Cover Stories

Growing Strong: Kirk Day School

Little did Kirk Day School students know, but they were in for a surprise when they returned to school after the summer break. While they were away, the school installed a new turf field for physical education classes, athletics and outdoor play. “We heard from parents that it was a cause of a lot of excitement on the first day,” head of school Taylor Clement says. “Its addition has been great for the whole school community.” The field is just one example of exciting growth the independent, coeducational, Christian preparatory school in Town and Country is experiencing right now.

Installed in a former parking lot, the turf field also provided an opportunity for campus beautification. The idea was introduced to the Kirk Day community as a fundraising goal in 2020. “Last year, we wanted to make sure that we met our budgetary requirements and could provide extra scholarship money to families that needed support, but we also wanted to create a new outdoor green space for our kids,” Clement explains. “Our families did an amazing job of giving generously, so we were able to give our students this wonderful gift that will be enjoyed for years to come. It was something sweet to come out of uncertain times.”

The new outdoor space couldn’t have come at a better time. Not only does it provide students a safe place to play and offer the school another option for outdoor learning, it’s a necessary addition since Kirk Day is experiencing its highest enrollment in more than 10 years. “At a time when many schools have been struggling, we’ve been growing,” says Jennifer Rush, assistant head of school for advancement. The school is still keeping class sizes small, offering two classes per grade and maintaining an average size of 16 students. This allows teachers to better engage with students and students to better engage with what they’re learning, Rush notes.

Clement says Kirk Day’s curriculum is designed to challenge students academically, and the school offers a safe environment for them to experience failure so they aren’t afraid to take risks and find opportunities for growth. The rigorous academics are paired with critical social and spiritual development. “Our goal is not only to see our students excel academically,” Rush says. “We also want to walk alongside them and nurture them with a biblical perspective that complements a strong academic foundation.” The success of Kirk Day’s approach is clear. Last year, 100% of its graduating class gained admission into the private secondary school of their choice.

“Times of growth allow you to reflect upon yourself, see what you do best and determine how you can do better,” Clement notes. “It’s a careful balance of working on what you know and dreaming about the future. During these difficult times, our families and board have helped us succeed and make dreams come true, and our amazing teachers have risen to the challenge of adapting to meet unprecedented circumstances. Their hard work has been the catalyst for this growth.”

Located in Town and Country, Kirk Day School is an independent, coeducational, Christian preparatory school for students in preschool to grade six. Pictured on the cover: Physical education teacher Debbie Legters, head of school Taylor Clement and athletic director Chris Pitts with students. For more information, call 314.434.4349 or visit kirkdayschool.org.

Cover design by Julie Streiler
Cover photo by Kelly Johnston of Relic Photography

Students enjoy Kirk Day’s new outdoor learning and play space.
Photo: Kelly Johnston of Relic Photography

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