(ST. LOUIS, MO, JUL 2020) – Guidepost Montessori – a global network of Montessori schools – has opened its first campus in St. Louis, Guidepost Montessori at Central West End, with enrollment now open for early childhood programming and Elementary spots to follow for January 2021.
The campus, which will operate year-round, has been undergoing renovations to update all of its classroom and outdoor play space. Prior to this month’s public opening, Guidepost at Central West End had opened early on a limited basis for the network’s Spring launch of Emergency Care for Essential Workers – when more than 40 Guidepost schools across the country rapidly mobilized to provide significantly discounted, safe childcare for essential workers.
“Rallying our team to provide Emergency Care was a meaningful way for us to open our doors, allowing us to serve those in our community who needed us most during the on-set of the pandemic,” said Andrew Panek, Head of School. “As we head into Fall, not only have we learned how to safely adapt our classrooms, but we’ve equally prioritized a focus on supporting children and parents through such an unprecedented year – recognizing that the social, emotional, developmental needs of our children do not stop for a pandemic.”
Some of these adaptations will look familiar to the network’s previous Emergency Care for Essential Workers program, with reduced movement on-site between the staff and classroom communities, smaller classroom sizes, and daily health checks of both staff and children. The learning environment for children remains otherwise normalized, with classrooms beautifully prepared according to the century-old Montessori method – a structured, child-led approach with valuable mixed-age classrooms that promote social skills and independence. The campus will kick off its Aug. 24 school year with openings in its infant care, Toddler and Children’s House communities. Elementary programming, serving children from ages 6 to 9 and 9-12, will follow suit after the New Year. Panek also noted that their team is applying as a private school to join Child Care Aware Missouri and the Dept. of Defense Fee Assistance program for military families.
“One of our priorities here at Central West End is to make Montessori education as accessible as possible to all communities in the St. Louis metro area,” he added.
Beyond enrollment on-campus, Guidepost is also offering families new home-based programs. Services for Fall 2020 include a virtual parent-to-educator service, called Family Framework, where parents can access a range of tools from DIY resources to 1:1 private parent consultations on leveraging the early childhood Montessori system at home. Enrollment in Guidepost Montessori Virtual School is also available for early childhood, kindergarten and Elementary, designed by the network’s Montessori program experts. Additionally, Guidepost expanded its one-year-old Guidepost at Home program, where families can match up with nannies and educators to form “home pods.”
For families looking for a high-quality Montessori path, this Guidepost campus offers long-term continuity; students who graduate the elementary program here can then enroll in Guidepost's sister network, the Academy of Thought and Industry, which provides Montessori adolescent programming from middle school to high school. ATI St. Louis, located at 3840 Washington Blvd., is also offering Virtual School for Fall 2020 options.
For more information on summer or fall enrollment with Guidepost Montessori at Central West End, call the school at (314) 328-4972. For the latest campus-specific updates on programming, events, and more, follow them on Facebook, as Guidepost Montessori Central West End.