Community School is very intentionally a pre-kindergarten (starting at age 3) through sixth grade school. We firmly believe in the distinct advantages a PK-6 school offers during a child’s most formative years.
Our nurturing and supportive environment allows children to feel safe taking risks, exploring new activities, and challenging themselves. We believe our program confers distinct advantages over a PK-12 environment:
- All 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 only focused on elementary school students and their development.
- Children often need a change. PK-12 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.
- Your child’s strengths become more readily apparent by 6th 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.
- 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 buddies, and the younger children adore their big buddies.
- In the PK-6 model, children (particularly 5th and 6th 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. 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.
- Your child has many early and age-appropriate leadership opportunities. Our upper school students, specifically 5th and 6th graders, embrace the duties of leadership and act as role models for all students.