Thursday, January 26th 2023 at 1:00 PM
Dear City Garden Community,
Last week we honored the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a community, and we are preparing to celebrate Black History Month throughout February.
This time of year always offers an opportunity to reflect on why City Garden exists, and what our ultimate aims are as a community. Dr. King’s vision of the Beloved Community stands as a grounding anchor for us, and we are invited, over and over again, to more fully understand this vision and to work toward its realization:
Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. In the Beloved Community, international disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict.
City Garden was granted its charter to open our K-8th school fifteen years ago this coming month. A lot has changed throughout the past fifteen years, and we have had hundreds of children come through our doors. However, our vision and our reason for existence remain the same (the following comes from City Garden’s strategic framework):
City Garden Montessori envisions a world where racial equity exits—a world in which all children have the opportunity to realize their full potential, and in which outcomes cannot be predicted by race.
City Garden acts as a catalyst for racial equity by redefining education, developing the whole child in an excellent, inclusive, Montessori school; by reimagining community, creating spaces and systems that help to restore our collective humanity; and by reinvigorating our world, creating a culture in which individuals and communities thrive without disparities or barriers to success.
We believe that racial equity can and will be achieved by growing generations of individuals whose physical, intellectual, social and emotional needs are deeply met; who have meaningful relationships with people of different racial identities and who are aware of and have embraced their own racial identities; who understand systemic racism, grounded in our society’s history; and who feel connected and accountable to something larger than themselves.
We believe that children who are nurtured and educated in environments that are committed to all of these things will serve as catalysts for institutional and cultural transformation.
We know that the generational shifts we believe are possible will require intentional work within and across institutions to create new structures, policies and practices that dismantle racism and foster racial equity.
Thank you for partnering with us in working towards this vision, and for being part of the Beloved Community of City Garden. We will continue to commit to this vision over and over again, centering our children in the work towards justice.
December 17, 2022 marked the first official Alumni Family Potluck Luncheon in our Elementary and Adolescent Education Center!
It was such a pleasure to be with so many alumni and their families. Folks toured the school, reconnected with teachers and staff, and enjoyed a huge potluck lunch. Check out some photos from the day below!
City Garden students and staff have celebrated friendship and gratitude over the past month, with “Friendsgiving” celebrations and reflecting on what they are grateful for.
Ms. Tyeshia Smith, our Director of Admissions & School Social Worker, spent her Saturday on January 21st at the St. Louis Charter School Fair hosted by the Missouri Public Charter School Association (MCPSA).
Ms. Tyeshia had a blast connecting with families from across the City of St. Louis, exploring their options for preschool through high school. The day included prize raffles, giveaways, food, music, and so much more!
We are currently accepting applications for the 2023-24 school year for Preschool through 7th grade students. Families from across the City of St. Louis who are eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch receive an enrollment preference. To learn more about Admissions, check out the buttons below!
City Garden families report a positive school culture and climate! According to results from the Fall 2022 Parent Panorama Survey, the following percentages of families expressed feelings that the school climate demonstrated strong commitments to respecting, valuing, and supporting children’s growth and development.
96% of families at the Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) and
91% of our families at the Elementary and Adolescent Education Center (EAEC)
Data from our school surveys (including student surveys, teacher perception surveys, and Parent Surveys) is being used to inform Title I plans, Behavior Supports, Parent Engagement Nights, Community Events, and communication with children, families, and other stakeholders.
City Garden saw a tremendous increase in survey participation from last school year to this school year, and we will continue to aim for more in the future. We plan to use 2022-23 data to evaluate Culture and Climate as well as Social-Emotional Learning outcomes and their impact on holistic growth of our children.
Thank you for being part of the City Garden community, and for all you do to support our mission. We wish you well!