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About ACS >> Campus

Founded 1906, The Avery Coonley School has been situated at its current location since 1929. The School is on 11 acres adjacent to a forest preserve in Downers Grove, a western suburb of Chicago. For more than a century, The Avery Coonley School has worked closely with parents to cultivate the talents and passions of its remarkable student body. The campus landscape was designed by Jens Jensen, one of America's foremost landscape architects. The campus includes a beautiful rock pond and a reflecting pool in the center of the cloister. The original school building was designed by Waldron Faulkner, Mrs. Coonley's son-in-law. Faulkner's design used elements from both the Prairie Style and the Arts & Crafts movement. With the interior orientation toward the courtyard and the exterior offering spectacular views of the surrounding woods, the building manages to convey both a feeling of comfort and a sense of being part of a larger, more expansive world.

The Early Childhood Center

The Early Childhood Center provides a nurturing, warm learning environment for three-year-olds. The building served as the home of the Head of School from 1929-1987. Such a history seems only fitting since the EC program serves as a natural bridge between the home and school.

Performing Arts Center (PAC)

The Performing Arts Center was part of the 1993 addition. The PAC can hold 236 people. All students in Groups 1-8 assemble in the PAC every Monday morning for a ACS tradition called Gathering. At Gathering, students recite the pledge, make announcements, and often have a program that involves ACS students or outside presenters and entertainers. The PAC is also home to dramatic plays, musical concerts, graduations, variety shows, and guest speakers.


The ACS library serves the entire school community and provides at atmosphere that is comfortable, purposeful, and conducive to learning. The collection contains over 17,400 volumes, with subscriptions to approximately 25 periodicals, and a professional library for faculty. It uses an automated catalog and provides the school community with an online encyclopedia and an online periodicals service.



The comfortable and attractive lunchroom offers daily hot lunch and a relaxing space for students to socialize. The Commons is used as a reception area after many school gatherings.


Middle School Wing
The middle school wing opened in 2006. It features state-of-the art science labs, two computer labs, conference rooms, and classrooms that utilize the latest technology.


Information Technology
The Avery Coonley School continues to fulfill its strong commitment to being a leader in the integration of technology into a rigorous curriculum.
We have enhanced our classrooms with some of the latest tools to aid the teaching and learning process. Recently we have added many tools from Interactive Response Systems, to touch-screen high-definition displays, to a state of the art Intranet system that allows teachers and students to communicate more effectively in a digital and collaborative world. In Middle School we have implemented 1:1 computing starting in 5th Group where students are assigned a tablet PC (Microsoft Surface Pro) that they bring to and from school daily. In 2009, ACS opened a new lab with 16 dual platform iMacs.


Athletic Facilities & Playgrounds
The main athletic facilities consist of a gymnasium with locker rooms. ACS has a soccer field and two playgrounds, one for Early Childhood students and one for older students. The campus also features an outdoor swimming pool that is used primarily for the School's Summer Program but is also used by Physical Education classes.


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