Head's Welcome

Welcome to Countryside School!

What once started as a school for a handful of families in a leased storefront is now a flourishing educational institution on 14 beautiful acres.

Everything we do here at Countryside is intentionally aligned to our simple, yet engaging mission to foster joy in learning and excellence in education. Simply put, Countryside is the school you wish you could have attended as a child.

One thing visitors notice, on first acquaintance with Countryside, is the comfortable, family-like atmosphere. Our hallways are filled with happy children and supportive adults. To me, this joyful culture captures the essence of a great independent school.

By browsing our site, you will get a glimpse of some of the ways our mission is fulfilled at Countryside, not only in the classroom, but also on the athletic field, on stage, on field trips, during after-school club time and service learning projects—anywhere our students come together for education or recreation.

Over its lifetime, the school has served hundreds of students from Champaign-Urbana and the surrounding communities. They have grown and developed within a fast-paced, challenging program and a warm, caring environment. Among the many benefits of a Countryside education, a student here will;

  • develop character-building qualities that are stressed throughout the year
  • become at ease with speaking, acting, and performing before a group
  • learn to communicate in an open, honest, and respectful manner
  • be encouraged to take risks, in a safe environment
  • accept personal responsibility for actions and decisions
  • appreciate differences between individuals and among cultures
  • learn to manage time effectively
  • absorb material and ideas and make them his or her own.

You will learn a lot about Countryside from this web site, but the best way to understand what happens here is to come and visit us. Please call or email us, and we will be delighted to show you our gem of a school.

Stephanie Harman
Head of School

Stephanie Harman, Head of School

Recommended Reading


Your Child's Social Skills in Kindergarten Are More Important Than Their Academics by Amanda Morgan

The Innovation Imperative by Pat Bassett

On Not Teaching For Understanding by Grant Wiggins

For Students, the Importance of Doing Work That Matters by Will Richardson

Rigor Redefined by Tony Wagner

Why Students Who Do Well in High School Bomb in College by Jeff Guo

Helping Children Succeed—Without the Stress by Erica Reischer

How to Get Into Harvard by David A. Graham

Joy: A Subject Schools Lack by Susan Engel


World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students by Yong Zhao

Why School? by Will Richardson

A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink

#EdJourney by Grant Lichtman

Beyond Measure by Vicki Abeles


Changing Education Paradigms by Sir Ken Robinson

The Power of Belief - Mindset and Success by Eduardo Briceno

True Grit by Angela Duckworth

What Are You Practicing Right Now? by Dave Mochel

Play, Passion, Purpose by Tony Wagner

The Story of Austin’s Butterfly by Ron Berger

Hackschooling Makes Me Happy by Logan LaPlante

Let’s Teach for Mastery, Not Test Scores by Sal Khan

The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers by Adam Grant

Countryside School
4301 W. Kirby Ave. Champaign, IL 61822
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