Tutoring company to open private middle school

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The Nurturing Wisdom Academy, a private school for children in fifth- through eighth grades, is scheduled to open Aug. 20 in the former Zion Lutheran School, at Vine and Second streets in Hinsdale.

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HINSDALE — An organization that has been tutoring children in the Hinsdale area will open a private middle school here next month.

The Hinsdale Village Board approved a special use permit for Nurturing Wisdom to open a school, at 125 S. Vine St., in the former Zion Lutheran School.

The permit allows the school, named Nurturing Wisdom Academy, to have up to 50 students in fifth through eighth grades. School officials expect to have far fewer students when they open their doors Aug. 20.

“We are not looking to change the building,” said Amanda Vogel, vice president of Nurturing Wisdom. “We’ll be using the building for what it was built for, only on a much smaller scale.”

Nurturing Wisdom’s tutoring service started seven years “for students who aren’t succeeding in a traditional classroom,” owner Pari Schacht said. The company has about 100 part-time tutors, with varied expertise.

Schacht and Vogel said their tutoring and, now their school, are not designed specifically for special education or gifted students.

They serve students who often show a passion for something outside of school, but are not high achieving in the classroom. The teachers design lessons that tap into that interest to motivate the students to learn other subjects as well.

“It’s more of a niche type of thing,” Vogel said.

Sue Pyzdrowski, who attended a village meeting to show support for Schacht’s proposal, talked about her son Jonathan, the youngest of her four children.

“He’s a smart kid, but he doesn’t apply himself. His favorite things were airplanes,” she said.

The teachers from Nurturing Wisdom taught her son math by applying it to airplanes and flying principles, Pyzdrowski said.

Schacht and Vogel submitted 30 letters of support for their proposal to the village, signed by Hinsdale residents in favor of their opening a middle school.

Susan Chakos of Hinsdale wrote, “Nurturing Wisdom is providing a necessary service for children that our current education facilities fall short. This is a great addition to our community and we should be grateful to have them.”

Familes in Burr Ridge, Clarendon Hills and Western Springs use the tutoring service, but Vogel said the majority of interest has come from parents in Hinsdale, which is why they looked for a site here. The empty Lutheran School offered an excellent opportunity as it already is divided into classrooms and has a gymnsasium.

An information session to learn whether the academy would be right for your child is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 24, at the Flagg Creek Golf Course, 6939 Wolf Road, in Indian Head Park. The session is open to the public.

For more information about Nurturing Wisdom, call (312) 260-7945.