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Why Pre-K Through Sixth Grade?

Students in front of main building

Community School encompasses pre-kindergarten (starting at age 3) through sixth grade. We believe in the distinct advantages a pre-kindergarten through sixth school offers over a typical pre-kindergarten through twelfth school. Our program and environment focus on nurturing and supporting children during their most formative years. Community School’s model creates a solid foundation for your child’s development and success. We encourage children to feel safe taking risks, exploring new activities, and challenging themselves.

Elementary student reading with buddy in pre-kindergarten.

Why is pre-kindergarten through sixth better for my child than pre-kindergarten through twelfth?

Our model is different than the typical school method in that all of our resources are devoted to elementary education. Unlike schools that may need to spend significant energies toward older students (college counseling, high school dances, huge athletic programs), Community School is focused on elementary school students and their development. 

In the pre-kindergarten through sixth model, children (particularly fifth and sixth grade students) remain children longer without the challenges and pressures of secondary or high school. The elementary school environment allows students to experience age-appropriate activities and events, without the influence of high school students. 

How does the pre-kindergarten through sixth environment benefit my child?

Our approach prepares children for independence and propels them forward personally and academically. One particular challenge that other schools face is individualized attention; however, at Community School, our 7-to-1 student-teacher class ratios provide the opportunity for one-on-one attention. Our experienced faculty is aware of developmental levels and trained for and committed to the elementary years. They nurture students throughout their childhood years while preparing them for the rigors of secondary school.

How do children interact in the pre-kindergarten through sixth model?

Our thoughtful “buddy programs” between different grade levels have positive effects on both the younger and the older students. Older students seek to model appropriate behaviors and character traits for their little buddies, while the younger children have a positive role model to look up to and learn from.

How will the pre-kindergarten through sixth model encourage leadership in my child?

Your child has many early and age-appropriate leadership opportunities. Our Upper Division students, specifically fifth and sixth graders, embrace the duties of leadership and act as role models for all students. Older students take on lunch program responsibilities and lead assemblies, encouraging them to become comfortable in such roles later on in life.

Why does the model end after sixth grade?

Children often need a change, and pre-kindergarten through twelfth can be a long time to be in one school with the same children. Our students are ready to embrace new challenges, opportunities, and friendships while making a confident transition into their subsequent school years. Community School has an excellent secondary school placement record. A few of the schools our students have gone on to attend include John Burroughs School, MICDS, Chaminade College Preparatory, Whitfield School, Priory, Villa Duchesne, and Visitation Academy.

How will my child transition from sixth grade to secondary school?

Your child’s strengths become more readily apparent by sixth grade. With a variety of outstanding secondary school choices in St. Louis—each with its own niche—determining the right fit is much easier when your child is 12 years old as opposed to 3 or 4. 

Plus, secondary school choice is a team effort. Beginning in fifth grade, the Head of School, Upper Division Director, and teachers work with your family and secondary school admission directors to find a next school “match” that best supports your child’s gifts and talents.

Dana Scott Saulsberry

Connect With Us 

Community School is dedicated to providing a positive environment for children’s growth and success. Contact Dana Scott Saulsberry, Director of Admission, today to learn more about our specialized program!
You can reach Dana at 314-991-0005 or