I have three kids at New City and they are all thriving. The entire administrative staff, including the head of school, is always accessible, always ready and willing to listen, and genuinely interested in every child and their progress. No school is an art gallery; every school rather is a workshop. The questions to ask therefore include: are the kids happy working in this workship; do they look forward to go to school; are they challenged and pushed to go outside their comfort zones; is the school willing and able to individualize teaching; are the teachers responsive and accessible; do they care about your child's education. In the case of all my three kids, the answer to those questions has been and remains a resounding yes. There's a zero-tolerance policy on bullying; everyone is treated with respect. There's a palpable buzz as you enter the school and you understand that energy when you look closely at the smiling kids, the eager faculty, and the able administration. The school has great leadership, and the curriculum is rich and varied. Education is valued at New City, and if you do, too, then you should seriously consider this school for your child.
This is our second year at New City and so far we are very happy. Our child's experience has been great. The teachers we have had have both been amazing, engaging, personable, insightful. In pre-K she was one of 9, and in K she is one of 12. You can't beat the ratios. We truly apppreciate the commitment to diversity, of all kinds. 40% of the students receive financial need-based scholarships which I believe is the highest of any private school in the area (barring one that is 100% scholarship). Sure there are a number of kids from upper-middle class families, that's how they fund the rest. At least so far, the kids seem truly unaware of who is on scholarship and who is not. As am I, as a parent. I am constantly impressed by the quality of the students there. They are confident, well-spoken, and well-mannered.
New City has done a reasonable job educating my child, but I do think there is some merit to some of the negative reviews here. On one hand, the academics are strong, and they seem to do a pretty good job challenging kids of abilities ranging from average to above. Their efforts to support kids with learning disabilities aren't very obvious, and it may not be the best pick for a child with these issues. The workload is mostly appropriate, although the coordination between teachers of different subjects could be better. The foreign language (Spanish) is an awkward stepchild and very poorly integrated with the rest of the curriculum. The school prides itself on diversity, but it feels a little bit contrived: kids of doctors, kids of lawyers, and underrepresented minorities. Better than not reaching out to minorities, I suppose, but not really organic. And there really is a cloying self-satisfaction about the place. I generally feel like my concerns about my child's experience are managed, rather than considered. Despite these reservations, no school is ideal, and NCS has performed reasonably for the 8 years we've been there.
The school is filled with supportive students, parents and teachers. Walk in the red doors and decide for yourself if it's the right place for you and your children. We have four children who have attended at New City and we could not do it without the wonderful financial scholarships that are offered.
I have been a parent at New City School for 15 years now. I have had three kids go through NCS and it has been wonderful for all three of them. My oldest is now in college and the skills he gained at NCS have helped him along his whole journey. Not only have all three of my children learned the basic academic skills necessary to excel, but even more they have learned the intangible skills of appreciating others, reaching out to others who might be different from themselves, and being caring people. I have been so proud of them on numerous occasions when they have stood up against something that is wrong whether that is name calling or the mocking of another. If I had to do it all again, I would, without reservation, send me kids to New City School. It has exceed my high expectations and I am grateful for all that NCS has given my family.
New City School is a unique learning environment that fosters creativity, appreciation for those of different race, religion, socio-economic background and really Instills in the children a deep ability in critical thinking. My children have made close friendships with a wide variety of children - through these diverse friendships, they have experienced a very special childhood that I imagine is hard to come by outside New City. The teachers and staff have always been supportive and encouraging of my children but also push them academically. When my older son was in kindergarten, I was awestruck one day during the daily morning sing-a-long. Despite the real world out there, MLK's dream is alive and well at New City and sometimes seeing such diverse kindergartners holding hands without any judgment of color or religion gives me hope for the future. The world would be a better place if more children had the opportunity to experience a grade school education comparable to New City. I will dearly miss the school - the children, parents and teachers have become an integral part of the fabric of our family and the relationships have brought us much joy over the years.
Please believe the concerns raised in the reviews here --they are really true! My child has been scarred by rampant, but subtle bullying that the administration does not ever address! There is definitely a culture of snobbism that is communicated to the kids and that contributes to the bullying, as described nicely in a review a few entries below this one. The school also does not do a great job with kids at the extremes, failing to identify or provide resources or direction for the extremely gifted or for those with learning issues.
NCS is a wonderful place for children and their families! As a mom of color, I found the school to be an excellent fit for my family. My daughters, both alums who are now attending a selective secondary school, had a joyful experience! They were challenged to think creatively, work hard and to achieve "genuine knowledge and understanding" in all subject areas. As a result, students are performing way beyond grade-level! The "special difference" is the broad focus on diversity and values, a combination that you don't find anywhere else. Children learn to respect and appreciate the broad spectrum of diversity that they will experience in life. For example, history is taught from multiple perspectives where the voices of women and other diverse people are prominent. Teachers are some of the most engaged and knowledgeable in the U.S., and they too are encouraged to learn, grow and share! Most importantly, children are allowed to learn and grow side-by-side with children that are similar as well as dramatically different from themselves. Progressive? Yes, but we just call it that magic that happens behind the red doors!
I am an alum of New City. At New City School, the teachers make learning fun. Not only did this fantastic institution foster a love of learning that I cherish to this day, but the teachers and faculty at New City infused me with a confidence and a drive that made me feel like I was capable of absolutely anything. They encouraged us to be brave, ask questions, and tap into our multiple intelligences. They empowered us to not just be seats in a classroom, but to be citizens of the world. The lessons I learned at New City School far exceed that of a traditional elementary school education, for I know I would not be half the woman I am today without the amazing individuals whom instilled in me the core values of Academics, Ambiance, and Diversity."
We could not wish for a better, more supportive school/community for both my boys. My second grader showed signs of struggle, (within the 1st mo of school) the teacher and a math specialist asked to step-in. In 45 days, he went from being a kid who would not raise his hand in math to LOVING math classes. They taught the math skills to succeed and the confidence to be involved. When students excel in an area, the schools approach seems to be unique. One of my boys is a voracious reader. He wanted to read books well beyond his age-appropriate level. They challenged my son to be a better reader vs. a faster reader. They taught him how to better understand the content, how to 'read between the lines', how to analysis the authors intent and so on. His ability to grasp what he reads now is truly remarkable. NCS has grown in our 6 years there. The newest initiative is to teach the children more "grit". Failure is a step to success. Hard work is the way to succeed. Ask the admissions people at the areas top school. They ll tell you that NCS students are very well academically prepared to learn and compassionate community leaders. Exactly what I want my children to have accomplished.
My child went to this school for several years. All they care about are so-called gifted kids. The rest of the kids get nothing from this place. They do nothing to provide any additional academic help to any struggling students and in fact all they want there are students who do well, so they can keep up their fake image of being great. They have no idea how to teach regular kids. This place is useless for ordinary kids or kids who lack self-confidence. All anyone does there is pat themselves and each other on the back constantly in some sort of mutual admiration society. It's only for wealthy people who think their kids are brilliant. I found it to be an annoying and frustrating snob fest. Avoid this place and don't buy into all their propaganda. Sending my child there was the worst decision I ever made and things have been so much better academically and in all aspects of education since leaving this school. Believe the bad reviews below. The good ones are just self-congratulating propaganda by parents with an overblown sense of their own importance. Whatever you do don't send your child to this place unless you're a rich snob who wants your child to grow up to be the same.
To the parent with bullying issues, no worries, there will be absolutely none of that at NCS. We spent eight years there and those are of some of the coolest, nicest, most interesting kids you will ever meet! The teachers are fantastic and go out of there way to help! I was always amazed at how much an adult can learn, know and understand about all the kids in their class!! The only downside is to check your tuition bill. I will give the benefit of the doubt and blame it on the software they use?? Just be sure to spend a few minutes and check it.There is no reason to be charged multiple late fees when one has paid early and/or over paid for the previous month, now is there?! (Just remember the finance guys aren't the ones in the classroom!) They used to have a lot of parent clubs, up to and including a LGBT, however, it ticked me off that they refused to have any LD groups. My son had ADD and dyslexia, and was gifted in math. For the 8 years we were there, he had a fantastic lady he adored who helped him with all of it.
Thursday of this week marks the 100th day of our third year at New City School. As a child, I was fortunate to have experienced a wonderful private grade school education in St. Louis, and as a parent, I wanted nothing but the same for my children. NCS has not only met, but has exceeded our expectations. It is an exceptional and engaging environment which encourages children to enjoy learning, while instilling in them the passion to want to learn more. Each child is encouraged to do their personal best, show compassion, display creativity, utilize critical thinking and develop leadership skills. NCS is also committed not only to the community of its students, families and faculty but to the community at large. As a result, they help mold and shape the kind of people and leaders we want for our children's future. We feel confident that we chose the best school for our child and family, but more importantly it chose us. We could not be happier with our experience at New City School and cannot wait to send our next child soon.
We are relatively new to NCS after having some serious bullying issues at another school. My child can finally breathe. He is a gifted child, but needs to be engaged and the school is doing just that. More importantly, the focus on the social/emotional growth of the child is where my child is benefitting most. NCS offers a safe environment where kids can celebrate others as well as themselves.
We are in our third year at New City School. I couldn't ask for a better learning environment for my children There is just something about New City kids that sets them apart. They are articulate, conscientious, and confident without coming off as entitled. Students begin practicing oral presentation in pre-k and they are so comfortable in their own skin. Each student has a chance to thrive in the areas they naturally excel at and they are pushed in the areas they are not naturally good at. As a result the students are remarkably well rounded. The school's commitment to diversity creates an extraordinary student body that reflects the great economic and cultural diversity of our city and beyond. As a parent concerned with the public school options in St. Louis, I was afraid we would have to send our kids to a private school that wouldn't reflect the demographics of the real world. New City achieves what I never thought possible in private school education...making a world class education possible for all.
The school really seems to have slipped, both academically and administratively, during the seven years we've been here. We are seriously thinking of leaving and regret having begun here to begin with.
We pulled our children out of New City School and it was the best thing we ever did. The school did not provide a challenging environment for our gifted children. Our eldest was bored. Plus, the school didn't respond when our eldest was bullied. Also, one of the teachers spoke of our child to me in a derogatory way. It was also of concern to us that there is no school nurse if there is an emergency.
This is a great school, with committed teachers and is genuinely diverse. I highly recommend it to anyone living in the City of St Louis.
The school stressed diversity, however the choose to leave out learning disabilities as a piece of diversity, which is huge in the real world. They bragged about their learning specialist who apparently is reserved for parents who pay full tuition. My partner and I were told that they could not help our typical ADHD child, however there were students with more in depth needs that were allowed to stay because their parents paid full tuition and because they donated money to the school each year. When I talked to some of the other parents who had children like mine, I was told that I should, " kick in" some money to the annual giving and that they would take care of my child's needs. This parent was also a board member. What a waste of $$, especially since I did not get any of the tuition, I paid in advance, back after they asked my child to leave.
I love and value environments where everything is not spoon fed to folks-- environments that encourage people to think an act on their own. New City School meets that standard more than any educational institutuion I've ever been involved in with the possible exception of law school! The school is grounded in excellent academics, of course but it goes so much further than that. At this school kindergardners give presentations and are taught public speaking skills! At this school Kindergardners are taught about Van Goh and Monet! My seven year old son knows about stuff that most folks who graduate from high school don't know about! Wow, this is a wonderful place. If intellectual exploration is important to you send your child to this school.
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