Recently one of my past clients invited me to visit City Garden Montessori. She has been a St. Louis City resident and advocate for a long time, but had been sending her oldest son to a private school in Clayton. Last year they moved into the Shaw neighborhood and made a very fortunate discovery: City Garden Montessori. Since enrolling her son in the St. Louis City Charter school, she has been really excited by the experience and has been thrilled with the changes she has seen in her son. The Montessori Method of self direction and active engagement has done wonders for her highly gifted and very active 6 year old.
The school is located on Tower Grove Avenue in the Botanical Heights neighborhood. There are four classrooms in total including the pre-school program. (Pre-school is tuition based and serves ages two and half-five). The charter school includes one kindergarten class (age 5) and two elementary classes which in traditional Montessori fashion are mixed ages similar to the traditional grades of 1-3. Each classroom has two teachers. EACH CLASS HAS TWO TEACHERS!
When I visited one of the elementary rooms I saw lots of independent study, a math presentation and a lot of reading. In addition to academics the children have work tasks which include cleaning chores, animal duty or volunteering at a community soup kitchen. Additionally there is no shortage of parent volunteers. Some parents have organized a gardening committee as evidence by the raised beds and composting stations outside.
To learn more about Montessori Education in general click here.
To learn more about Montessori Education in St. Louis click here.
From the City Garden website:
City Garden Montessori Charter School is a tuition-free, public elementary school, serving the Botanical Heights, Forest Park Southeast Shaw, and portions of the Southwest Garden and Tiffany neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis.
If you are interested in the school but don’t live in the area, call anyway. If there are open spots in the kindergarten, they will consider children who live outside of the identified area.