St. Louis public, magnet, and charter schools - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 11 Old 03-29-2010, 03:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
alacrity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: South St. Louis, MO
Posts: 205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would love to hear from parents who have their children in St. Louis public schools, different magnet or charter schools. If your child goes to one of these schools, which one and what do you think?

I am especially interested in St. Louis Language Immersion School and Kennard. I am also considering Mallinckrodt depending on what they do with the program.

Any thoughts on school choices in St. Louis City?

Private is not an option so please do not suggest private schools.

Jenn- Geeky momma to one fabulous Tiny Diva (10/27/08)
alacrity is offline  
#2 of 11 Old 04-02-2010, 02:49 AM
 
stlmomof2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 698
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm surprised you didn't get any responses!
My DD tested into the gifted program and we wanted her at Kennard this fall for preK. I visited the school and liked it. It seemed crowded and very structured and I hate the uniform aspect. Also I have heard that Kennard does a simple one year acceleration and the teachers stick strictly to the curriculum despite the needs/abilities of the students. However, the level of student engagement and enthusiasm was really impressive and students (especially older ones) were doing some really neat projects. She did not get a slot. From what I hear, there were about 105 applicants for 20 slots.

However, I just received a letter offering her placement into Mallinckrodt, a new gifted school. They basically took a regular school and urged all the teachers to become certified for gifted. They're starting with preK and K and adding grades every year. There's an open house April 9th at 6pm there and we're going to go and see if they have a good plan. Maybe you could try to attend and see if Mallinckrodt is an ideal school for your kids? I'm not sure if the open house is just for next year's students or anyone interested.

Apart from the gifted schools, I have heard some good things about Wilkinson, Dewey, and Stix, but nothing specific. I also know a few families that seem really happy with St. Louis Charter School. I don't know much about the immersion schools but according to their website, they give tours fairly frequently.

Mandy, mother to Alexandra (10/14/05) and William (12/21/07)
stlmomof2 is offline  
#3 of 11 Old 04-02-2010, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
alacrity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: South St. Louis, MO
Posts: 205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was a little shocked that no one replied. I guess everyone else can afford private school and home schooling to avoid the public schools. Oh well.

I have a friend with a son in Kennard and he loves it. He previously attended Dewey but his mom pulled him and they were going to send him to a private school when they were contacted by Kennard. He was having lots of problems at Dewey and mom said they have discipline issues there that get in the way of learning.

I live within walking distance of Mallinckrodt. I was a little concerned about sending her to a transitioning school. I worry that they will not have cleaned up the problems by keeping all the same teachers. If that makes sense. I know Kennard should know what they are doing by now but who knows? By the time Dagny is old enough maybe Mallinckrodt will be a great school. I have a feeling that since I live close to this one Kennard will not be an option. I think Mallinckrodt lacks a playground and good play space, too. That bothers me but apparently it is common in the city. I think play is really important for young children in school. Sitting in a classroom all day is stifling.

Thanks for letting me know about the open house. I tried to call the school but I think they might be out on break. I will call again next week. I am apprehensive about sending her to school at all but I know I need to look into my options early since the day will sneak up on me.

What did your daughter have to do to test in? Our parents as teachers rep is supposed to bring us a packet later this month but she does not test for giftedness.

Jenn- Geeky momma to one fabulous Tiny Diva (10/27/08)
alacrity is offline  
#4 of 11 Old 04-02-2010, 04:37 PM
 
stlmomof2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 698
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by alacrity View Post
I was a little shocked that no one replied. I guess everyone else can afford private school and home schooling to avoid the public schools. Oh well.

I have a friend with a son in Kennard and he loves it. He previously attended Dewey but his mom pulled him and they were going to send him to a private school when they were contacted by Kennard. He was having lots of problems at Dewey and mom said they have discipline issues there that get in the way of learning.

I live within walking distance of Mallinckrodt. I was a little concerned about sending her to a transitioning school. I worry that they will not have cleaned up the problems by keeping all the same teachers. If that makes sense. I know Kennard should know what they are doing by now but who knows? By the time Dagny is old enough maybe Mallinckrodt will be a great school. I have a feeling that since I live close to this one Kennard will not be an option. I think Mallinckrodt lacks a playground and good play space, too. That bothers me but apparently it is common in the city. I think play is really important for young children in school. Sitting in a classroom all day is stifling.

Thanks for letting me know about the open house. I tried to call the school but I think they might be out on break. I will call again next week. I am apprehensive about sending her to school at all but I know I need to look into my options early since the day will sneak up on me.

What did your daughter have to do to test in? Our parents as teachers rep is supposed to bring us a packet later this month but she does not test for giftedness.
Yes... I imagine that the teachers might not really know much about teaching gifted kids--they were just told to take a gifted praxis test and get gifted certification that way. But they have the former principal from Kennard, which might be a good thing and classrooms filled with gifted students are hard to come by. The lack of playground bugs me, too--what do the kids do outside?

You can contact Recruitment and Counseling the year before your DD would start preK (around August/September). They will send you a checklist of gifted behaviors and you fill it out for your child, along with a magnet school application. Then if it looks like your child is gifted, they'll call and you schedule an IQ test. The test is downtown at SLPS headquarters. It took DD about an hour and a half and they sent the results about a week later. Then they have the lottery sometime around January or February. Oh yeah, and your child has to be 4 in order to take the test. Your DD will be 4 early so you can have her take the test early. My understanding is that some of the kids with later birthdays might get a slot at Kennard in the lottery but then not pass the test, so there's some hope there, too.

Another thing is that you can keep those scores and use them as proof when talking to other schools, maybe for scholarships to private schools, maybe for entrance into special programs for gifted kids, etc.

Mandy, mother to Alexandra (10/14/05) and William (12/21/07)
stlmomof2 is offline  
#5 of 11 Old 04-02-2010, 04:49 PM
 
Ellie'sMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Foundation of the Gator Nation
Posts: 1,703
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This popped on New Posts, so I thought I'd add one bit of info as a former Kennard/St. Louis mama. There is supposedly a "walk to school zone" for all the magnet schools that factors into admissions. Somehow, though we lived 1/2 mile from Kennard, we were in the zone for Mallinkrodt (1/2 mile in the other direction), which at that time was not a gifted school, so it didn't help us. Your proximity to Malinkrodt might help with admissions.

We loved Kennard. The other families at the school were really what made it for us. It is far from perfect, but Ellie learned lots and was very happy.

BTW, Kennard has a really crappy playground. You wouldn't believe the incredible games the kids came up with on their little slab of asphalt. I wouldn't let that deter you.

Lastly, the principal at Malinkrodt was a little controversial when she was at Kennard, though as a parent it was never totally clear what the problem was. I just know that she was not well loved by all the teachers.

Don't give up on SLPS!

Trying to get my bearings...
Ellie'sMom is offline  
#6 of 11 Old 04-09-2010, 10:51 PM
 
stlmomof2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 698
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, we just got back from the open house and I think we've committed to Mallinckrodt for the Fall. The principal from Kennard, Merry Denny, seemed very nice and I agreed with everything she said. She said that the school is holding fundraisers for a playground, all the kids are excited about it, etc. She wants to bring more computers and SmartBoards to the school, which doesn't matter so much to me (DD spends way too much time on the computer as it is). The classrooms were nice, comfortable, and very colorful. There were a couple of staff members there that my husband actually remembers from the gifted elementary school years and years ago. The only thing I'm not thrilled about is that they don't know who the preschool teacher will be yet. Current preK teacher is provisionally certified and may not get to be the gifted teacher. Only the K teacher was there. There were lots of adorable little kids there getting acquainted (we didn't bring our kids) and very involved and inquisitive parents. The principal said that there is a new curriculum being written for both Kennard and Mallinckrodt which involves the one year acceleration but also tries to enrich and deepen the learning experience. So it mostly sounds great, at least. I plan to try to tour the school when it's actually in session.

Mandy, mother to Alexandra (10/14/05) and William (12/21/07)
stlmomof2 is offline  
#7 of 11 Old 04-22-2010, 07:56 PM
 
cdeato's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi Mandy, I've been wondering what's been going on with Mallinkrodt, since we live very close and I figured my daughter could go there for K if she didn't get into Kennard. I had heard that they were starting gifted but hadn't heard of anyone getting a letter for there. We applied for Kennard for Pre-k next year (and she was tested at about 3.5 years old, you don't have to wait until 4) but didn't think she'd get in, based on the lottery. She didn't make it in the January lottery, but we got a letter for Kennard in April....then had two weeks to decide. It was a very tough decision for me...I had assumed we'd be keeping her at her current preschool, with 2.5 hour days, so the 5 day a week, 9-4 days had (and have) me worried. But in the end, I decided that it's a great opportunity and if we didn't make it in for K we'd be kicking ourselves. We had to make the decision before we knew whether Mallinkrodt would have a pre-k next year, so even though we're easy walking distance from Mallinkrodt, we'll be at Kennard next year. It may be that some time in the future we will move her for the convenience if the school lives up to expectations, so I'd be very interested to know how things go for you. I was also concerned about the lack of playground, so I'm glad to see that they are moving in that direction (even if my DD doesn't go there, we'll be able to play on weekends, etc). We did go to play on the Kennard plaground, and Ellie's mom is right, it's not very good, especially for the smaller kids.
cdeato is offline  
#8 of 11 Old 04-28-2010, 11:22 PM
 
stlmomof2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 698
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just wanted to mention that Mallinckrodt and the other magnet schools are having open houses on May 5. The website says 10-1 but someone from R&C told me 10-3. Again, I'm not sure if it's supposed to be just for families with kids attending in the Fall or not.

Mandy, mother to Alexandra (10/14/05) and William (12/21/07)
stlmomof2 is offline  
#9 of 11 Old 09-24-2010, 01:50 PM
 
cdeato's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So how is Mallinkrodt going? Was there any beginning of the year craziness, or was the gifted program in place and functioning? My daughter is in pre-k at Kennard. She loves it, but they didn't have a teacher until the second week. We love the teacher they found though.
cdeato is offline  
#10 of 11 Old 10-18-2010, 09:42 AM
 
mommie22girls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I went to the open houses this weekend at both Mallinckrodt and Kennard. We went to Kennard first and I was very impressed. On the other hand, we went to Mallinckrodt next and I was very disappointed. I know they are trying but I think the program is just too new and they aren't there yet. At Kennard there were PTO and volunteer parents everywhere, conducting tours of the school, answering questions, etc. At Mallinckrodt, there really wasn't anyone that I saw inside the school other than a couple of people. My child and I walked around a basically empty building. Mallinckrodt also does not have a science lab. They aren't able to offer as much as Kennard as far as facility. I hope the best for Mallinckrodt, I think the program is great. I just think they have a long way to go. I may go back to the next open house in November just to see if any changes are planned. Hopefully I will be able to find out more about future plans for the school.
mommie22girls is offline  
#11 of 11 Old 10-18-2010, 09:50 AM
 
mommie22girls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I did learn from the very nice lady that was at the open house that Mallinckrodt is planning to get a playground later this year. I think she said it has been ordered.
mommie22girls is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off