Our Mission Statement

Wolcott is an exemplary college preparatory high school for students with learning differences, tailored to the strengths and aspirations of each student. Employing best practices, our expert faculty is committed to helping each student achieve academically, communicate effectively, and grow socially as well as develop the self-awareness, confidence, and resilience to thrive in college and beyond. As valued members of our intentionally diverse and close-knit community, Wolcott students cultivate their interests and talents and develop a sense of purpose and responsibility to themselves and others.

Who We Serve

Wolcott serves bright high school students with learning differences who thrive in our strength-based, collaborative community. Our students are creative, athletic, curious, and driven. They excel academically and benefit from our strength-based learning environment. At Wolcott, we structure our program around the understanding that ‘how we teach is as important as what we teach’. This guiding principle has empowered our students to achieve their potential in school, pursue their interests outside, and transition to college successfully. Wolcott proudly serves as a catalyst to this transformation. Our students often have a specific learning disability or an executive functioning challenge and have yet to reach their potential. A psycho-educational evaluation completed by a licensed clinician is required as a part of the admission process. Our program is not designed to meet the needs of students with primary emotional or behavioral challenges.

Diversity Statement

Wolcott College Prep is committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive community that fosters a culture of unity, equity, and respect. All members of our community are valued and respected regardless of gender, race, background, country of origin, religious affiliation, immigration status, orientation, or any such description. We believe in the core principles of a democratic education—education is a life force capable of transforming students’ inner and outer worlds. Wolcott actively fosters an environment of openness and collaboration. We challenge our students to meet/engage with each other with a spirit of integrity and courage. We believe that a community rich in a range of perspectives creates a dynamic classroom experience, giving our students the tools necessary to contribute to the world with greater compassion and thought. Diversity is critical to our students’ intellectual, emotional, and social expansion. Our work toward diversity is buttressed by our commitment to excellence. Wolcott actively recruits students from different backgrounds and offers resources to support them from admission to graduation. The path toward true inclusion is complex—it requires diligence, sustained commitment and humility. At Wolcott, we strive for a sophisticated construction of diversity and inclusion. We believe that teachers, staff and students must model cultural competency, authentic conversations, and moral courage. In the end, we are confident that our students will leave our walls equipped to advocate for themselves and a just society.

Who Founded the School

It took educational leadership to innovate Wolcott. The individuals listed below advised us with a wealth of educational experience. They readily confirmed that there was a long-standing need for a high school tailored specifically to bright students with learning differences. They gave us a mandate to take action, emphatic that it was the necessary thing to do. Thanks to them, we now enjoy a leading role in giving voice to the research and discussions around learning differences, what they are, how they are most effectively addressed, and why teaching students to advocate for their strengths can change their lives.

The following individuals served as the Founding Professional Advisory Council.
The Wolcott community is grateful to this wide array of Chicagoans for their leadership and guidance in the creation of the school.

PAMELA B. ADELMAN, PHD
Former Executive Director, Hyde Park Day School

MARY ELLEN CARON, PHD
Former Commissioner, Chicago Department of Family and Support Services

JANE HERRON, MED
Educational consultant to parents, private and public schools; Former Head, Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School

GHITA A. LAPIDUS, MA, CCC, SLP/L
Speech, Language and Learning Disabilities Specialist, Independent college consultant

JOSH PRICE, EDD
School Psychologist, Psychoeducational Diagnostician

PETER RASTRELLI, EDD
School Psychologist, Psychoeducational Diagnostician

PEARL H. RIEGER, MA
Psychoeducational Diagnostician

WARREN D. ROSEN, PHD
Clinical Psychologist, Assistant Professor in Pediatrics and Behavioral Sciences, Rush Medical University

JOSEPH J. RUGGIERO, PHD
Upper School Director, The Blake School
Former Head of Upper School, Francis W. Parker School

ALYSE R. SIEGEL, MED
Private Learning Specialist

CAROL SONNENSCHEIN, MA, NCSP
School Psychologist, Psychoeducational Diagnostician

JOANNE STEINBACK, MED
Former LD Teacher, Board Member, Hyde Park Day School
and The Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School