Kirk Day School in Town and Country is committed to helping young people become 21st-century learners with a strong grounding in faith. That means paying attention to the needs of the whole student, mentally, physically and spiritually, according to head of school Taylor Clement. The independent, coeducational preparatory school serves students in preschool to grade six, weaving a sense of character, teamwork and Christian values into every fiber of its curriculum.
Recently, Kirk Day received accreditation from the Council on Education Standards and Accountability (CESA), a national organization that holds Christian schools accountable for superlative academic standards and institutional best practices. The organization’s standards include mission clarity, effective governance and academic and programmatic distinction. “CESA holds Christian schools to the highest standard for independent schooling, and the core values touch everything from the school board to how we work with each and every student,” Clement explains. “Getting its seal of approval means we are ready for a long future of helping kids thrive. We want to be 100% Christian, but also 100% academic.”
Director of admissions Stacy Engel has unique insight in what makes Kirk Day function so well. During her 12 years with the school, she has been a parent and teacher before becoming part of the administration. “By wearing so many hats, I’ve gotten a holistic view of every nook and cranny of the school, and I’ve never been more excited about what’s happening in Kirk Day classrooms than this year,” she says. “I get to look at the whole picture, and I’m impressed by what I’m seeing across the entire school. Our teachers love their students, and they’re helping them build a biblical worldview while holding them to the highest academic standards.”
One of the keys to Kirk Day’s approach is balancing tradition with innovation. For example, technology is playing an ever increasing role in society, and the school wants to ensure students understand how to use it successfully without becoming fully reliant on it. “Innovation in education can be a daunting notion—you don’t want to be stuck in the past but you don’t want to lose a strong traditional foundation either,” Clement says. “We understand that there are timeless approaches, and our goal is to find new ways to improve upon them. We want to ensure that our students are ready for today’s world. Sometimes, that requires technology, but it also means building critical skills.”
The success of Kirk Day’s approach is evident in the satisfaction of the families it serves. More than 80% of Kirk Day alumni graduated from high school with honors in 2022, and this school year, the children of 11 alumni are currently enrolled. “Kirk Day has created a very sweet community,” Engel notes. “Our students feel cared for and equipped for academic success in their next stages, and alumni want that experience for their own children. We’ve remained steadfast in our approach to education. Parents know that their children can experience childhood to their fullest here while also building a strong educational foundation.”
Kirk Day School is an independent Christian preparatory school in Town and Country for children in preschool through grade six. Pictured on the cover: Early childhood students at Kirk Day School. For more information, call 314.434.4349 or visit kirkdayschool.org.
Cover design by Julie Streiler
Cover photo by Kelly Park Photography
Pictured at top: Sixth graders collaborate with their teacher on a history project.
Photo: Han Kim