If you live in St. Louis City or if you’re thinking about moving to St. Louis City, St. Louis City school options can be daunting and totally overwhelming. So, I am working on this video series. This is the first of the
video series to try to help decode some of the school options and bring some clarity to point you in the right direction.
Hi, my name is Johanna Dueren. I am a real estate agent with circa properties here in St. Louis, Missouri. And I can tell you from personal experience that dealing with trying to put littles through school and live
in St. Louis City is, A, not impossible, and there are some really good options out there, but, 2, kind of overwhelming, because there is so much information and there are so many options that it can be really
hard for parents. So, I thought it would be a really good idea to put together some information and share at least what I know, and bring in some outside resources from people that know the other schools very well, and shed some light on what some of the options are and how to get from point A to point B, because that can really sometimes be the hardest.
So I’m going to in this video is just going to broadly outline in general what the options are if you plan on living in the city of St Louis. Now, clearly, if you are not living in the City of St. Louis, if you are in one of the outer counties, it’s a totally different ball of wax. The school systems there are different, there are different options, and it’s generally a little easier to navigate. But within the actual city of St. Louis it can be a little bit troubling.
So, in this video, I’m just going to kind of outline what some of the initial options are,, and then going forward I’m going to do a deeper dive into each of the different schools and tell you everything I know. I’m going to tell you just the logistical stuff, the easy stuff that you could find out on Google: when are they, what grades do they serve, what’s their catchment area, what are the school hours? But, more importantly, there’s a lot of stuff that the internet isn’t going to tell you that I’m going to try to get a little bit more detail on. Like, what is the culture of a school? How does it feel? What are the pros and cons from people that have actually gone there and had real life experience with their kids in those schools?
Your first option is St. Louis City public Schools, and if you’ve lived in St. Louis City long enough, you know that St. Louis City public school system has had some struggles. They have, in my opinion, done a really good job of trying to overcome a lot of those struggles. Years ago, they lost their accreditation, but worked very hard, got accreditation back, and in the meantime, found several paths for students to go through within the system that still provided for an excellent education.
So your general option number one is St. Louis City public schools, within just the school system, for example, with the elementary schools, there are some really fantastic options that are not the gifted program or anything else. The first one that comes to mind is Mason. Mason is in the Clifton Heights area and was just recently, I believe in 2017, was awarded a St. Louis City School of Choice. I actually used to live in Clifton Heights,
so I know quite a bit about the school and the area. It’s a beautiful neighborhood and I have two family members that go there now and have said nothing but good things about it.
Mann is in the Tower Grove South neighborhood. That is also a really good option. It is easier to get into some of these schools. It’s much more about just living in the area, than jumping through all the rest of the hoops that some of the other options have. But in general, St. Louis City public schools does have some good options, so I will talk about that. Like I said, I’m going to, in a future video, do a deeper dive on some of those schools independently, but option number one, St. Louis City public schools.
Option number two is going to be still within the St. Louis City public school system. It’s going to be their magnet school program, and this is where the Gifted and Talented schools, that’s the bucket that they all in. And I can tell you right now that that topic alone is so immense that it’s probably going to take several videos to get through. I don’t want to make a seven-hour-long video, so I’m, I’m probably going to have to break this down into several. I personally have a child that goes to Mallinckrodt.
The three elementary schools in the gifted and talented program are Mallinckrodt, Kennard, and Columbia. The middle school option for gifted and talented is currently only McKinley. And as far as the high school
options, you have the options of McKinley and Metro.
The application process, the testing process, the wait list process, all of that is a lot for those schools, and understanding that and working through that is a lot. So, I think that’s probably going to be the very first video that I do next after this. I’ll go ahead and delve into the Gifted and Talented program and how to work through all of those hurdles, because I know a lot of people really need to know that information.
Quite honestly, my husband and I did not know as much information as we should have early on. We did not have our sons tested until one of them, it was a little bit too late. So, if somebody had told me this information when my kids were one and two, I know that sounds ridiculous to be thinking about this when they’re one and two, but it actually is good information to have because of the way the timing works out. A lot of this times, you need to be applying for things a year in advance or having tested scheduled a year in advance. So, it’s good to just know that stuff early on. So, we’ll get into all of that.
The magnet program is still within St. Louis public schools, so that presents its own set of challenges with working with some of the public school stuff on that. But the opportunity within the schools is wonderful. I can tell you from firsthand experience that Mallinckrodt is fantastic. My son is very happy there. I know Kennard is fantastic. I know Columbia has
been struggling with enrollment, but I’ve heard wonderful things about Columbia as well, so we will talk about all of that in a future video.
Option number three, if you have littles and you live in the city of St. Louis or are moving to the city of St. Louis, is going to be the Charter schools, and the charter school system in St. Louis City is huge. There are so many wonderful opportunities within the Charter school system. I do have some experience with that too.
My older son went to Lafayette Prep, which is an amazing school. There are schools such as Gateway Science Academy. There is the Biome School. There is City Garden Montessori. So all of these schools have their, like I said, their own culture, their own pros and cons, but if you decide that one of those is a good option for you, they also have, just like the Gifted and Talented program with St. Louis city public schools, an entire process for admissions, for … there’s wait lists, there’s lotteries. So, I’ll talk about each of those with all of the schools so that there’s a better understanding of how to go about getting into that school if that’s the one that you choose.
Last but not least, private schools. Private schools are still an option, and within the city of St. Louis there are two options. You have the Archdiocese, you have the parochial system, and you have the private system that is not religion-based. Within the city of St. Louis there are some fantastic parochial school options. St. Margaret’s of Scotland, St. Gabe’s, Saint Ambrose.
Both of my children went to St. Margaret’s. As you can tell, we had my kids all over the place, so I know about all these things. And there are the other non-parochial options, New City School, Soulard School, also very good.
Obviously, those are pay options though. So, not everybody is interested in paying for school or has the means to pay for school, especially some of private schools can get quite pricey. So, we’ll talk about all
of that, talk about the admission process on those as well, and talk about a little bit, some ins and outs of the Archdiocese system and things just to know about sending your kids to any of the St. Louis archdiocese schools.
In general, those are your four options in the city of St. Louis as far as schools. A couple of points to make. One, there are different needs for different folks, so clearly, all of these options are going to be what’s right for you and what’s right for your family.
Probably the biggest piece of advice that I can give you is to spend the time actually touring the schools, contact the administration, figure out when they’re having open houses. I will be putting that information in the videos of for each of the schools that I’ll be doing, but if you don’t have that time, if it’s go time now and you need to get the information, contact the schools and do a tour. They should be more than willing to get you in and walk you through and give you an idea of what their process is like and what their culture is like.
Ask all the questions. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions. I think when we first started, my husband and I were, we didn’t want to step on anybody’s toes and we were trying to be nice, and maybe didn’t ask enough questions, but we learned a lot. And, more importantly, go with your gut. So if something just isn’t feeling right to you, if you’re talking to somebody and everybody’s saying, “Well, this school is spectacular, and all these things are wonderful about it,” but you take a tour and you’re kind of like, “Eh,
it just doesn’t feel right,” then stick with that. Always go with your gut. Your gut is going to tell you what’s going to be best for you and your family.
And one more piece of advice, too. I think a lot of people very heavily rely on websites like GreatSchools And Niche. And I think that those, there’s good data information there, but that’s not the whole story.
So, for example, I feel like Lafayette Prep is a great example of this. Personally, I think Lafayette Prep is a fantastic school. It’s a great charter school in the Lafayette Square area of St. Louis City. If you look them
up on GreatSchools right now, I think that their score is like a six out of 10. Quite honestly, I have no idea why it’s only a six out of 10. It was a really, really great school. So, for us, at least. So I would take, when
you’re doing your online research and you’re looking at GreatSchools and you’re looking at Niche, take all that with a grain of salt. You’re really going to want to probably spend more time actually doing some leg work and getting into the schools and getting more information rather than just reading data online.
So, as a primer, at least, I hope that this was helpful to talk about the four main kinds of schools that are available in St. Louis City. Please comment below, subscribe. Every week I’m going to put out a new video highlighting another school, and if there’s a school that you really want to know more
information about, just get in touch with me. My contact information is below. You can call me, text me, email me anytime. And if I don’t know about it, I know that I have somebody that does within either my
pool of clients or within my group of friends, there’s somebody that knows something about the school.
Comment, subscribe, get in touch with me if you have more specific questions, and I hope this was helpful. Thanks.