959 West Dundee Road
Wheeling, Illinois 60090

Phone: 847-537-8270

Hours: 8AM – 4PM

Superintendent: Dr. Michael Connolly

School Board & Administration



CCSD21 is a school district comprised of 13 schools across 6 different communities in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.



School District 21 prides itself on its Professional Learning Community and its rich tradition of professional collaboration, high levels of professional development, and family-like atmosphere. If you see the opportunity to work with colleagues in making a difference in the lives of students and families in a truly diverse setting, School District 21 seeks your application.

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Early Childhood Learning

Community Consolidated School District 21 has been awarded the Preschool for All Grant. The school district directly provides pre-kindergarten programming to district students through the grant. Therefore, the district has opened additional classrooms in three of our elementary schools – in addition to the classrooms at Hawthorne Early Childhood School. The opening of the classrooms in the elementary schools allows for more students to attend pre-kindergarten programming in schools closer to their homes.

The CCSD21 pre-kindergarten program services students ages 3-5 years old. Students may attend either one of the classrooms at Hawthorne or one of the classrooms across our elementary schools (Frost, Longfellow, and Whitman).



The CCSD21 pre-kindergarten program recognizes the individual strengths of each child and encourages each child’s growth. We support the development of the whole child in a natural context by providing opportunities for learning which facilitate the child’s cognitive, social-emotional, communicative, and motor development. It is also our belief that parental involvement is critical to the child’s development.



The CCSD21 pre-kindergarten program is a diverse learning community of children, teachers, and parents working together to provide a safe and nurturing environment that fosters the development of the whole child. We encourage acquisition of foundational skills and learning through play, facilitating the child’s cognitive, social emotional, communicative, and motor development. Our educational setting empowers our students to become life-long learners and responsible members of the community.


Belief statements

We believe creating a supportive school atmosphere where everyone feels emotionally, physically, and intellectually safe will allow students to develop the academic and life skills necessary to make responsible choices, develop independence, and act respectfully and collaboratively.

We believe every child develops at his or her own pace. Teachers will provide differentiated and developmentally appropriate instruction that incorporates research-based practices, as well as real-world learning at each student’s instructional level.

We believe collaborating with parents and community resources will foster a culturally- and linguistically-sensitive approach that encourages families to learn from each others’ unique strengths and backgrounds, providing a support system for students that will extend and reinforce their education beyond the classroom.


Illinois Early Learning Standards

The pre-kindergarten classrooms follow the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards (IELDS).


Curriculum and Assessment in the pre-kindergarten program

The prekindergarten program utilizes the HighScope Curriculum. The HighScope Preschool Curriculum is based on the principles of active learning and support of a child’s positive interactions with adults and peers. The curriculum is a comprehensive model that addresses all areas of development through eight content areas, Language and Literacy, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Social Studies, Social Emotional Learning, and 58 key developmental indicators (KDIs) — the skills and behaviors at each stage of development that pave the way for school and adult success. Each KDI is connected to and reinforced by scaffolding strategies to support and gently extend children’s learning.

Students are assessed using the Child Observation Record (COR Advantage) which assess the 8 areas and 58 key developmental indicators. Teachers collect anecdotal records daily to assess student progress and inform their instruction. Additionally, portfolios of student work are created.

Pre-kindergarten resources:


Pre-kindergarten screening

CCSD21 has begun the screening process to identify children eligible to participate in the pre-kindergarten program for children who are 3 to 5 years old.*

Pre-kindergarten screening assesses the following developmental areas:

  • Motor
  • Concepts
  • Language
  • Self-Help
  • Social-Emotional

*Children do not need to be toilet trained to attend district pre-kindergarten programs

To request a free screening, parents/guardians should complete this electronic form.



If you have any questions, please contact the Early Childhood Program at 847-520-6282.