This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Kirk Day School4
Posted October 21, 2013
- a parent
Kirk Day School has been great for our family. The teachers have treated the kids as individuals and have cared about their progress. The academics are strong and the outside the classroom opportunities are great. Their current refresh of technology and use of smart boards it is only improving the kids' experience. Add to that a garden that is underway and it makes for a unique and positive environment for learning.
Thier special needs program is outstanding. We have two children, one excelling academically and needing more challenge, and one who had been getting in and out of classroom support through SSD in the Parkway school district. We transferred both to Kirk and were very pleased at how the school met both of their academic needs as well as providing a rich environment of peers. The special services group is led by a teacher with a PhD in special education who really helped us address all of the areas that our child was not receiving help in the public school setting.
I have been nothing but impressed by Kirk Day School. After leaving another private school last year, this school has been a breath of fresh air. They teach to each individual child in a loving environment which nurtures self confidence. This school has been such a blessing to our family.
I went to Kirk of the Hills for four years and have never loved a school more. No elementary school could have better prepared me for middle and high school than Kirk did. I made many lasting friendships there that endure even to today. The small class sizes allow the teachers to address each and every student's educational needs and target his or her particular strengths and weaknesses. No problem is too small or too great to go to the principal about. I never thought that I would be missing my old elementary school when I entered high school.
As a parent with 3 children who have attended Kirk Day School, I can unequivocally state that KDS provides an extremely positive learning environment, with very strong academics. There have been strikingly few disciplinary distractions. "Bullying" is virtually non-existent. My son graduated from KDS and now attends one of the top high schools in St. Louis, for which he was well-prepared. My children's experience at KDS has been nothing but positive and I think you would be hard-pressed to find more attentive, caring, and competent teachers and administrators.
Curriculum is very old and outdated (more than 10 years in most cases and still not being changed). Desperately need to address low quality academics. Kindergarten has no graduation ceremony, which is odd. Reading program is exceptionally weak compared to other schools. Saxon Math sounds good but, textbooks are 12 years old. You will pay the same price as other schools that update and improve curriculum regularly. Not your answer if your desire is anything near even average academics. Really look carefully and buyer beware. Still not using literature for reading. Reading curriculum is from a very old Open Court textbook (more than 10 years old). School appears to be a disciplined environment on the surface, but that's not the case. The lack of structure negatively impacts the classroom and prohibits an effective learning environment. Teachers spend majority of time dealing with discipline/ intense bullying issues instead of teaching with minimal support from administration. Christian label but not practically applied especially between peers.
I am a former teacher at the Kirk. It was an exceptional school - very supportive of parents, staff, and students. A previous reviewer must have little knowledge of the Kirk, as one of the top special education teachers works on staff - one of the few Christian schools to readily embrace special needs kids. They unapologetically hold to a Christian world and life view and teach consistently with it. This undoubtedly offends those not of the same persuasion. Though I now live out of the country, I would, if still in the area, unreservedly send my own children to the Kirk.
Kirk is a great school if your child fits their mold - upper class, perfect behavior, no special needs, fundamentalist Protestant. They are very poorly equipped to deal with anything which deviates from that. Discipline is dealt with entirely from a religious perspective, with no apparent knowledge of how to effectively deal with special needs children. They are also ill equipped to deal with the particular needs of divorced parents - aside from mailing home information, the non-custodial parent is totally ignored. And forget about diversity - the only poor kids are those of visiting missionaries, and even the janitor is white.