Who is Charlotte Mason?
Charlotte Mason lived during the turn of the 19th century in England when the notion that all children (in particular girls and children born into lower socio-economic classes) were entitled to a high quality education was new and radical. By age fifty, with a lifetime of education experience behind her, she began to write books and articles, becoming an authoritative voice within the widespread movement of her day that believed in a liberal arts education for all children. She not only spoke eloquently to the why of this movement, but also had an uncanny talent for showing others exactly how to implement these ideas—both in schools and in the home. The practical content of her books and periodicals on education, parenting, and child development was eagerly received by parents and teachers of her day who were waking up to the awesome responsibility to give children an education that would serve them well for a lifetime.
Mason’s ideas and instincts—often ahead of their time—are frequently borne out by contemporary best practice. As such, we continue to draw inspiration and guidance from her philosophy of education. She advocates for an education that honors the inborn dignity and potential of every child while also affirming the goodness of the world we have inherited- both natural and cultural. She gives us practical steps and guidelines for how to manifest these ideals in the classroom.
To learn more about Charlotte Mason and be inspired, our favorite introductory book is When Children Love to Learn, edited by Elaine Cooper.
How does SCCS do enrichment trips?
Taking learning outside the walls of the classroom through regular enrichment trips is an important part of the SCCS student and parent experience. Our aim is to consistently supplement our curriculum with experiential learning. Each class typically goes on six to eight off-campus excursions per year. One of the primary ways that our families support the learning experience at SCCS is by being driver-chaperones on class enrichment trips. We rely on SCCS staff and family volunteers to partner with us in transporting and supervising our students during these experiences in and around the St. Louis area.
How are parents and families involved at SCCS?
We ask each family to come alongside the school by contributing twenty-four volunteer hours per year. Each family commits to a minimum of one volunteer work shift at Ditto Family Resale (during SCCS’ designated Ditto weeks each year) and also helps with one to two enrichment trips as a driver-chaperone. Families are also encouraged to be involved through our room parents and service committees for events and fundraisers. We offer many regular opportunities throughout the year to get involved and engage with activities during the school day.
Do you offer childcare for students before or after school?
Our play-based Extended Day Program offers care for students beginning at 7:30 a.m. through 5:30 p.m. Before Care is offered for all students from 7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. After Care is offered for PK3 – second grade students from 1:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Late Care is offered for all students from 3:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Pricing and registration are based on frequency of use. Please see our fee schedule for more details.
How much time do students have for recess and/or P.E.?
All students from PK3 to eighth grade spend time each day playing outside at recess. Classroom teachers also build indoor wiggle time and stretching into the day to honor children’s need for movement. Students begin having P.E. twice a week in second grade, continuing through eighth grade.
What is the dress code or is there a uniform?
At SCCS, we do not wish to inhibit a child’s individuality or creativity, nor cause undue financial strain upon the clothing budget. We require that clothing and outerwear be appropriate for the season and weather. Shoes must be closed toe with a closed or strap heel. Clothing should be free from writing and pictures (designs like plaid, stripes, floral, and repeated patterns are permissible).
What are your class sizes?
Our class sizes vary based on grade level. Full capacity preschool classes classes are usually between eight and eleven students, kindergarten classes are typically around twelve students, and first grade through eighth grade are typically under sixteen students.
Where do students eat lunch?
Students eat snack and lunch in their classroom with their teacher. We ask that parents send a snack, lunch, and water bottle with their child to school each day. Parents are encouraged to send nutritious food items for their child, including a protein source. In order for parents to make food choices for their child, as well as to decrease instances of allergic reactions, the sharing of food is not permitted. We do not restrict what foods may be brought to school other than asking that parents avoid sending soda or other foods high in sugar.
What time does school start? What time is dismissal?
We begin welcoming our students at the front doors at 8:15 a.m. each day. Students gather in the entryway until they are dismissed to go to their classroom at 8:25 a.m. The school day officially begins at 8:40 a.m. Preschool, kindergarten, and first grade students are dismissed at 1:00 p.m. Second grade is dismissed at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons, and have a longer school day on Tuesday and Thursday when they are dismissed at 3:15 p.m. Third through eighth grade are dismissed at 3:15 p.m. every day.
What types of extracurricular activities are available to students?
SCCS offers a variety of opportunities for students to be engaged with activities outside the classroom. Some of these include: soccer, a variety of intramural sports, choir, chess, and Shakespeare. Grade eligibility varies per activity and some additional fees apply.
Is SCCS open to children and families from other faiths or beliefs?
At SCCS, our teachers, administrators, and board members are Christians and the Christian faith—namely that of reformed Protestant Evangelicalism—is at the core of our community life, identity, and perspective. However, members of our staff come from different streams of Christianity, and as a missional school we welcome children and families from all backgrounds, whether from different Christian denominational affiliations, other faith confessions, or non-faith, secular backgrounds. We ask that during the enrollment process, all parents familiarize themselves with our faith perspective and the role that it plays in student life. SCCS students attend a short weekly chapel service, study the Bible as part of the curriculum at every grade level, and begin taking theology once a week in seventh and eighth grade.