C.S. #1 is a fantastic learning environment. Kids are gently, consistently encouraged to reach beyond the obvious. Being a C.S. #1 parent requires a greater level of involvement than hauling your kid to and from school. The community of teachers and parents is passionate about fostering a loving, stimulating environment for these kids. If you've ever even briefly contemplated home schooling, you and your offspring might fit in here.
This year is our 6th year as a family at CS#1. After 5 years, my older student has now moved on to a private school in south Kansas City. He is thriving and completely prepared academically as well as socially. My younger student is now a 4th grader at CS#1. At CS#1 I know my children will be challenged and loved. I have two very different learners and their needs have always been (and continue to be) met in ways that work for them individually. The Community of parents is the other thing that has been wonderful. I am a better mom because of the other parents that I know and what they have taught me. I am a better parent because our children go to CS#1. I'm so thankful that we have an educational option like CS#1 in the Kansas City area!
This is our fifth year at CS#1. This school feeds my son s brain he is very interested in science and he is able to grasp scientific concepts at a high level and yet CS#1 continues to meet him where he is and provide additional challenges and growth. While science is my son s passion, this is true of any other student and their interest; whether it is art or performance or writing or speaking CS#1 feeds kids brains and challenges them to propel their learning and develop a love of learning. It never dumbs down or waters down the curriculum. Accordingly, it shows incredible respect for a child s ability to learn and grow. Kids have an amazing capacity to grasp complex ideas and subjects and CS#1 acknowledges that capacity. Separately, another thing I adore..is the reading culture. Kids go to the public library every other week, they have daily "Drop Everything and Read" where they read to themselves or read to their younger heart friends. They partner with Reading Reptile and participate in the yearly Lit Fest, share monthly book chats, and learn how to write. As a kindergartner, 5 years ago, he understood setting, plot, climax & resolution.
My daughter has been at CS#1 for four years. She chose the school because it felt immediately comfortable, warm and visually stimulating. I chose the school because I felt and I now know that children learn how to learn here, learn how to speak for themselves and are exposed to the city in a safe, but exciting way. Children are participants in their education and therefore, in their own lives. Children are respected and taught to respect others. While CS#1 in not for every family, it is definitely the school for our family. It is more than a school. The community at CS#1 is strong and supportive. I especially love that the school's alums join in activities thus remain connected and integral to the wholeness of the experience for current students. It takes a community to raise a child...I'm so very pleased that we were able to find this one to grow up in.
Our child spent kindergarten here. We chose to pull out after the first semester because we were very unimpressed. Many days in tears, far too much homework for kindergarten, (same as 1-2nd grades), our child never felt successful. Some policies are punitive, zero positive reinforcement. Just not at all what we were hoping for.
Very happy to see the school go from a private business to a not-for-profit organization. Hopefully this will create some stability for the school. We chose to go elsewhere next year because the enrollment here is so low, and the burden of fund raising was a hardship for some families. Some of the curriculum (for example the book club box thing) needs to be updated. We wanted to find a place where technology was part of the curriculum, and CS#1 really doesn't emphasize this. We loved the enrichment classes and all the field trips, but it was a lot of driving for the same parents over and over again. Maybe the school can look into purchasing a van or a bus for outings. Parental involvement is what makes this place possible. Lots and lots of field trip driving! Policies are challenging for young students to follow without the help of an older kid or a parent. As the enrollment got smaller, more and more parent involvement was needed, and we wanted to be someplace with a little more stability. The people we have met here are awesome, and we have made good friends. Wish we could have made it work, but it's just too small.
Great concept, poor application. We were greatly disappointed with the school after being very excited about the idea. The manner in which the students were dealt with and spoken to was not to our liking. The "individualized" curriculum was not implemented in the manner we had expected. Totally agree with another parent that the "older" child mentoring process only works with a very stong "older". I feel our child lost a lot of momentum and love for learning while at CS1. I would not recommend this school after our experience.
With four children, we have many years of experience and several schools with which to compare the education offered at CS#1. This is a unique school that offers more than just quality academics. At CS#1 children are consistent and active participants in their education, are recognized as valued members of the school community and are involved in problem solving to an extent that is not seen at other schools
Great Concept. Okay in practice. The idea of a community based school attracted me to place my child at CS1. After experiencing the school, I was disappointed with experience. Expectations for younger children were a little unrealistic and the idea of partnering younger/older children only works if you have strong older children around. The concept for the school is good but I think more instructional support may be needed.
FINAL - Part 4 of a long review. Bottom line, our son looks forward to school and learning every day. We are making sacrifices to send him to this school in that it is a farther distance to drive and more money, but it feels like a bargain for what he/we are gaining. It is one less thing for a parent to worry about. We are 100% confident that our son is getting what he needs at CS1. P.S. - Another bonus is that healthy eating is highly encouraged. Snacks are provided throughout the day so the students have optimum learning potential.
Part 3 - continuation of review Since the school is small, the learning is tailored to each individual child. The students learn life skills as well. The older students are mentors or heart friends to the younger students. This gives them opportunities to effectively handle conflict resolution which is necessary in all areas; family, work, and friendships. The students and teachers have weekly meetings to address concerns. The students have cleaning responsibilities. Homework is given in a packet once a week. They have a week to complete all homework which helps to teach time management. This is helpful to parents as well since some evenings are busier than others. All policies have been well thought out and come from years of teaching experience. There are all school parent meetings throughout the year to address questions/concerns. The school really does feel like a community working together with a common goal.
Part 2 - continuation of review They have time to learn critical thinking rather than study for a test with rote memory. A minor example of the critical thinking teaching is this. We were on a field trip visiting the Kansas City Gardens a few days ago. The students were inquisitive and learning a lot so the morning portion of the field trip lasted longer than anticipated. We didn t have enough time that day to go to the zoo for the afternoon part of the field trip. I was impressed the way Linda, the teacher, broke the news to the students. Rather than telling them they weren t able to go to the zoo. She had them come up with the reason they couldn t go. They determined how much time was left in the school day, how much money the zoo costs, why it wouldn t make sense, and came up with a different day to go. Problem was solved and everyone was happy.
Part 1 of a 4 part review Our son started school at CS1 in 5th grade after experiencing bullying at his former Kansas public elementary school. He was losing his identity and was finding it difficult to focus on academics. He started school at CS1 where there is zero bullying, not just a policy stating no bullying. This school teaches acceptance and kindness. He is now flourishing in all areas. His motivation to learn has skyrocketed. The curriculum is academic with traditional text book learning but since the school is small they are able to have many hands on learning experiences through field trips and other daily activities.
For us, CS 1 was a "game changer." After our son's previous school squelched his natural love of learning and left him with a severe math phobia, CS1 helped bring back the curious and enthusiastic boy he always was and is today. As far as how to educate, inspire & stimulate, the staff is doing everything right. Some words that come to mind about CS1 are: hands-on learning, the world as an extension of the classroom (i.e. tons of great field trips), friendly & supportive, "level-appropriate to each child" and very much community minded - the name says it all! Now that we've entered a new phase of our child's education, I'm confident that CS1 prepared him well and has made his transition, to a large and more traditional school, a smooth one.
This school does absolutely amazing things for our children. The Kansas City community at large is their school yard, library, and resource center. It does all of the standard stuff and does them great: spelling, reading, math, literature, science, social studies, art, music, dance. But it also teaches these young kids to organize themselves, complete often elaborate multi-staged assignments (both individual and group) and be responsible for their own education. It teaches compassion and empathy, as "olders" help "youngers" in the "one-room schoolhouse." All ages are in the same "class" together. Even the youngest kids end their first year feeling comfortable with oral presentations of several minutes. Above all, cs1 is "their" school: a community of children learning under the guidance of their teachers and parents. Parents too learn how to help their children to achieve in new ways from the excellent teachers. It is more like a family as children learn naturally in an environment that is as emotionally supportive as it is academically rigorous. And at rock bottom prices for a private school.
If you are all about rote learning, this is not the place for you. Your child will learn to think; your child will learn to question; your child will learn to learn. It is more than just a school, it is a community. Your child will leave with all the knowledge to allow him or her to thrive in any other academic environment. With that, you child will take a sense of self and community, and a respect and passion for education.
CS1 is one of the best schools ever. It is interactive and thrives on helping students develop the love of learning. Give a child a fish feed them a meal teach a child to fish feed them for life. CS1 has mastered the art of teaching children how to fish. The teachers are innovative, creative, well rounded and fun. The students leave educated, happy, and well prepared. Trust me I know I've sent 2. I've been to and sent my children to many different private schools, I am private school educated K- College and by far CS1 is the best that I've seen, don't take my word come experence this great innovative place for yourself. After all remember teachers are nation builders and what a difference your child can make in this nation after experiencing all that CS1 has to offer
CS1 is an alternative for savvy parents who want the formative years to be more than standardized test preparations. I taught in public schools long enough to know that the curriculum is dictated by NCLB, and the joy of learning is quickly siphoned away by the time they are 7 years old. After we visited their open house, my son said, "Well, this would be a great way to avoid kindergarten!" Little does he know that it IS kindergarten! It's just a completely different way of teaching and learning-- and if I could create my own fantasy world school, it would look and function like this place. And don't get me started on the students there... the grey matter in that place is destined for greatness. On top of that, there is LOVE. There is a closeness and frankness between parents/students/teachers that by design does not occur in a public school.
2008 is our first year at CS#1 and we are glad we found this exceptional school. Academics are key in an environment that values diversity, tolerance and peace.
I work for a local non-profit organization who serves a wide variety of schools in the area. Without a doubt the work that CS1 is doing is important. The vision, scope, and influence of CS1 on its students cannot be measured.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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