Sponsored Feature: We check in with local institutions to find out what’s new and notable in their curricula, around campus and more.
Absolute College Consulting
Cindy Zelinsky, owner of Absolute College Consulting, is an experienced and trusted educational consultant who seeks to serve her clients by helping each student and their family to navigate the process of preparing for college. Her experience as an educator, collegiate coach and parent has provided her with a unique perspective on the process of finding the right college fit. Making the best choice is vital to a successful experience in college and beyond. Cindy takes her responsibility to understand each student’s strengths, values and needs seriously and will ensure that the planning process is inclusive. Her goal is for each student to have a personalized and comprehensive plan that is developed with an understanding of their abilities, needs and goals. Her step-by-step approach includes:
- Building a college list
- Application preparation and review
- Essays and interview preparation
- Navigating financial aid
- Recruiting assistance for athletes
Chesterfield Montessori School
Buenas Noticias! Chesterfield Montessori School is excited to offer its culturally diverse community a new opportunity: a Spanish extracurricular class for children ages 3 to 6. The curriculum has been created by Maria Santoyo, who holds her AMI Montessori Diploma, her Master’s Degree in Education from Loyola University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics from UNC Chapel Hill. Maria is a native Spanish-speaker, speaks five languages fluently and is excited to share her love of languages with her students. Learning a second language at such a young age is transformational. In addition to the cognitive advantages, it is an important component of a cooperative and amiable relationship with people around the world. Chesterfield Montessori School, founded in 1981, is a not-for-profit school offering authentic AMI programs for children ages 16 months through 15 years.
14000 Ladue Road, Chesterfield, MO 63017, 314-469-7150
4175 N. Kingshighway Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63115, 314-382-0085
The College School
The College School has many exciting things in store, including the completion of its 6,550-square-foot Jan Phillips Learning Center complex, which will be certified as a Living Building Challenge structure. The College School also will complete new outdoor play spaces, which have been designed with children’s different learning styles and needs in mind. Additionally, students are utilizing the new Digital Recording Studio to create video and audio recordings tied to projects and curriculum. At The College School, students learn to read and travel, write and make, discover and reflect. They learn to learn for life. The College School’s 53-year old experiential approach to learning is not separate from its rigorous academic program; they’re one in the same. From the campus greenhouse to the Atelier, and from traditional classrooms to The College School’s 28-acre outdoor campus near Pacific, students learn core academics and personal skills by doing, not just through textbooks.
7825 Big Bend Boulevard, Webster Groves, MO 63119, 314-962-9355
Community School is offering several exciting new programs this year to extend and enhance student learning. “Munching on Math” is open to fifth- and sixth-graders who enjoy math challenges and solving problems. Once a week during lunch, students meet to tackle challenging math concepts, often collaborating in small groups to discuss strategies and find efficient solving techniques. Problems are typically drawn from nationwide math contests. The program proved so exciting that a second day was added to accommodate interest. “Chat and Chew” is another new lunchtime program, this time for third-graders. Formatted as a book club, interested students meet once or twice a week to discuss a novel they’ve read. Again, the program proved so popular that a second group had to be added. Finally, Community has added a strings component to its already robust music program. Students in the first through sixth grades can opt to learn violin in a small group setting with the lower-division music teacher.
900 Lay Road, St. Louis, MO 63124, 314-991-0005
Crossroads College Preparatory School
Crossroads College Preparatory School now offers AP Computer Science Principles, an AP course that launched nationally this year. AP Computer Science Principles introduces students to the foundational concepts of computer science and challenges them to explore how computing and technology can impact the world. The unique, creative-problem-solving challenges and real-world applications that are central to this class complement Crossroads College Prep’s mission. The tech program extends to Crossroads’ makerspace, now in its second year. New this year is a metals studio, an X-Carve® CNC machine, and a Glowforge™ laser printer. To continue the work of preparing students for college in an environment that is rigorous, vigorous and balanced, these new programs and tools expand Crossroads College Prep’s ability to offer meaningful learning opportunities at the intersection of creativity, thinking, doing and ethics.
500 DeBaliviere Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63112, 314-367-8085
The Forsyth Adventure Center turns 10 this year! The high beam was installed in 1998. Walking the high beam is a graduation rite of passage for Forsyth sixth-graders. That was the start of the Forsyth Adventure Center. The high ropes course and climbing wall followed in the summer of 2006. For kids, the high ropes course is a playground suspended from the ceiling. The Adventure Center supports challenge education at Forsyth. The challenge curriculum that makes the Adventure Center meaningful is embraced by the entire faculty. The principles involved—setting goals, stretching beyond your comfort zone and reflecting on your accomplishments—permeate Forsyth academics, as well. Forsyth School’s one-of-a-kind campus in a remarkable location provides an unforgettable experience for children age 3–grade 6. Forsyth is a place to stretch beyond your comfort zone, where personal best counts, and where engaging curriculum meets challenge education. Forsyth. There’s nothing like it.
6235 Wydown Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63105, 314-726-4542
The Fulton School
At The Fulton School (TFS), travel is believed to be an incredible opportunity for students to build confidence, to shape their identity, to develop executive functioning skills and to appreciate the diversity of life and the security of home. Traditionally, Fulton high schoolers could join international trips coordinated by educational travel companies, but that came with a significant price tag. This year, TFS focused on creating domestic and international trips at more affordable prices by utilizing faculty and parent connections across the globe. In the fall of 2016, 15 students took a 10-day adventure to China, where they visited four cities, four Chinese TFS families, a school and, of course, major tourist attractions. In January, a group headed to Washington, DC, on a weeklong trip to visit the capitol and attend the inauguration. And in the spring, students will go on a two-day trip to Memphis to learn about The Blues, BBQ and civil rights.
123 Schoolhouse Road, St. Albans, MO 63073, 636-458-6688
Incarnate Word Academy
A major STEM facility enhancement for the 2016–17 school year is the addition of the MakerSpace Lab. Welcoming students back from summer vacation, IWA’s new makerspace consists of a state-of-the-art 3-D printing lab housed within the Learning Commons. 3-D printing is a digital fabrication technology whereby students use a combination of imagination and science to create something where nothing previously existed. The laboratory contains both large- and small-format printers (seven in all), a digitizing scanner and a supply of opaque and translucent filament in a rainbow of colors. Students have kept the makerspace buzzing with creativity all year long, creating a plethora of objects for Engineering, 3-D Art and Media Applications classes (just to name a few). 3-D printings cuts across the curriculum at IWA, and the 3-D printers have stirred enthusiasm in teachers and students, both of whom get to see ideas become real right before their eyes.
2788 Normandy Drive, Bel-Nor, MO 63121, 314-725-5850
Kirk Day School
Growing global learners. Nestled in the heart of Town & Country, Kirk Day School has launched two new programs to grow global learners and transform St. Louis area students into international citizens. Each classroom at the school, which serves children ages 3 through grade 6, participates in both a Worldview Service Project and an extensive Foreign Languages Program. Students in preschool through the fifth grade attend Spanish classes while sixth-grade students engage in the study of linguistics and are introduced to a variety of languages including, but not limited to, Spanish, Russian and French. “My goal is that the students would be mobilized to reach towards, rather than withdraw from, people who do not share their language and culture,” explains foreign languages faculty Amy Scott. Classrooms at Kirk Day School select a nation from a broad spectrum of countries and continents to study and serve through the Worldview Service Project. This project is integrated throughout the curriculum as students learn about the culture, geography, history, economics and needs of selected nations. Learning and service is facilitated through video-conferencing and pen pal correspondences with their newfound international friends.
12928 Ladue Road, St. Louis, MO 63141, 314-434-4349
Lutheran Elementary School Association
Why Choose a Lutheran School Near You? The U.S. Department of Education recently named Immanuel Lutheran School in St. Charles, Missouri, a National Blue Ribbon School. With this award, there are now FOUR Lutheran schools in the St. Louis metropolitan area to receive the National Blue Ribbon School award, which says a lot about the quality of Lutheran schools. Lutheran schools celebrate a long history in the community and are committed to providing an innovative learning environment that gives students a strong foundation in both faith and academics. Lutheran schools offer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning opportunities and numerous experiences in technology, athletics, academics, service, mission projects, mentoring, music and drama. Immanuel Lutheran School is a member of the St. Louis-based Lutheran Elementary School Association (LESA). More than 8,500 children attend Lutheran schools in the St. Louis metropolitan area, making it the second-largest private school system in the bi-state region. For more information, visit LESAstl.org or call 314-200-0797.
11123 South Towne Square Suite F, St. Louis, MO, 63123, 314-200-0797
Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School
Computer programming opportunities at MICDS expand and evolve as passion for this subject grows. Students learn how to “think like programmers” to solve problems in STEM and Humanities classes. In the Lower School, children learn that code is the language of machines. They dream big and discover their interests. They experiment with developmentally appropriate coding concepts and skills, including basic loops and if/then statements. Middle Schoolers seize the opportunity to build on that foundation. They are encouraged to think algorithmically to break a problem into steps. They learn block coding in the fifth grade, and advance from there. Upper School students dive deep into Python and Java coding languages, in AP Computer Science, STEM classes, Robotics Club and through project applications in Humanities classes. Recently, MICDS students designed an app to help homeless shelters communicate bed availability, winning second place in the GlobalHack VI Competition.
101 N. Warson Road, St. Louis, MO 63124, 314-993-5100
Miriam: The Learning Disability Experts
As the region’s oldest and most comprehensive resource for children with complex learning disabilities, Miriam: The Learning Disability Experts serves more than 1,000 children through its three programs: Miriam School; Miriam Learning Center; and a new high school, Miriam Academy. Opened this fall as the first private high school in St. Louis for teens with learning challenges, Miriam Academy educates students with average to above average intelligence who experience learning challenges in areas such as executive functioning, language, reading, math, and sensory or social skills development. Miriam Academy provides a personalized educational experience with a commitment to a 10-to-1 student/teacher ratio. Academics are emphasized along with individual therapies including occupational therapy, speech/language, counseling and social groups. Miriam Academy also offers after-school clubs, student newspaper, tutoring and field trips. Tuition assistance is available. No matter where families are in their journey, Miriam identifies needs and finds solutions for your child. Call to schedule your private tour today.
2845 N. Ballas Road, St. Louis, MO 63131, 314-962-6080
New City School
Alexis Wright joins New City School this year as the new Head of School. He comes to St. Louis from Bank Street College of Education in New York City, where he served as Dean of Children’s Programs since 2009. Alexis’ appointment began July 1, 2016, after a thorough, year-long, international search that began shortly after Dr. Tom Hoerr announced his retirement in May 2014. Alexis’ first six months on the job have already brought new energy and fresh ideas to the school. In his capacity as a parent (his two daughters started at New City in August) and an administrator, Alexis’ leadership marks a new and exciting chapter in the school’s history. With New City nearing its 50th anniversary, this is a moment for faculty, students, parents, alumni and the entire New City community to look forward in anticipation to the opportunities that lie ahead.
5209 Waterman Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108, 314-361-6411
Premier Charter School
Premier Charter School offers an exceptional academic setting deeply rooted in character education. When the school opened its doors in 2000, it was here to provide another choice for families who live in the city of St. Louis. Seventeen years later, it has become the “premier” choice for more than 900 students and their families. The PCS community is simply an extended family. Anyone who walks in can sense the authentic friendly, creative and caring environment that has been built inside its doors. Students support and challenge each other, which makes the hard work of growing critical thinkers possible. They practice partnership with families and community members, because PCS knows how impactful that can be for student outcomes and experiences. PCS encourages innovation because they know each student learns differently; and as such a diverse population, PCS celebrates students’ differences. Learn more about Premier Charter School’s growth on Facebook.
5279 Fyler Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119, 314-645-9600
Rosati-Kain High School
At Rosati-Kain, you will look deeply into what interests you and reach for your own discoveries. You’ll be challenged and inspired with 26 Advanced College, Advanced Placement and 1818 courses; state-of-the-art laboratory facilities; and an extended campus that includes the magnificent Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. Rosati-Kain gives you exciting opportunities for hands-on learning to help you chart your own path. With 30-plus clubs and organizations to join, you will discover plenty of ways to meet new friends, break out of your comfort zone and explore your interests. 2016 Club Highlights
- Robotics Team—SistamatiK placed sixth overall in the FIRST Stronghold competition and won the Judge’s Award in 2016.
- Koding Club is working on a virtual tour of R-K, with plans to expand their creation to a video game.
4389 Lindell Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108, 314-533-8513
St. Louis University High School
STEM at SLUH is not just a buzz word, and it means more than Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It’s a concept that epitomizes SLUH’s identity: inquiry-based learners and intellectual pursuers of practical solutions in today’s complex world. It emphasizes what they value in education, including creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking. Mostly, STEM is an opportunity to adapt in SLUH’s Jesuit tradition to meet the needs of students and the world. STEM is educational, as illustrated by SLUH’s challenging curriculum, but it’s also experiential. For instance, the school’s Jr. Bills learn from alumni experts in St. Louis, Silicon Valley and beyond. They participate in the Ignatian Carbon Challenge, FIRST Robotics Competition and Worldwide Technology Hackathon. Together, they have collaborated to build a weather balloon, gargantuan trebuchet, beverage machine and quad copter. The possibilities are UNLIMITED, and the process is fun!
4970 Oakland Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110, 314-531-0330
Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School
Oak Hill developed a makerspace this school year where students work individually and collaboratively to solve real-world problems. Once students identify a need, they design a solution that they must build, test and modify in the makerspace using everything from solar ovens to 3-D printers. This hands-on process requires creativity and perseverance in addition to knowledge from multiple disciplines like science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Once a design is successfully tested, students produce commercials in their new recording studio to promote the invention. The decision to develop a makerspace came from professional observations and current research. Today’s children have a lower threshold for learning from their failures. Children are giving up more quickly, and this is often coupled with a need for perfection. Taking a concept from research and development to production and marketing prepares Oak Hill students to pursue careers where ingenuity and resilience are vital to their success.
801 S. Spoede Road, St. Louis, MO 63131, 314-432-2021
The Waldorf School of St. Louis
“Being personally acquainted with a number of Waldorf students, I can say that they come closer to realizing their own potential than practically anyone I know.” —Joseph Weizenbaum, Professor, MIT Enrolling families from preschool through the eighth grade, The Waldorf School of St. Louis (WSSL) offers an innovative and progressive approach to learning. The Waldorf curriculum flawlessly intertwines every branch of academics, the arts and practical skills, cultivating well-rounded, critical thinkers who embrace high ideals and respect themselves, others and the natural world. No other educational method provides an academic experience as enriching, authentic and joyful as a Waldorf education. Join WSSL Saturday, January 28, for an Open House and see why Waldorf is one of the fastest-growing educational movements worldwide. Guests will have the opportunity to experience a day in the life of a Waldorf student. Tour the campuses and bring your questions for faculty, parents and board members. Please plan to attend from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and RSVP at waldorfstl.org.
915 N. Elm Avenue, Webster Groves, MO 63119, 314-962-2129
Computer science, with a focus on creative problem-solving through technology, is built into Whitfield’s middle school core curriculum. “We believe that it is important for all of our students to have a strong foundational experience in computer science versus providing that experience just for those students who self-identify as ‘STEM enthusiasts’,” said Director of Technology Matt DiGiulio. “As these students move forward into high school, they will have opportunities to elect into more advanced computer science-related learning experiences.” Later this year, Whitfield eighth-graders will launch the St. Louis area’s first K–12 TED-Ed Club, a program that supports students in discovering, exploring and presenting their ideas in the form of TED-style talks. “The TED-Ed Club curriculum begins with finding your passion, moves to writing and researching a presentation and concludes with animating thoughts to enhance the presentation,” said Instructional Technology Coordinator Ashley Hastey. “Those are all skills that are important to developing a well-rounded student.”
175 S. Mason Road, St. Louis, MO 63141, 314-434-5141
The Wilson School
This year, The Wilson School celebrates the 10th anniversary of The Excellence Program, which supports professional development for faculty, the expansion of the library’s collection and innovative programming for students. Conceived by beloved friends of the school, Hal and Catherine Faught, the program has made a significant impact on the lives of everyone in the Wilson community, from students to their families and the faculty. The $2 million donation—the largest given to an elementary school in Missouri at the time—that launched the program has allowed Wilson to form unique partnerships in the wider St. Louis community, including an exclusive writing partnership with Washington University, collaborations with the Saint Louis Zoo (pictured above) and speaker events that are open to the public. In the last few years, the program has helped to strengthen the social-emotional skills of students through curriculum on healthy relationships, self-esteem and managing emotional energy through breathing and creative movement.
400 DeMun Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105, 314-725-4999