At The St. Michael School of Clayton, there are no bells signaling students to move from room to room, individual desks in rows, or teachers speaking from the head of the class. Rather, kids are given the flexibility to learn at their own pace, in their own way. “We focus on teaching the individual child,” says head of school Elizabeth Mosher. “We never want the child to have to fit into a certain curriculum. We tailor the curriculum to fit each individual child, so that they succeed and grow from year-to-year.”
Merilee Kern knows about fitness. A former female body-building champion, Kern was an active child. Now that she’s a mother herself, she wants to ensure that her children and their peers benefit from physical fitness and healthy food choices.
Students sewing costumes, building sets and even filling the director’s chair are common occurrences at Visitation Academy. Its middle and upper schools’ theater program, led by drama and speech teacher Marty Strohmeyer, allows young women to take the reins in four annual productions. “We believe in entrusting them as leaders—if you trust them, they are going to trust it and go with it,” Strohmeyer says.
With fall’s cool breeze and colorful leaves come some of St. Louis’ most family-friendly adventures. LN recently spoke with Amanda Doyle, local mom and author of 100 Things to do in Saint Louis Before You Die, about packing up the kids and heading out for some fall fun.
Having a child with a learning disability of any kind is a struggle. Between diagnosis, doctors appointments and treatments, school work can get lost in the shuffle. Fortunately, several area schools cater specifically to students with learning disabilities, which means youngsters can focus on their education and stay on track to success.
At Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School, teachers work closely with students during learning experiences inside and outside the classroom to create globally-minded citizens. “Our teachers get to know the kids, their abilities and their potential," says head of school Elizabeth Miller. "It’s more than knowing the teacher-student ratio. It’s about the relationships they build with the child—that’s what is meaningful.”
Last winter, Joshua Kazdan, now a junior at John Burroughs School, heard about a trip being offered by the Japan America Society of St. Louis to create ambassadorship between the two countries. Interested in Japanese culture, Joshua applied and was selected as part of a group of students for the all-expense-paid trip, thanks to sponsorship by Toyota and Hitachi.