• Teachers Say...
    “All six and seven year olds need to see and experience that learning is fun!” says Miss Huelskoetter. “I strive to teach to the whole child—incorporating a ‘brain building’ classroom experience and strategies.”
  • Parents Say...
    “I like the fact that Pilgrim is a strong community that teaches more than academics: responsibility, care, and a good balance between academic and emotional development.”
  • Students Say...

    “I love Pilgrim because our friends become our family.”

  • Alumni Say...

    “My seventh and eighth grade teachers instilled in me proper discussion skills and deep analytical thinking skills that have carried me through my freshman year. The competition to get into high school is tough, but with Pilgrim, you will be tougher.”

  • School Tours

    Every Tuesday at 10am or by appointment. Please contact the school office for details

  • Want to learn more about Pilgrim?

    Join us for our Open House on March 5th!

  • PilgrimPs001-small

  • Academic excellence with a heart

    • Individual attention with small class sizes (averaging 14 students, compared to a CPS average of 30)
    • Academic excellence driven by the best of current educational practices
    • An experienced and energized staff who inspire a love of learning
    • A safe and intimate setting where the individual can flourish
    • A high level of parental involvement
    • Service to the community
  • Comella Among Nation’s Best K-8 Principals

    Pilgrim Lutheran School Principal Chris Comella has been named a 2018 National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

    Each year the NAESP honors elementary and middle-school principals from across the country who set high standards for instruction, student achievement, character, and culture for their students, families, and staff members. Comella was one of only four private school principals to be recognized this year.

    “Chris helps all of us to focus on how we can better teach to the whole child, and how we can enroll parents into a role of utmost support and engagement,” said Kristian Johnson, Pilgrim Lutheran Church’s pastor. In October, Comella will travel to Washington, D.C., for two days of activities planned to bring recognition to the elementary and middle-level educators chosen by the states, the District of Columbia as well as private and overseas schools.

    Comella was nominated for the award by his fellow principals in the Evangelical Lutheran Education Association. His “persistence, professionalism and ministry have been acknowledged and affirmed throughout the nomination and selection process by [his] school, congregation, peers and national education leaders,” said Gayle M. Denny, executive director of the Evangelical Lutheran Education Association of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

    At Pilgrim he has focused on strengthening academic opportunities for all students as reflected in the hiring of a math specialist, the implementation of academic coaching, the fine-tuning of the 4th-8th grade instructional model, and a schedule that allows differentiated instruction across grades. Under his leadership, Pilgrim students engage in service learning at every age – be it helping out at the local food pantry, supporting a refugee family or baking cookies for the homeless.

    Comella has served Pilgrim Lutheran as principal since 2013. A graduate of Wabash College in Indiana, Comella earned his Teaching Certification at DePaul University in Chicago and has a Master of Arts from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.

  • Principal-Chris-Comella-ELCA-Award

  • 2018-Best-of-Chicago-Award

  • Pilgrim Preschool is
    Chicago's Best!

    Pilgrim Lutheran School has been selected for the 2018 Best of Chicago Award in the Preschools category by the Chicago Award Program. Each year, the Chicago Award Program identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These exceptional companies help make the Chicago area a great place to live, work and play. Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2018 Chicago Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Chicago Award Program and data provided by third parties. Congratulations to our teachers Mrs. Bataneant, Mrs. Smith, Mr. Comella, and to everyone here at Pilgrim on this prestigious award!

  • As Featured In Chicago Parent Magazine

    At Pilgrim Lutheran Church and School in Chicago, the staff is incorporating theories they learned at an in-service workshop by Wheatridge Ministries to help increase students’ learning. That workshop taught that “brain breaks” are essential to student learning, and therefore, teachers are regularly leading their students in kinesthetic activities in the classroom to help them boost their performance, says Pilgrim Principal Chris Comella.

    “Especially before we do any testing, teachers will be doing stretching or dancing or some kind of physical activity to get the blood flowing to the brain,” he says. “In other activities, teachers will musically chant things, or make up raps for prayers. Or they get up in math class and sing and dance the math rules, which helps ingrain them on the brain.”

    They also use things like sign language and “reader’s theater” performances during chapel time to reinforce learning and engage the brain, he says.

    “Anecdotal evidence shows us that kids are happier and more enthusiastic about learning if it’s fun,” he says. “It’s fun to do raps and chanting and reader’s theater. And in terms of test results, we think their scores spike by at least a few points because the physical activity helps keep them mentally focused.”

    Read the full article

  • mtg

  • Spotlight


    • Party for Pilgrim
      The spring fundraiser is on the horizon, so check out the flyer and auction catalog! Anyone interested in being a [...]
  • We're a community of learners in the heart of Ravenswood.

    • Individual Attention

      An experienced and energizing staff who inspire a love of learning and who model the values we teach.

    • High Level of Parent Involvement

      Parents who support the academic, social, artistic, physical and spiritual development of all students through active participation in curricular and extra-curricular activities.

    • Academic Excellence

      Over 95% of Pilgrim graduates enroll in competitive high school programs. In the past 7 years, over 73% of Pilgrim students who qualified and opted to apply were accepted at Selective Enrollment High Schools vs. 17%* acceptance average of all applicants by Selective Enrollment High Schools.

    • Teaching the Whole Child

      Service learning is an important part of a Pilgrim education. Pilgrim empowers students to form relationships with others, rather than simply give money or goods.

    • Teaching inspired by Grace

      Pilgrim welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds. Pilgrim’s affirming approach nurtures students, leading them to develop their own spirituality.

    • Extended Learning Options

      Before and after school learning options for all children, with the opportunity to participate in chess wizards, circus arts, dance, individual music lessons, and a variety of art projects.

  • We enable students to achieve a positive place for themselves in society.

    Just a few of our community partnerships
    • The Friendship Center

      Dedicated to providing neighbors in need with food, clothing, and household goods in a friendly and safe environment.

    • Pilgrim Kids Care

      As part of their education, Pilgrim students are encouraged to search for ways to reach out to their community and help those in need.

  • Heart

    • Coat Angels

      Coat Angels delivers coats, fleeces, hats and gloves to some of the neediest children in Chicago

    • Casals School of Excellence

      Every year for the past 10 years the Pilgrim community has helped bring Christmas joy to children at Pablo Casals Elementary School in Humboldt Park.

  • Ready to learn more?

    • Address

      Pilgrim School
      4300 N. Winchester Ave
      Chicago, IL 60613

    • Phone & E-mail

      Phone: (773) 477-4824
      Fax: (773) 477-8996

    • Leadership

      Chris Comella, Principal | email
      Pastor Kristian Johnson | email

Our buildings are temporarily closed, but Pilgrim’s mission continues.

If you are interested in COVID-19 information for our school click HERE
If you are interested in our church click HERE