The best way to learn about the unique and vibrant CS#1 experience is to hear from members of our community.
Our son attended CS#1 for six years. We cherished our time at CS#1 as we watched our son grow and thrive. He learned to present with confidence, advocate for himself, manage his school work, develop a love of reading and be a leader. This is over and above the strong academic environment which set him up for success. Now in his first weeks of middle school, he is managing the transition with confidence. As we were filing away his beloved treasures from elementary years, we looked through the monthly calendars we saved as a record of all the wonderful field trips and adventures; Alvin Ailey, Kansas City Ballet, Symphony, Coterie, Paul Mesner Puppets, Nelson Art Museum, ongoing work at an organic farm, Steamboat Arabia, Wornall House, Liberty Memorial / WW 1 Museum, Negro League Museum, Weston Red Barn, Reading Reptile Lit Fest, bi-weekly trips to the Plaza Library, CS#1 Annual Play, pancake breakfasts and more. CS#1 is an incredible experience for children and their families. -Alumni Parent
We have absolutely loved this school! Its focus on experiential learning and the arts is a perfect fit for our daughter, who has attended for one year. It is an unbelievable learning environment for kids, due to its one-room schoolhouse format, amazing field trips, and top-notch teaching staff. It is helping to build the personality traits in our child that we believe will take her far - accountability, confidence, and a sense of community. Plus, it is very reasonably priced for a private, non-profit education! It has been a blessing for us and so many others in its 40 plus year history. Thanks, CS#1! -Current Parent
Community School #1 is the most amazing educational experience for Kansas City kids! My wife and I looked all over and when we finally toured CS#1, we knew it was perfect. The kids at CS#1 go on more field trips in a month than other schools go on in a year. It's incredible. Seriously. Incredible. You should have one of the CS#1 Students give you a tour! -Current Parent
If you are all about rote learning, this is not the place for you. Your child will learn to think; your child will learn to question; your child will learn to learn. It is more than just a school, it is a community. Your child will leave with all the knowledge to allow him or her to thrive in any other academic environment. With that, your child will take a sense of self and community, and a respect and passion for education. -Alumni Parent
CS#1 is truly a community. Every student is responsible for their neighbor. The students are shown how to treat one another from the beginning. Kids learn how to resolve their differences through open dialogue and problem solving on how they can help to work through a conflict. The students are totally self directed. The school focuses on building integrity from the ground up. -Current Parent
When we started looking for alternatives to public schools (we live in an under-performing school district), we were so pleased to have found CS#1! It allows children the opportunity to learn through experiencing the world around them, versus solely through textbooks and lectures. The one-room schoolhouse concept was a big draw, as were the art and language classes (taught by professional artists and native speakers). We were excited about so many aspects of this school and it has definitely met our expectations. -Current Parent
We love the teachers! They challenge, encourage, support and love my child. And they are super smart and love to teach. Who can ask for more?!
So far, the homework has been awesome! While it is sometimes challenging to fit it into our busy schedules, it allows me to have a connection with my child's learning process as well as helps her to enrich her in-school education.
To learn accountability at a young age is a great way to succeed in all aspects in life, in my opinion. The students are held to a high degree of accountability, which instills these traits. That being said, the accountability is tempered with understanding and flexibility when warranted!
Although we had a strong feeling that this school would prepare our children to excel academically, we were sure that it would help shape them to be good people. All the alumni that we have met are self-confident, polite, intelligent and happy! -Current Parent
From the classroom creed to the daily classroom meetings in which children have the ability to address the whole community about any issues they have experienced and a chance for creative problem solving, to the way student disagreements are mediated, CS#1 develops honest, caring, and loving thinkers and problem solvers.
The lead teachers have over 40 years of proven success. Children graduate and move onto elite private schools, homeschooling, and public schools with great academic and social success.
Children are allowed to determine when homework is completed within the week, allowing families to not only engage in the learning process, but allow for the flexibility of life and after school activities. The teachers have always been open to any feedback children and families have about the amount and level of homework. -Current Parent
I have so many positive things to say about CS#1. I have one child who graduated 7th grade from CS#1 and one who is still attending...Daily, teachers engage students in critical thinking. This is often lacking in today's education due to curriculum/time demands and class size. At CS#1 students think and make choices collectively and individually. Because of small class size and time allowed to deviate from the curriculum, decisions good or bad can play out and students can see the consequence of a decision. Students take great pride and ownership in their school. This is fostered in a variety of ways: daily problem solving with morning meetings, choosing their yearly school play, making their own stage sets, creating lists and shopping for costumes, making preparations for their pancake breakfast, and many other examples. Learning responsibility and independence are also important pieces of the day. Students are responsible for daily classroom cleaning jobs including caring for classroom pets. Students learn by correcting their mistakes, not just getting a grade and moving on. They also gain great speaking confidence. Weekly, the youngest students give show and tell presentations on something educational. Older students give a weekly rotation of presentations including poetry readings, current events, and book chats. Another huge part of the curriculum is going on field studies in the community. Every other week students go to a community farm to learn many aspects of science, along with volunteering their time to help support local community farming. They go to many exhibits around town throughout the year, concerts, gardens, theater, museums. These field studies don't just involve the actual event, but they might learn about the architecture of the building and history of the location. So much learning goes on that comes up organically just from things they see and do on these field trips. Each student is paired with a heart friend, one older and one younger. This has been another great growing and learning experience for my kids. The younger gets guidance from the older and experience in asking for help and asserting needs. The older gets to guide and show responsibility. This is all done with careful and watchful guidance from teachers. It is really a beautiful model of how to handle relationships and playing different roles in relationships. A child who might be the youngest in their family has a chance to be the oldest at school. An older child or one without siblings might get a sense of what it is like to have an older helping them. Lastly, and most importantly in my opinion is the unique setting of nurturing friendships with ZERO bullying. This is a place kids can be who they are without worrying what others will think. It is a place where learning, curiosity, creativity, and kindness are nurtured. It is an exemplary model for schools. -Current Parent
We are absolutely thrilled to have found CS#1. Our daughter is currently in her second year here and is thriving academically, emotionally, and physically. Like any school, it is not for everyone, but we have found an incredible community of students, educators, and families that we are so grateful for here. The opportunities that the students have at CS#1 can't be found at ANY other school in the area. Weekly art, creative movement, dance, yoga, Spanish, with bi-monthly trips to the Plaza library and Juniper Gardens farm are just a taste of the integrated and flexible nature of their curriculum. My daughter's love of learning continues to be nurtured here. As an educator myself, I have complete trust and deep respect for all of her teachers, especially her lead teacher/director. Our daughter has incredible opportunity matched with commensurate responsibility and is nurtured to be an active participant in her education. -Current Parent