Once complete in 2023, the former Key School annex building will become the new, larger home of The Field School, an independent elementary school founded in 2017 to prioritize the educational needs of low-income students on the west side of Chicago.
The Field School uses a distinctive pedagogical approach that is academically rigorous and holistic, with a strong emphasis on arts programming, family engagement, and community revitalization. The Field School currently operates out of a rented church space in the Oak Park neighborhood and serves more than 150 students in kindergarten through 5th grade. It is, however, projected to run out of room to grow by the end of 2022.
To provide the space needed for the school to operate and expand, the Field School purchased the historic Key School buildings. The initial phase of rehabilitation will reactivate the North annex building, enabling the Field School to increase student enrollment up to 400. Purchasing and revitalizing the vacant school buildings will allow the Field School to move from the more affluent Oak Park neighborhood into the Austin neighborhood of Chicago’s Westside, where the need for quality and accessible elementary school education is great.