SLU Sponsored Charter Schools
City Garden Montessori Charter School
Saint Louis University currently sponsors City Garden Montessori Charter School. The charter school opened in 2008. It first opened in 1995 as a small, locally-founded and operated preschool. City Garden Montessori School has been educating racially and socio-economically diverse students from the Forest Park Southeast and surrounding neighborhoods for over 15 years. To meet the educational demands of many area families, the school's board opened in 2008 a separate public charter school. City Garden serves approximately 175 students in grades K-8.
The well-established Montessori curriculum, intentionally small institutional size, and grass-roots community origins and leadership present a true educational choice for area families. And City Garden's distinct institutional mission - to encourage students to "value difference among people both globally and locally" and to teach "habits of non-violent conflict resolution and sustainable living" - resonates powerfully with the values of Saint Louis University. You can learn more about City Garden Montessori at www.citygardenschool.org.
Shearwater High School
Saint Louis University also sponsors Shearwater High School, which recently opened in Fall 2010. Shearwater is a truly unique institution offering comprehensive education, employment and life-skill development for 17-21 year-old disconnected youths: those who are homeless, aging out of foster care, or have left school without their diplomas for a variety of reasons. Shearwater's goal is to ensure its students thrive educationally, socially and economically, and leave Shearwater as college-able and workforce-prepared graduates. Shearwater currently has about 75 students, and steadily will grow enrollment until it reaches its capacity of 180.
The Shearwater educational program features an innovative and accelerated year-round curriculum tailored to meet individual student needs. The 9am-to-5pm school day includes half-day paid internships at area companies and organizations, complemented by extensive financial literacy training and oversight of a savings account in which students manage funds earmarked for post-secondary education and job training. Central to the Shearwater educational and development philosophy is the coordination of comprehensive social and health services for all students, facilitated by Shearwater's partnerships with an impressive array of community organizations including Youth in Need, Covenant House, Epworth, Provident Inc., St. Patrick Center, Urban League, and many others. Shearwater's holistic approach to education and development echoes the University's commitment to cura personalis, the Jesuit concept of "care of the whole person." You can learn more about Shearwater High School at www.shearwatereducation.org.
Grand Center Arts Academy
The University sponsors a third school that opened in the Fall of 2010, the Grand Center Arts Academy. The school is dedicated to offering world-class training in music, theater, visual art and dance as part of a rigorous academic program. The Academy is a locally- founded charter school and the newest campus of Confluence Academy (there are four existing Confluence Academy campuses in St. Louis). Grand Center Arts Academy is located in the the Beaux Arts Building across from Powell Symphony Hall in the heart of St. Louis' Grand Center cultural and fine arts district. Grand Center Arts Academy will be taking full educational advantage of partnerships with many of Grand Center's premiere arts venues, including the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre, Jazz St. Louis, the Center for Creative Arts, the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the Saint Louis Art Museum, and the Contemporary Art Museum.
Sponsorship of the Academy is another demonstrable example of the University's commitment to development of Grand Center and all of Midtown St. Louis. The Academy will serve students in grades 6-12th grades and ultimately enroll approximately 750 students. You can learn more about the Grand Center Arts Academy at www.grandcenterartsacademy.org.