We believe that children are our best hope to improve the world


Vision Statements

Environmental Learning

The environment is at the center of everything we do.

Academic Excellence

Through innovative educational experiences graduates are academically prepared, confident of who they are and environmentally responsible.

Partner with Parents

We partner with parents to provide children with a personalized education experience, where children learn the value of education, community and the environment.

Personal Responsibility

Children are empowered to make a positive difference for themselves and their communities.


Strategic Plan

Visioning Session

Strategic Plan 2015-2020


Our story begins with a passionate group of community members, led by Prairie Crossing Founder Vicky Ranney, looking to provide a choice for public education in Lake County. The opportunity arrived in 1996 when the Illinois Charter School law passes the General Assembly and was signed by Governor Jim Edgar. In 1999, Prairie Crossing Charter School was approved on appeal to the Illinois State Board of Education after being denied by their local districts.

Initially a K-3 school, each year PCCS expanded to meet the needs of those who wanted a choice for their child’s education. In the school’s short history, we have grown significantly in school size as well as within our campus.  In 2004, based on the increasing demand of parents choosing Prairie Crossing Charter School, the Comstock Building (1st LEED Certified school building in Illinois) was built and ready for students.  Two years later, PCCS fulfilled its campus growth plan by adding a Gym and the Carson Building.

Since then, our charter was renewed in 2004 and 2009 by the Illinois State Board of Education and underwent its third and fourth renewal in 2014 and 2019 with the Illinois State Charter School Commission. Today, we remain a premier choice for public education in Lake County. We serve up to 432 students in grades starting at Kindergarten through 8th grade. Thanks to a strong community of parents, staff and students, PCCS has received numerous awards and recognition throughout our short years.

Prairie Crossing Charter School is located on the ancestral lands of the Council of the Three Fires, the Potawatomi, Ojibwe and Odawa nations.  We are grateful for their stewardship of this ground, and hope that we can continue together to care for this earth for future generations.


All PCCS parents and staff are members of the Parent Staff Organization.  We foster community and support the school to fulfill the mission and vision of the school.  We achieve this through communication, coordination of volunteers, school community development and financial means.

Learn more about the Parent Staff Organization.

We are a free public school

Any student enrolled in the Fremont or Woodland School district is eligible for admission on a non-discriminatory basis with respect to race, ethnicity, and religious preference. Services include but are not limited to:

  • Transportation needs of all its students are met.
  • A full complement of services for students with disabilities and students with Limited English Proficiency.
  • Instructional fee waivers are available for families who qualify.

For more information please contact us.

Interested in joining our team? Click HERE to view current employment opportunities.

Welcome to PCCS