as seen in the Hyde Park Herald, Wednesday, July 4, 2012
On June 21, 2012, the Board of Directors of The Cambridge School, a private elementary school serving PreK - 8th grades, located in North Kenwood, unanimously approved to lower its annual tuition from $8,000 to $4,500.
The announcement comes as the school received its annual report card, which demonstrated that over the past seven years, 100% of its students who have been in the school five years or more score nearly 3 grade levels ahead in reading, math, and language arts, which is unprecedented in both private and public schools in the city of Chicago.  The school's founder and current headmaster, Derek M. Barber, in a meeting with parents, showed the 5-year test score trends saying, "We took the longitudinal ITBS results of students who have been at Cambridge five years or more, looked at their math, reading comprehension, and language arts scores, and found our students consistently exceeding the local and national norms.  Our hard work is paying off." 
Although the school has struggled over the past year to attract new foundations to support its efforts, when one of the foundations that has funded the school since its inception in 2005, heard about these results, the response was, "Expand your territory, increase your enrollment, reach more students, and get more of these results in the next five years."  Soon after that charge, Barber contacted a second foundation and requested more capacity-building funding to do just that.  Both foundations responded to Barber's strategic proposal, which drastically reduced the present tuition by close to 50%, a surprising move by a private school, with the purpose of effectively attracting more families by adjusting the price point for enrollment.  "Since the economic downturn, many of the families who have been interested in what we do, how we do it, and the results we are getting, do not have the financial capacity to enroll their child(ren) in the school and some families have had to leave due to financial hardship.  That is not why I founded the school.  We must become more accessible to the average, median income household. These grants allow us to achieve just that.  We can now attract families with children ages 3-7 and keep them in the school until graduation because they can afford the tuition.  Hopefully, we will also attract more foundations and further reduce the tuition in the next five years," explained Barber.  Barber plans to increase enrollment to 110 students by the 2013 school year.
The new tuition goes into effect immediately for the 2012-2013 school year.  All re-enrolled families and families who will enroll for the coming year qualify for the new tuition rate.  All other tuition incentive programs and financial aid offerings are temporarily suspended with this new tuition rate.  "We still have spaces available in all grade levels and we are ready to expand," said Barber.
The school is located at 1014 East 47th Street and can be contacted by calling (773) 924-1200.  The Web site is

Promotional Video -- Why Should You Choose Cambridge?

THE CAMBRIDGE SCHOOL HAS IT ALL! In just under 5 minutes, check out why this statement is true.

The Cambridge School is dedicated to working in partnership within the community with parents to educate and train your child. Our desire is to equip parents to raise children who are committed to growing in Christ, know how to make wise decisions, and can engage with the world in which they live as productive citizens. As a participant in this education, your child has a life-changing opportunity to develop excellent relationships with God and other children, within a diverse setting of students coming from all parts of the city, representing various races, socio-economic classes, ages, and other cultures.

We offer a unique approach to education that is certain to pique the curiosity of parents who want the very best.

"Teach me Your way, O LORD, and I will walk in Your Truth..." 
- Psalm 86:11


CAMBRIDGE CAMP 2014: Enrolling in March 2015

Dear Parent:

Are you beginning to think SUMMER? You should be! Now is the time to register your child for summer camp programs. Don't you recall how difficult it was to get your child in that special summer program last year because you waited to the last minute thinking that a space was reserved for you? Consider Cambridge Camp 2013! (And don't let the cost keep you away. We offer generous scholarships for families that qualify. Be certain to ask before assuming you don't qualify.)

There are some very good reasons to choose CAMBRIDGE CAMPS for your child this summer. Here are just a few:

University Camp, our signature camp, combines academic enrichment curriculum ("university") with fun activities (" camp ") throughout the entire summer. Your child is guaranteed to have fun and continue learning the guaranteed core knowledge curriculum that will prepare him/her for excellence in the next grade level. In addition, University Camp is 9 weeks. Wow! Cambridge Camp include weekly excursions (field trips), grade-level or above curriculum in five subjects (yours to take-home at the conclusion of the program), nature and science studies, many competitions, games, and plenty of sports, dance, and arts activities.

Academic component includes math, library, physical science and nature studies, language arts, reading, Spanish, Latin/Greek, music, and art;
Fun activities include tennis, basketball, miniature golf, dance, visual arts, crafts, field trips, kite flying, safe water activities, and so much more.

Girls Quest afternoon component, introduced in 2006 to the CAMBRIDGE CAMPS, is a year-round enrichment program that is just-for-girls beginning at age 5, which combines mentoring and enrichment and takes girls to an all new level. Over time, Girls Quest will:

  • teach etiquette and manners;
  • instill self-respect and respect for others;
  • teach confidence, poise, and determination;
  • train girls to become entrepreneurs and excellent money managers;
  • expose girls to fine dining and dinner dances;
  • build social skills, sportsmanship, and public speaking;
  • provide positive affirmations;
  • give girls advice on dressing for success, modesty, and true beauty;
  • cultivate culinary and home economic skills;
  • monitor academic progress and tutor where necessary.
Sports Quest afternoon component is yet another expanded addition to the CAMBRIDGE CAMPS in 2014. Sports Quest will provide formal training in sports techniques for child ages 6-10 using the techniques the professional use. Summer 2014 will see the continuation of two (2) sports and 1 cheerleading class. Children will be trained by registered coaches from partner organizations. We're bringing the best to you so you don't have to travel throughout the city.

Check out last summer on our photo gallery, located at to get a glimpse of summer activities.



Cambridge Seeks New Board Members for 2015

Cambridge School of Chicago

Seeks Board of Directors (2 Seats)


When/Where: Publicly-held Cambridge Board meetings are monthly on the 1st Saturday of every month, 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM.

Job Description and Application is available on the homepage of this Web site, under Newsletter Archives (middle, right of page).  Click the hyperlink "Newsletter Archives" for the links.

The three primary reasons for the existence of The Cambridge School are to:

  • Eradicate the academic achievement gap among urban children in Chicago;
  • Open a new educational option (choice) for families on the south side;
  • Strengthen communities by strengthening families using education as the means.


The Cambridge School is a Board operated school made up of permanent and elected Directors (Board members).  The overall responsibility of the Board is to advance the school according to our statement of faith, under the school's by-laws, and in accordance with its stated objectives and mission.  The Cambridge School is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of a minimum of five members. 


The Cambridge School distinctives include:

  1. Strong parental support and involvement as an investment into the child's education;
  2. A superior educational model that combines an individualized student learning plan, measurable academic standards and hands-on, project-based learning;
  3. Innovative education options implemented to ensure all children exceed NCLB standards;
  4. Healthy meals, enrichment activities, and social development for all children;
  5. Educating families beyond the education of children in order to provide the necessary tools for long-term success.


Cambridge Board Members are:

  1. Governors of the Headmaster--they share responsibility for the management and evaluation of The Cambridge School?s faculty leadership.
  2. Sponsors of The Cambridge School--they are leaders in both giving and getting money for The Cambridge School.
  3. Ambassadors for The Cambridge School--they are representatives that defend and interpret for The Cambridge School.
  4. Consultants for The Cambridge School--they can contribute professional skills that would be costly for The Cambridge School to purchase.
  5. God-given protection and guidance--they pray for wisdom and offer wise counsel to those running The Cambridge School organization.

Currently, the Cambridge School seeks to fill two (2) seats on the Board of Directors. If you are interested, please contact the Cambridge School at 773-924-1200 or dMb

Inclement Weather? School is open when CPS is open!
Unless otherwise stated, when there is INCLEMENT WEATHER and the Chicago Public Schools are declared "accessible" and open, The Cambridge School will also be accessible and open.

Check the Official Cambridge Calendar for regular school closings due to holidays, professional development days, and student holidays.  The calendar is available in the "Downloads" and updated on the Web site calendar.

If you ever have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school at 773-924-1200.


Become a Cambridge Partner! (Support Letter from the Founder)

The Cambridge School

A University-Model, Faith-based Classical Education


Summer 2015


Dear Cambridge Partner:


I once again request your financial support.  Many of you know me very well or you know my parents, Vaughn and Blanche Barber.  You know that we are deeply entrenched in the battle for minds as a means to eradicate poverty and build purposeful lives.


We're celebrating 10 Years! This year, we are celebrating ten years of academic excellence in the city of Chicago.  Ten years ago, a dream became a vision, which became a reality.  We are excited about the future, but your partnership, now more than ever before, is crucial.  If we are to further eradicate the academic achievement gap in our neighborhood, it must begin with those who are committed to the same cause and believe in what we are doing to be effective.


We're achieving results! In 2014, our students scored 94% on reading and 93% on math; our parents provided over 900 hours of service to the school, saving the school nearly $100,000.00 in personnel, and providing the highest level of parental involvement ever.  Finally, our services expanded from 32 students in 2005 to over 200 students in 2014, with partnerships that service students from local public, charter, and private schools.


We are moving! We are once again stepping out on faith to expand our services and increase our population of children served. In 2017, we will open a new door to our educational services, which now include The Cambridge School, Cambridge Camp, Ambassadors Club After School programming, and Cambridge Tutoring, to a facility that will allow us to reach an additional 600 students in the next five years. Our present location is 1014 East 47th Street.


We are making it possible! Eighty-five percent (85%) of our students are receiving financial assistance. One hundred percent (100%) of your tax-deductible contribution goes to fund student services. 


Will you prayerfully consider a generous donation?  Your gift will mean so much to the cause of closing the academic achievement gap in Chicago.  From a gift as small as $100.00, which provides school supplies for one child to a gift as large as $12,000.00, which is the cost to educate one child, you can make a difference in the life of a child who receives a Cambridge service.  We need to raise $350,000.00 to meet our budget this year!


We have made it even more convenient for you to make your year-end gift.  You may make a credit card payment using PayPal, available through our Web site at or you may send a check directly to the School in the enclosed envelope. Thank you in advance for your partnership!


Eternal blessings,



Derek M. Barber

Founder and Executive Director


PROJECT SYNCERE Partners with Cambridge in Science/Math

PROJECT SYNCERE is partnering with Cambridge to bring STEM. STEM, which is an acronym meaning Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, is designed to help actively engage elementary students in the above named fields of study while stimulating their growth and hunger for them. The STEM Academy is designed to come to us through the use of a mobile lab. We will become Chicago's first STEM "cell" as our school's after school program, Ambassadors Club, will become the seat bed for much of the interface between the science community and Cambridge.

We will have the expertise of professors and personnel from several of the science and math departments of the University, who are specially and specifically trained to introduce topics to children, the target group of STEM. Topics include:

Food Nutrition Unit (functional foods & affects on the body, food safety, acids & bases in foods)

Small Animal Unit (microscopy, animal body/skeletal systems, rat dissection lab--do we really want to dissect a rat?)

Forensic Science Unit (inquiry, inductive/deductive reasoning, forensic experiment)

Educational Technology Unit (digital storytelling class, capture digital video, storyboarding)

Earth Science Unit (magnetism)

Biology Unit (cells and their function, building of tissue and organs, types of cells)

These will all be taught in "lab" structure, with experts coming to us and conducting these units in conjunction with our Core Knowledge curriculum units.

Cambridge Knights Sports Teams
Cambridge Excels in Competitive Team Sports!

  • Cambridge Knights Basketball (Grades K-8th)
  • Cambridge Knights Cheerleaders (Grades PK -8th)
  • Cambridge Knights Track and Field (Grades 3rd-8th)
  • Cambridge Knights Tennis
  • Cambridge Knights Flag Football (Grades 3rd-8th)
  • Cambridge Knights Baseball

The Cambridge School and three other Bronzeville charter schools recently formed the Kenwood Oakland Bronzeville Conference (KOBC) in order to introduce students to teams sports at an early age.

Contact our Athletic Director at 773.924.1200 for more information.

(c) 2009-2014 


Letter from Founder and Headmaster, Mr. Barber

Dear Cambridge Parents:

What an exciting time to be at Cambridge! 2015 is the "Year of InTENsifying Greatness!" This year we celebrate our tenth year of providing an "education as unique as your child."

  • Admissions/Students.  We have a growing population of really great parents and students, expanding our student body in 2014-2015.  Mostly all of our classes are full with a waiting list.  This is a true sign of parents recognizing the great need for the best education for their children even in a sluggish economy. We're positioned to have the strongest and best in class enrollment of families and students ever at The Cambridge School.
  • After School Programming.  Last year, our after school program, Ambassadors Club, included 12 new programs, including Cambridge Spirit cheerleading, Cambridge Kids Enterprise (entrepreneurship and financial stewardship), Cambridge Sports (SNAG Golf, SMART Tennis, Knights Basketball), Boys Quest, Girls Quest (expanded), Cambridge Martial Arts, and much more.  We also have expanded our arts to include culinary arts, visual arts, and drama/theater arts classes.  All-in-all, it is the city's most comprehensive after school program.
  • Financial Stability.  You can tell an organization's success by its financial strength.  We have NEVER (not once) operated The Cambridge School in the red (deficit).  Cambridge may not have all the bells and whistles that some other schools have, but we are committed to providing the best education possible with strong objective results within the financial limitations provided.  Now, there are those who have supported us financially who want to do more.  We recently received more funding based on our high achievement with a statement, "Expand your programs!"  That is quite a statement!  The Met Life Foundation recently announced that we will receive $20K for after school enrichment programming.  Bright Promise Fund awarded the school with $15K for scholarships. The Perkins Foundation is in its eighth year of support with $120K in scholarship funding.  As a result, we have reduced our tuition by 48% in both the school and summer camp program. Wonderful!
Are you checking the vitals? These are signs of a healthy school!  Check our vitals out!  In 2007-2008, we announced our theme, "Expect Great Things!"  We expanded our Mom's Prayer.  We enhanced our assessment tools.  We provided better after school enrichment programs (Mad Science, Merit School of Music, and Girls Quest).  We had our strongest year ever in Cambridge Parent Council history, with the introduction of the Spring Production in May 2008.  Our students' test scores in the benchmark grades proved that the educational approach of Cambridge is effective. 

Now it is time for us to get stronger.  In years past (2008-2009) was the "Year of Great Beginnings" and we expanded beyond our own imaginations.  "Reds" never are satisfied with status quo.  It must have been a "Type A" who came up with the tag line for Lexus Automotive: "The Pursuit of Excellence!" because at Cambridge we will always be pursuing that place called "Excellence" and will never settle for less.  We are constantly examining the structure, the system, the curriculum, the methods, and classroom resources, the families, the students, etc.  We are in pursuit of something greater than our imaginations!  We are just so pleased that you are part of the process!

As the school year continues, please take the time to:
  1. Pray for the board, administration, faculty, staff, families, and students of the school;
  2. Review the family handbook and point out the student decorum with your child (available on line).  It is important that we all be on one accord and be of one mind and purpose throughout this year;
  3. Read the required reading to your child (summer reading list is available on the Web site);  Parents should read Shepherding a Child's Heart (available for purchase at Cambridge) so that we are on the same page about discipline and expectations.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at (773) 924-1200!  If you are interested in Cambridge, now is the time (not in August 2013) to learn about us and apply for admissions.   Start with a tour of our Web site, then complete an admissions inquiry, next visit us at for a tour every Thursday!

Be blessed and be a blessing,

Derek M. Barber

Girls Quest (R)
Imagine this...a place for girls ages 4 - 9 years old, where we:

  • teach etiquette and manners;
  • instill self-respect and respect for others;
  • teach confidence, poise, and determination;
  • train girls to become entrepreneurs and excellent money managers;
  • expose girls to fine dining and dinner dances;
  • build social skills, sportsmanship, and public speaking;
  • provide positive affirmations;
  • give girls advice on dressing for success, modesty, and true beauty;
  • cultivate culinary and home economic skills;
  • monitor academic progress and tutor where necessary.
Girls Quest Chicago (R) is just that!  Girls Quest is "just for girls" and will meet for 1 hour every Tuesday afternoon from 4 - 5 PM, beginning in September and concluding in May.

Each girl will affirm a Girls Bill of Rights and participate in activities and field trips that cultivate turning young girls into young ladies.

Girls Quest (R) is expanding in Cambridge Camp 2011 and The Cambridge School 2011!  Registration begins now!

Cambridge Fall Open House Tours, Tuesday and Thursdays, 9 AM - 10 AM!
Interested in learning more about The Cambridge School?  Attend an admissions open house presentation called Cambridge Preview or contact us for a tour.  Send an E-mail with all contact information (your name, phone, E-mail, child's name, entering grade) to 

We are recruiting for Primary Class I (ages 3-4), Primary Class II (age 4-5), Primary Class III (advanced K), Grammar Class I (advanced 1st), and Grammar Class II (advanced 2nd), Grammar Class III (advanced 3rd), Grammar Class IV (advanced 4th),Grammar Class V (advanced 5th) and Dialectic Class I, II, III (grades 6th-8th) for Fall 2015.  This event is open to the public but you must register on-line to attend.  Parents interested in Cambridge are encouraged to attend this event.

You are cordially invited

to experience a glimpse of

The Cambridge School

An accessible and academically diverse faith-based education offering measurable quality instruction for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade

Our Cambridge Preview Fall Tours

will be held


November  - February

9 AM - 10 AM

1014 East 47th Street*

Chicago, Illinois

call (773) 924-1200

*NEW LOCATION!  Exit East 47th Street from the Dan Ryan or West 47th Street from LSD

The events will begin in our conference room.

A presentation of our students will initiate the day's events.

All attending are invited to visit our classrooms,meet our carefully selected faculty, and experience our passion for educating all God's children with excellence and compassion.


Mad Science (R) partners with Cambridge

Mad Science® is the world's leading science enrichment provider. They deliver unique, hands-on science experiences for children that are as entertaining as they are educational. Mad Science is proud to introduce students of The Cambridge School to a world of discovery while sparking their imagination. Mad Science encourages scientific literacy in children in an age when science is as vital as reading, writing and arithmetic.
Cambridge and Mad Science begin this partnership in science education in October 2007 through the after school enrichment program.  The partnership will conclude in March 2008, with the science fair as the culminating event.

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