Our name has changed. Our mission and vision remain the same.

Continue reading for our philosophy and our approach to education


To inspire, nurture and empower children to live up to the full promise of their individual and unique talents and capabilities, and to support their parents through an educational model that combines Montessori education with a Catholic environment.


To launch students into life as faithful, independent, compassionate and respectful members of society who are prepared for academic, social and emotional success and who use their freedom wisely.

Our philosophy and our approach to education

At Cardinal Bernardin Montessori Academy, the education we provide is based on the following:

  • We believe that families and home environments are the major influences in the life of a young child.
  • We employ professionally trained teachers with Montessori certification who collaborate with each child and his/her family on an individual and familial basis to ensure each child’s success.
  • We provide an environment and curriculum that is rooted in the Catholic faith and Montessori approach for educating young children.
  • We strive to support children in their endeavors of evolving into creative, competent human beings who respect self, others and the world around them.
  • We instill a love of learning while cultivating the virtues of faith, work, order and cheerfulness children need to thrive.

Our History

It is an exciting time for our school as we build upon 20 years of success in educating children with a unique model combining Montessori and Catholic education in one school.

Cardinal Bernardin Montessori Academy has paved the way as a successful model for private Catholic education for over 20 years. Of the thousands of private and hundreds of public Montessori schools in the United States, there are only about 25 private, Catholic Montessori Schools in the entire country. Cardinal Bernardin Montessori Academy is the only Catholic Montessori School in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Our story started in September of 1998 with the support of the Episcopal Vicar Bishop Edwin Conway, the “Cardinal Bernardin Early Childhood Center” was established as a private school Pre-K to third grade, operating under the auspices of the Office of Catholic Schools. The school opened with four classrooms and the founding principal was Sister Barbara Jean Ciszek, CSJ. Sister BeeJay served as Principal until her death in May of 2015.

The Cardinal Bernardin Montessori Academy is still committed to offering our students, now Pre-K to 6th grade, the finest Montessori education in a Catholic environment. We seek to help our students to reach their full potential as children of God and partner with parents in their responsibility as the primary educators of their children’s intellectual and moral formation. The Academy welcomes all students from a wide range of social, economic, racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Parents enroll their children if they agree with our philosophy and desire to actively participate in its mission.

Cardinal Bernardin Montessori Academy is located on a beautiful, 2-acre urban campus in the Lincoln Park-Lakeview neighborhoods of Chicago. If you are looking for a Catholic, Montessori Academy with an outstanding, dedicated faculty and staff, a place where your child can be themselves in an atmosphere of freedom and responsibility, a proven program for your child’s moral, academic and social development, and a place where peace in education and joy in learning abounds, then Cardinal Bernardin Montessori Academy is for you.

We encourage you to visit, soon. We look forward to meeting you and your child!