Current Parent: Jess
Why did you choose New City School for your children?
Progressive curriculum, excellent education, interweaving of diversity, inclusion, and social justice messaging into all aspects of the curriculum. I wanted to give my child the best education, but also have him understand the complexities of the world, and how he can help make it a better place.
What do you love most about New City School?
New City's education is truly unique. The entire school is focused on making sure that, in addition to promoting academic excellence, their students are imbued with self-confidence, empathy, independence, and respect for themselves and others. The emphasis on diversity, social justice, and understanding the complexities and struggles of the world (with the idea that our students can change the world) is worked into every lesson and every discussion from the 3/4's onward - these aren't just concepts introduced in an isolated social studies course in 5th grade. As a black family, this emphasis was exceedingly important to us - I want my children to understand the struggles that exist in our society, but not to fear them. I also want my children to feel accepted, loved, and supported in their educational environment - I saw more diversity at New City than anywhere else we looked, and the teachers are keenly attuned to issues of bias and privilege in their classes. New City's mission is to help your child be the absolute best they can be, not to force them into any particular mold. The use of a multiple intelligences lens helps children understand how they learn best, and slowly build skills and confidence in other intelligences - it's not that kids "don't get" some subjects, it's that each child learns subjects differently. The New City education means my child will receive an amazing academic underpinning while being encouraged to grow into a well-rounded, caring person.
Pick one word that best describes the school: why did you choose that word?
Supportive. The teachers and staff at New City truly want students to have the most supportive environment they can for their learning. Any suggestion I've offered or question I've asked has been met with enthusiasm from teachers and leadership, and they actively and quickly incorporate feedback into curricula and programs. Staff and teachers work with kids where they are and try to give them whatever they need, whether it's changing classroom layout to make quiet spaces or altering the week's curriculum to discuss gender identity because of questions asked by 4 year olds. New City is endlessly supportive and adaptable with an end-goal of making every child feel loved and included, giving them the best opportunity to learn.
In what ways have you seen your child grow and develop as a result of their New City School experience?
My child has formed very strong friendships with classmates (across grades - it's amazing to see 4th graders welcome a 5 year old in the mornings!) and teachers alike. He is learning emotional regulation and mindfulness at an early age - he's grown in being able to verbalize his feelings (both positive and negative) and has developed productive ways to manage bad moods. He is confident in his abilities, but can also voice that "it's okay" if someone is better than him at something. He is developing empathy for others, and a desire to help those in need. He is also beginning to understand the social complexities of our world, whether that be issues of race, socioeconomic status, immigration... He truly loves school and his experiences there.
What would you tell another parent to encourage them to enroll at New City?
There is no other school in St. Louis like this. Your child will have an excellent education, but with support and flexibility in both the curriculum and from teachers and staff that is unparalleled. A New City education gives your child a sense of confidence and self-worth that is invaluable. They will know themselves as a person and be confident they have a place in the world, and an ability to excel and to make a difference.