the University Primary School Application Procedures page to locate and complete admissions materials or pick up a paper copy of the admission packet by contacting our school office: 217-333-3996. 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 parent-created materials). We are looking for a philosophical match between University Primary School’s approach to learning and your family expectations for schooling.

Our school is truly a special place and we look forward to sharing it with you!

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