Admissions Information

Admissions FAQ's
Searchable Catchment Map
Static Catchment Map
Tuition Assistance & Financial Aid

Listed below are the steps to fulfill and the considerations to make applying to City Garden Montessori School. We ask that all parents/guardians complete these steps and review these considerations to ensure our program is a good fit for your family, and so that we can be as fair as possible when admitting new students to our school.

1. Only children who reside in the City of St. Louis are eligible for enrollment at City Garden. However, City Garden offers enrollment preference to families who live in specific regions of St. Louis City. We call these regions Catchments.

We have a First Catchment, which has typically meant that families in this region receive first preference for enrollment, and we have a Second Catchment, which has typically meant that families in this region receive second preference for enrollment.

However, for the 2021-22 school year, we are now enrolling children utilizing the following enrollment preference structure:

1) First preference is given to families who are eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch and live in Catchment 1.
2) Second preference is given to families who are eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch and live in Catchment 2.
3) Third preference is given to families who are not eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch, and live in Catchment 1.
4) Fourth preference is given to families who are not eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch and live in Catchment 2.

To determine if your home resides in the First Catchment, Second Catchment, or just greater St. Louis City area, please review the steps listed below.

1) Click the green button below labeled Find my residence! You will be routed to a webpage similar to Google Maps with a region outlined in red and a region outlined in blue.
2) In the top left corner, click the magnifying glass icon and enter in your street address.
3) Then, Zoom out on the map.
A. If your residence appears within the red boundary lines, then your family lives in Catchment 1.
B. If your residence appears within the blue boundary lines, then your family lives in Catchment 2.
C. If your residence does not appear within the red or blue boundary lines, then your family lives in the greater St. Louis City area.

Find my residence!

2. Review the website and application materials. Applications will not be considered until all forms are complete, including supporting documents. Please visit us online at citygardenschool.org/applications to review the application materials.
3. During the COVID-19 health pandemic, touring the building in person is not an option. But we are currently working on a Virtual Tour Video Series to accommodate requests to see the interior of the building. Please visit us at citygardenschool.org/admissions to learn more.
4. Submit an application and all supporting documents. (Applications will not be considered until all forms are complete, including supporting documents). To do this, visit us online at citygardenschool.org/applications. Please Note:

A. The Primary Program and K-2 Charter School applications are different.
B. The Primary Program application requires a $25 non-refundable application fee to also be submitted with the application. Contact Liz Harris at liz@citygardenschool.org and/or Tiff Murphy at tiff@citygardenschool.org to learn more.
C. Applications must be completed online at citygardenschool.org/applications. You may also call the school for assistance completing the application if needed.
D. Make sure to review the application before hitting “submit.”
E. We do not enroll children after 2nd grade.

5. The deadline for K-2 Charter School applications is February 25, 2021.
6. Contact the school apply@citygardenschool.org to make sure all forms have been received.
7. Primary Program applicants will be informed of their acceptance the week of March 29, 2021.
8. Kindergarten applicants will be informed of their acceptance by March 15, 2021. The Kindergarten Lottery will be held on March 13, 2020. The lottery is open to the public and begins at 5:30 p.m. This may be held via Zoom or Facebook Live depending upon the status of the COVID-19 health pandemic.
9. First and second grade families will be notified of their acceptance if there are openings. We often do not know about openings in 1st and 2nd grade until the summer or the start of the school year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there tuition for every level?

Our Primary (Preschool) Program is private and tuition based. Our Charter School (Kindergarten through 8th Grade) is public and there is no tuition required.

Who can apply to City Garden?

Primary (Preschool) Program

Preference will be given to families who live in our first catchment zone (see map below), but we have a few spots reserved for families who live outside our first catchment. Financial aid (see our sliding scale tuition graph on the application) is available to families who live in our first catchment.

City Garden is one of only a few authentic Montessori programs in the City of St. Louis. We have a diverse family community, and offer a unique school experience. We are a neighborhood school, serving families in the Shaw, Botanical Heights, Forest Park Southeast, Tiffany, and Southwest Garden neighborhoods.

All children attend five days per week, full (8 am-3:30 pm) or half days (8 am-12:30 pm). We do not offer part time spots. Before care and after care are available for a fee.

A limited number of slots are available for students who live outside of this geographic area. Interested families should fill out the application and call or email the school.

Email apply@citygardenschool.org, or call 314-664-7646 for enrollment information.

This is a Google Maps photo of our Catchment region. Our catchment region is not defined by zip codes or neighborhoods, but rather boundary lines. The Northern boundary line is Highway 40. The Eastern Boundary line is Compton Avenue. The Southern boundary line is Gravois Road. And the Western Boundary line is Kingshighway Boulevard.

Kindergarten, First, and Second Grades

Please note: Because we want all of our students to have a firm Montessori foundation, we do not accept students past the 2nd grade.

Only children who reside in the City of St. Louis are eligible for enrollment at City Garden. However, City Garden offers enrollment preference to families who live in specific regions of St. Louis City. We call these regions Catchments.

We have a First Catchment, which has typically meant that families in this region receive first preference for enrollment, and we have a Second Catchment, which has typically meant that families in this region receive second preference for enrollment.

However, for the 2021-22 school year, we are now enrolling children utilizing the following enrollment preference structure:

1) First preference is given to families who are eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch and live in Catchment 1.
2) Second preference is given to families who are eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch and live in Catchment 2.
3) Third preference is given to families who are not eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch, and live in Catchment 1.
4) Fourth preference is given to families who are not eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch and live in Catchment 2.

To determine if your home resides in the First Catchment, Second Catchment, or just greater St. Louis City area, please the map above, or click the green Find my residence! button at the top of this page.

What are our chances for getting in?

It depends on how many applications we receive. In previous years, we have had more applications than spots available, but this year we have more slots than ever before as we are expanding our programs. We strongly encourage you to apply to City Garden this year, as well as at least two other schools. Many of our kindergarten spots are filled by “sibling preference.” The “sibling preference” statute does not apply to cousins or other family members.

What grades do you serve?

Our Primary Program (ages 3 and 4) is a private, not-for-profit, tuition-based program. In order to make it accessible to families with a range of incomes, we offer financial assistance through sliding scale tuition rates for families in our 1st catchment zone. For scholarship opportunities or financial assistance, contact Tiffany Murphy, tiff@citygardenschool.org. Students must turn 3 on or before July 31 of the year they are applying and students must be fully potty trained. Enrollment in our Primary Program does not guarantee placement into our K-8 program.

All applicants to Kindergarten must go through the complete admission and lottery process, including students enrolled in our Primary Program.

Our K-8 program is a public charter school. We accept new students in Kindergarten, First, and Second Grades. Because we teach using the Montessori Theory of Development, which is quite different than a traditional school environment, students must have a solid Montessori experience during their first three years of schooling. It is very difficult for children to transition into the Montessori environment after second grade. For this reason, we do not accept new students in grades 3-8.

When can we apply?

If you are applying for the start of the 2021-22 school year, applications are now open. Please visit us online at citygardenschool.org/applications.

The “cut off” date for birthdays is July 31 for the year in which you are applying. For example, your child needs to be 5 years old on or before 7/31/20 if you are applying to Kindergarten for the 2020-21 school year.

Applications for 2021-2022 Kindergarten are due February 25, 2021.

There is no deadline for Primary Program applicants. However, we prefer to receive applications as early as possible, preferably before March 18th. Applications received after March 18th will be reviewed on a first come first served basis.

For the charter school, you may submit applications after February 27; however, your application will go into the wait list pool of applicants. If we have spots open up, we will draw names from the wait list pool to fill the spots.

How do I apply?

The admissions process for the 2021-22 school year is now open. Charter School applications are due February 25, 2021; however, you may continue to apply for the 2021-22 school year, and be added to the wait list pool, through March 2021. We will admit students from the wait list pool as spots open.

If you are applying to our Primary (preschool) Program, serving students age 3 and 4, fill out and submit the form, then gather the required documents and the $25 application fee and mail or deliver them in person to the school. The application fee is non-refundable. Students must be 3 on or before July 31 and be fully potty trained. We are no longer offering a 3 day option.

If you are applying to Kindergarten, 1st, or 2nd grade, fill out and submit the online form, then send:

1) the child’s original birth certificate,
2) the child’s most recent immunization and health records,
3) original parent Photo ID, and
4) two original proofs of residency to the school.

Alternately, two of your utility companies can email apply@citygardenschool.org to confirm your residency. You can mail all required documents to...

Liz Harris
Admissions Coordinator and School Secretary
City Garden Montessori School
1618 Tower Grove Avenue
St. Louis, MO, 63110.

Since many documents must be originals, you are welcome to contact Liz Harris at liz@citygardenschool.org or (314) 320-9032 (Direct) or (314) 664-7646 Ext. 200 to identify a time to have them immediately processed, and take them home again. If originals must be mailed, you can contact Liz Harris to pick them up at your convenience. The deadline for Charter School applications for the 2020-2021 school year is February 25, 2021.

When can we tour the school?

During the COVID-19 health pandemic, touring the building in person is not an option. But we are currently working on a Virtual Tour Video Series to accommodate requests to see the interior of the building. Please visit us at citygardenschool.org/admissions to learn more.

When will we know if we’ve been accepted?

If you are applying for the Primary Program, you will receive notice from the Liz Harris, Admissions Coordinator & School Secretary. We will begin accepting students in April for the following year.

If you are applying for a spot in Kindergarten, 1st, or 2nd grade, the Liz Harris will contact you to let you know of your placement. The Kindergarten Lottery is scheduled for Friday, March 18, 2021. Families will find out if they are accepted, or if they are on the waitlist, on Friday, March 18, 2021.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Preschool Program Tuition Rate Guide

At City Garden Montessori School, our Charter School program (Kindergarten through Eighth Grade) is 100% free. However, we also have a private, preschool program that is tuition based. Tuition rates and opportunities for tuition assistance and financial aid are informed by your household's income level.

Please click the buttons below to access our Preschool Program Tuition Assistance & Financial Aid Guide, and our Preschool Program Tuition Rate Guide.

Preschool Program Tuition Assistance & Financial Aid Guide
Preschool Program Tuition Rate Guide

Tuition Assistance & Financial Aid

Our Primary Program offers tuition assistance and financial aid based on three things...

1) The household's income level.
2) If the household resides in the First Catchment.
3) If the applicant in the household qualifies for the Free or Reduced Lunch Program.

Based on the Preschool Program Tuition Assistance & Financial Aid Guide listed above, please determine which incoming level you are; A, B, C, or D.

If you are income A, B, or C, City Garden requires you to submit tax forms and other required documentation in order to apply for the sliding scale tuition. No applicant can be considered until all required documents are received.

Please contact Tiffany Murphy for more information at 314-664-7646 or tiff@citygardenschool.org.