The O-School Curriculum

Department based coursework with varying degrees of academic rigor enable students to experience the ebb and flow of academic challenge and risk-taking in order to further their academic growth and preparation.
  • Educational goals are aligned with traditional learning standards, so the students can transition back to their next school fully prepared
  • Curriculum is shared with each student’s home school district to facilitate the collaborative process; all course offerings and material lists are also available to parents
  • The O-School works to devise meaningful instruction that remains consistent with the home school curricula and anticipated graduation requirements, while also addressing each student’s IEP or IAP goals and unique learning style

Elementary/Middle School

  • Semi-departmentalized classrooms provide an array of learning experiences that gradually prepare students for increased academic challenges

High School

  • Departmentalized classrooms, similar to traditional high schools, give students the opportunity to master all components of high school life, such as balancing a daily schedule and improving organizational skills
  • Each teacher leads a core content area (English, Social Studies, Math and Science); content is comprehensive and prepares students for post-secondary learning
  • Flexibility is built in to classes to meet learning and social and emotional challenges in a way that does not compromise course content and learning requirements

Foreign Language

  • Foreign language and cultural programs are available for students of all ages. Success is based on a student’s ability to not only use the language, but also understand the culture studied


  • The Music Program curriculum presents a variety of opportunities for students to develop their relationships to the art and science of sound, expression, performance, and composition. Students can continue the study of an instrument or join a class with no musical experience.
  • The coursework presented includes a wide variety of cultural & historical approaches to musical expression
  • Course programming includes:
    • Music Ensemble
    • Guitar
    • Choir
    • Music Appreciation
    • Electronic History & Composition
    • Music Composition
    • History of Chicago Music

Fine Arts

  • The fine arts play a central role at the O-School. In the studio, many students find their voices and feel at home for the first time in a school setting
  • A Discipline Based Arts Education and Arts Integration (DBAE) instructional method fosters a deeper level of expression and critical thinking skills that are vital for a lifetime of learning. Programs include:
  • Painting & Drawing
  • Printmaking
  • Digital Imaging
  • Ceramics
  • Watercolors
  • Oil Painting
  • Quilting

Physical Education

  • Brings daily exercise to students through an engaging and rich program that focuses on:
  • Health and fitness
  • Movement and body awareness
  • Self-esteem and goal setting
  • Stress management
  • Social skills