Frequently Asked Questions
- What makes CS#1 a modern, one-room schoolhouse setting? How does it work academically?
Working with a mixed range of ages, experiences and abilities is more representative of life. Students have the opportunity to learn from one another and to make friendships that cross between ages - much more like an extended family. Children learn that everyone can contribute to classroom learning based on their unique life experience. Through repeated and active involvement, younger children are less intimidated by older children and older children develop natural respect for younger children. Academically, assignments may be the exact same, regardless of age, but with expectations that are age appropriate.
- What is the age range of the children and how do the different age groups mix?
The children at CS#1 range in age from 5-12. They share one main classroom. There are also three other classrooms that the students move between for other non-core classes. In the first few weeks of school an “older” (3rd-5th grade) is assigned to a “younger” (kindergarten-2nd grade) as a “heart friend”. The older student assists the younger student throughout the day for that semester. This teaches the younger student to advocate for themselves and allows them another person other than the teacher to go to for help. The older student, in turn, acts as a mentor and guide, learning responsibility and reinforcing empathy along the way. Classes tend to be divided into “youngers” and “olders”.
- What is the advantage of having the same core teachers for my child’s elementary education?
Teacher consistency from grade to grade means that your child is well known the first day of class. Your child’s learning style is already known, so less time is spent at the beginning of every year discovering what motivates the child and what he/she is capable of doing. Children are better able to pick up where they left off each year. This unique familiarity builds trust and a clear understanding of expectations.
- Does CS#1 have a library?
CS#1 has a collection of books and various resources that have been well loved over the years. But their best resource, and a reflection of their community spirit, is their bi-weekly trip to the public library.
- Does CS#1 take field trips?
CS#1 takes great pride in their involvement with the larger community. We extend the classroom into the community with numerous trips every year. For example, in the last school year, CS#1 visited Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Beanstalk Children’s Garden in Swope Park, Paul Mesner Puppets, Coterie Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Kansas City Ballet, Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Center, The Rabbit Hole, The Kansas City Symphony, Hammerspace, Juniper Gardens, Powell Gardens, The Kauffman Center, Union Station, Wildwood Outdoor Education Center and more. Students are transported by teachers and parent volunteers.
- What is the role of parents and guardians at CS#1?
Parents are an integral and active part of the educational process at CS#1. We depend on parents support for a successful educational experience for students. Parents support their child’s academics at home, lead and volunteer for school committees, drive for field trips, or plan social events for school get-togethers.
- What is CS#1’s homework policy?
Children have an average of three homework assignments each week in addition to preparation for weekly presentations and required reading time. The amount of time spent on homework is at the parent’s discretion. A general guideline is 15-20 minutes per grade level. Daily work that is not completed at school must be completed at home as well.
- What is “The Book”?
The Book is a tool that allows student, teacher and parent a means by which to track a child’s school work completion. It is a daily log that charts each child’s progress. Each morning, throughout the day, and at the end of the day every child checks in with The Book to make sure they have completed all their work. Items not completed must be finished before they are completely marked off.
- Does CS#1 administer standardized tests? What are the average results?
The Iowa Basic Skills Test is given to students beginning in third grade. The test is used as a guide to ensure progress and standardized measurement for future school entrance criteria The curriculum is not regulated by the test. Students at CS#1 consistently average in the top 20% nationally.
- How does the school evaluate student progress?
Each semester a Progress Report is completed by each teacher for every child and mailed home. This document is a full description of each child’s progress in each subject.
- Who takes care of the facility?
We are fortunate to have a janitor that sweeps and cleans the facility weekly. However, the kids have “jobs” that require them to sweep, vacuum, dust, water plants, organize books, and wipe tables every day after lunch. CS#1 believes that jobs foster a sense of ownership and responsibility, teach independent living skills, and provide opportunities for problem solving through cooperation and collaboration.
- What are the school hours? Is after-school care provided?
School begins at 8:15 and ends at 3:30. The doors open at 7:30. After school care is available until 4:00. Based on interest, CS#1 considers extended after school care each academic year. This would be a nominal, incremental fee for families.
- Is CS#1 a good fit for my family?
Families who value education as a part of their daily lives, who are interested in being involved in their child’s education, and who enjoy participating as a member of a community will find CS#1 to be a good fit.
- What type of student is most successful at CS#1?
All types of students find success at CS#1. A child who is self-motivated, who enjoys working with others, and who is drawn to an environment that challenges and nurtures their potential will thrive.
- How many students attend CS#1?
The ideal enrollment for CS#1 is a class size of approximately 20 students. This allows us to maintain a 1-10 teacher/student ratio in the classroom.
- How does CS#1 fundraise?
Fundraising occurs through fun planned school events that involve the children and families and have become tradition over the years such as the Pancake Breakfast. Other fundraising is done by parent committees that pursue grants and foundation donations.
- How and why does CS#1 promote public speaking?
Every week each child makes a presentation during lunch. It is 3-5 minutes in length with age-appropriate expectations. They typically include either recitation of a poem, sharing of a current event, or discussion of a book. CS#1 has found that the skill of public speaking distinguishes their students when they move on and gives them a confidence that can be learned no other way.
- What are some examples of project work?
Project work is work that occurs over an extended period of time. This develops time-management skills and emphasizes process as much as end-product. Examples of project work at CS#1 include book responses, the science fair, the bi-annual CS#1 Gazette, the annual Calendar project, the annual school play, and most of the work involved in the classroom for Social Studies, Science and Literacy.
- What is CS#1’s attitude about technology in the classroom?
Technology in the classroom is a wonderful tool for teaching when used appropriately. Our “smart screen” is used continuously and our two shared computer workstations allow students to research topics for projects. Students learn touch typing skills.
- Can students bring their own lunches?
Yes! All CS#1 kids bring their own healthy homemade lunches.
- How do I contact a teacher if I want to talk to him or her?
Home or cell phone numbers and email addresses are provided at the beginning of the year. Teachers are readily available and generally respond to inquiries within 24 hours. Appointments in advance are appreciated if a lengthy discussion is required.
- Does CS#1 offer organized sports?
CS#1 encourages its students to reach out into their community and involve themselves in their local sports organizations.
- Can CS#1 accommodate my student who has special needs?
Special needs are assessed individually and should be discussed with the director. Contact Linda Powers at 913-722-1115.