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Little Leaders Academy

Sixth Grade Through Pre-Kindergaten

Learning Turned Upside Down

Accepting Applications  for  2024-25 School Year!

We are a St. Louis sixth grade through pre-kindergarten academy on a mission to develop little leaders and empower them to find their calling. Located near Grants Farm. Our learners are hands-on and creative. They opened a sushi restaurant to learn about Japanese cuisine, dissected owl pellets to learn about the animal kingdom, sculpted mushrooms to learn about the fungi kingdom, and retold the Ruwa Changa God myth to learn about Tanzanian culture. Our learners are excited to learn and explore, and they are always up for a challenge. Our learning lab has a garden where your child can learn about gardening and growing their own food. If you are looking for a learning experience that is both engaging and educational, then our learning community is for you.

Are You Ready To Reinvent Education For Your Family? To begin the application process, please introduce yourself.
Marketing by

Ignite Your Little Leader…

Is Your Child’s Education Setting Them Up For Success?

More than ever, parents in St Louis, Missouri are looking for alternative, independent – nature-based private school options to provide the best education for their children. From our Montessori based Pre-Kindergarten to 6th grade, we are reimagining 21st century education.

Our Microschool exists to empower character-filled human beings for life. Our graduates will be the next generation of leaders with a strong sense of self, their unique gifts and the skills to impact others!

We offer a truly different approach to school. We move beyond the traditional tools of lectures, homework, high-stakes tests, and grades. At our microschool, students pre K-6th learn in collaborative classrooms of multi-age learners. Our flexible approach challenges each student with their differentiated learning plan and inspires them through real-world projects.

Join the Little Leaders Academy community and have your child experience a foundation of a growth mindset!

We are on a mission to GUIDE tomorrow’s leaders through educating the whole child in their body, mind, relationships, emotions, and academics!

Our Approach

Nature-Based, Montessori, Growth-Mindset and Reggio Emilia Inspired! To develop leaders and empower them to find their hero’s journey. We are committed to improving access to place based education, play-based learning, child-led curriculum design, and time spent outdoors.

Our mission to create a community of  families, and learners who are curious about the world, rooted in self, place and others.

Honest Results

“April is an incredible person and skilled leader-educator. She employs patience, mindfulness, nutrition, and nature in her lessons everyday! This isn’t just childcare; it’s life-changing. She truly is helping us raise a mindful, respectful, healthy, and well-educated child. Her Whole Child Curriculum is engaging, informative, strategic, and fun. I respect and appreciate her so much, and I’m so glad I found her! Our family is so grateful for these years of nature based, whole-child education we have been blessed to experience with April!”

Hands On Learning
Outdoor Experience
Whole Child Approach
Little Leader Growth

Reviews

April is creative and passionate. Match those qualities along with her being patient, kind and caring and it is sure to be a wonderful and fun environment for learning! I would highly recommend her and Little Leaders Academy.

Our son has been attending Little Leaders Academy this summer and it is fantastic! April is truly intentional with every activity at the school. Our son is practicing mindfulness through age- appropriate yoga and meditation. He is learning and repeating affirmations like “mistakes help my brain grow!” He is practicing letter sounds and gross and fine motor skills. And he is is interacting with other children his age to practice kindness and sharing. It is evident that April loves young children and takes tremendous pride in creating a loving and thoughtful learning environment. And O especially love that the children spend much of the day outdoors! It’s been a great fit for our son!

Little Leaders Academy and April are a fantastic fit for our son and for helping him grow! She provides a fun and easygoing atmosphere for the children to learn and explore. They have the advantage of utilizing outdoor space to help promote learning and play and even have the ability to be exposed to new foods (while still being conscious of food allergies) that they might not be able to otherwise or as often! April goes out of her way to make sure each age range is experiencing their own level of learning. We can definitely tell that our son is not just progressing mentally and physically but emotionally as well. It is such a treat to have found Little Leaders Academy!!

I’m so excited to see April back in the education field! I would not hesitate to bring my child to Little Leaders Academy for a great education from an amazing person.

Frequently Asked Questions

More Info About Little Leaders Academy

South County St Louis Alternative School, Nature Based St Louis School
Language Immersion School St Louis
Is Little Leaders Academy right for my child?

Little Leaders Academy is the right place for your child if they…

  • Wish traditional school was more challenging and engaging.
  • Enjoy doing projects around their interests with just a few dozen young people.
  • Build, create, innovate, or make art.
  • See things differently.
  • Care about their future, want to find a calling, and want to change the world.
  • Are kind, hardworking, and committed to doing their best.
What school calendar do you follow?

Our school year will begin the last week of August and goes through May, and closely mirrors the Lindbergh Public School system, including the winter vacation weeks.

What are your hours?

Our school runs Monday through Friday, from 8:00am to 3pm. We currently enroll full time learners. There are no part-time spots available.

How much time do you spend outside?

As much as possible! Our classroom is nature. Our program has ample time outdoors, rain or shine, built into the schedule everyday. Outside of that, any and all parts of our day may take place outdoors. With this in mind, proper outdoor gear will be important to ensuring your child has a positive experience learning and playing in the elements. You will be provided with a gear list at the start of each season.

How does self-paced learning happen at Little Leaders Academy?

We provide a 21st century learning environment using the latest in educational technology for self-paced mastery of reading and math skills. Students are placed according to ability so that our program can meet the student right where they are. Students move on to the next level only after the content has been mastered, which ensures there are no learning gaps.

Are you going to add grades beyond sixth?

We are very open to adding “grades.” We have plans to serve students up to high school. 

What is an overview of your approach?

Your child’s work is play. From the beautiful, open-ended toys inside to leaves, and stones outside, everything in the environment stands ready to be enlivened by your child’s imagination. With the guide’s gentle guidance, your child flows through a rhythmic day balanced between free play and structured activities. Children enjoy cultural studies, seasonal ASL songs and rhymes, yoga, STEAM and abundant outdoor play and exploration in all seasons.

As children age through the program, the complexities of projects and tasks deepen and they gradually take on more responsibility in the class. Your child’s day is full of delight and discovery as they connect with the educator (guide) and friends, building social-emotional intelligence and resilience while laying the groundwork for literacy, math, science, and critical thinking.

Meet Our Main Guide
April Robert (Director, Main Guide), has a bachelor’s elementary education (ESL endorsement) who has a passion for outdoor, and mind/body education. Her experience in educating youth extends over various environments, including teaching in schools, homeschooling private families, instructing in a private academy in China and managing her own company for years. April recognizes the value of outdoor time for children to explore, play, and learn through meaningful, inquiry-based, and child-led interactions and experiences. April is an advocate for ongoing learning, positive character development, and youth leadership.
What is a Microschool?

A purposefully small school typically with the following characteristics:

  • led by a trained/licensed professional or group of professionals
  • consists of mixed age class or classes with 15 learners or less, guided by the same educator
  • focused on meaningful, sustainable, whole-child learning

Some other words used to describe a microschool might include one-room schoolhouse, and alternative school.

Is Little Leaders Academy perfect?

Absolutely not! But we are excellent at listening and adapting to the feedback we receive from parents, guides, and students. We listen to our parents, students, and team and work to implement great suggestions! It’s important we collectively reinvent education in St Louis!

What are the educational goals?

Educational Goals

At Little Leaders Academy, we aim to provide a high-quality, comprehensive education that fosters your child’s love of learning and addresses the whole child academically, emotionally, physically and socially.  Our curriculum varies by the studio; however, the goals for our school are consistent:

  • To enter a partnership with parents in the education of their children.
  • To lead students toward mastery of individually identified intellectual, social, physical, and daily life skills.
  • To foster in students deep and persistent curiosity that will lead to lifelong pursuits of knowledge.
  • To help students develop self-confidence.
  • To instill in each student a sense of personal responsibility for the world in which we live.
  • To spark in our students, wonder, imagination, and joy. 
  • To create a family-centered culture within each studio that emanates beyond our school to our homes and community. We pride ourselves on strong values, patriotism, peer mentoring, and personal responsibility.
  • To cultivate a student’s entrepreneurial spirit and teach the principles of freedom and liberty of America’s founding generation.
What is the class size at this Microschool?

At Little Leaders Academy, we hold a deep commitment to personalized learning, ensuring that every child receives the attention, guidance, and mentorship they deserve. Our class size reflects this dedication, allowing us to cultivate vibrant learning communities where each learner can flourish.

  • Pre-K: Our youngest learners benefit from an intimate setting with a class size maintained at a 1:6 ratio. This ensures that our little explorers receive ample individualized attention, fostering a strong foundation for their educational journey.

  • Kindergarten through 6th Grade: As our learners progress, the class size expands slightly to a 1:12 ratio. This still remains significantly smaller than traditional settings, enabling educators to tailor instruction, nurture critical thinking, and cultivate a deep love for learning in each child.

In aligning with Little Leaders Academy’s philosophy, these class sizes empower our educators to know each learner deeply, to challenge and support them uniquely, and to foster a tight-knit community where collaboration and individual growth go hand in hand.

Where are you located?

Near Grants Farm (in South County) in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Will Little Leaders Academy prepare my teen for college?

Our promise at Little Leaders Academy is to have students well prepared for any selective university where they can score high enough on a standardized test to gain admittance. Once your student gets over the test-taking barrier at the university of their choice, their portfolio and critical thinking skills will be a big boost during the application and interviewing process. Most importantly, students are well prepared to shine in the real world, whether they choose to go to college full time, part time or not at all.

Do you provide lunches and a snack?

Students may bring their own healthy lunch and snacks for the day.  We believe that it’s important to help young people develop healthy lifestyle habits, which is why we empower parents to make the best choices for their children.

When we have fruits and vegetables in season from our Microschool’s garden, we will serve them! Children will have water bottles that they keep at school. 

What is a nature-based school?

It is an educational approach that:

  • Involves regular and repeated access to the same natural environment.

  • Promotes experiential, inquiry-based, play-based, and place-based learning.

  • Supports risk management where children learn to work through challenges, experience risk, and learn from mistakes and successes which helps to build self-confidence.

  • Involves educators playing a facilitator and mentorship role – lead by example, support child interests, learn with the child, provide resources and materials to extend learning, and observe the child’s progress.

  • Involves individual and collaborative learning opportunities.

  • Allows for the learning experiences to change with the seasons, landscapes, presence of loose materials, who is in attendance, and the child’s interests, among other factors.

What are your goals?

 

    • Reconnect children with nature through play, inquiry, and exploration

    • Encourage healthy active living

    • Promote environmental awareness and appreciation

    • Develop strong collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills

    • Offer low student to adult ratios allowing for mentorship and student-led learning

Do you offer art and music?

At Little Leaders Academy, our approach to art and music transcends traditional boundaries. From exploring the ethereal beauty of the Milky Way through contemporary painting sessions to bringing ancient tales alive with an Inca Sun God play adorned with masks, our learners are immersed in a rich tapestry of artistic expressions.

Additionally, our students delight in the melodies of Spanish songs and the gentle resonance of handheld chimes, weaving a unique musical experience into their daily rhythm.

For a glimpse into these transformative moments, we invite you to explore our Facebook channel, where we proudly showcase videos capturing the passion and creativity of our young learners.

Do you offer team sports?

Although we do not offer formal team sports, many of our students participate in city league sports. Our school embraces a deep commitment to physical fitness and overall health awareness. Little Leaders students daily practice a yoga routine or body workout. Our students are very active, and we strongly support good sportsmanship and teamwork.

Additionally, our students delight in the melodies of Spanish songs and the gentle resonance of handheld chimes, weaving a unique musical experience into their daily rhythm.

For a glimpse into these transformative moments, we invite you to explore our Facebook channel, where we proudly showcase videos capturing the passion and creativity of our young learners.

Do you offer Character Education?

We believe that students become confident, independent learners, and good citizens when they embrace the following character qualities: integrity, resilience, self-reflection, and empathy. We believe in personal responsibility and high accountability standards. Little Leaders Academy students are encouraged to take responsibility for their choices and actions as we think developing a strong moral compass will help students lead joyful and successful lives. Character learning is woven into all parts of learning.

Will children be grouped into grades?

We believe that students learn best when working with children younger and older than themselves rather than split up into groups based solely on age. In addition to individualized curriculum, all ages of students work together in groups.

Without homework and frequent test taking, how do I know my child is learning?

Students celebrate the mastery of tools, skills, and character by earning badges, assembling portfolios, and taking part in public exhibitions. Public exhibitions allow students to present work to experts, customers, or the public for a real-world test. Electronics and hard copy Portfolios capture rough drafts, photos, videos, and other creative work.

What are the school's core values?

Our Core Values  H.E.R.O.E.S.

HEALTHY MIND, BODY & SPIRIT

I operate with positivity and gratitude while pursuing knowledge and self-awareness. I maintain lifestyle habits like exercise and good nutrition. I care for my spirit by understanding that I am part of something bigger than myself and that my life has value and purpose. A healthy spirit gives and receives love.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

I carefully observe the world around me to identify challenges that I am uniquely suited to solve. My creativity fuels my hard work, grit, and endurance. I develop financial literacy as I hone my entrepreneurial mindset of innovation, collaboration, and hustle. I am responsible for my future, while recognizing, with gratitude, those who help me achieve my goals. 

RESPONSIBILITY

I contribute to my community by completing what is expected of me, owning my mistakes, and maintaining healthy relationships. I utilize my resources by asking for help when I need it, consulting others, and investigating before taking action. I will be on time, every time. I make rational and moral decisions. I can be trusted and depended on. I seek truth and justice. I think for myself.  

OPEN-HEARTEDNESS

I come from a place of empathy. I respect my community by listening to them, speaking honestly, and helping whenever I can. I am a kind and loyal friend. I do not gossip or use hurtful words or actions towards others. I promote equity and fairness in all situations. I have the courage to stand up for what is right.

EXCELLENCE

I will strive for continuous improvement in my schoolwork, friendships, and personal endeavors. I will build on my ideas. I set high standards for my behavior and the work that I deliver. I use my time wisely.  I believe that growth is greater than perfection.

SERVICE

As an act of service and respect, I consider others in everything I do. I support, encourage, and strengthen my community with a kind and compassionate heart. I serve for the sake of others, not for recognition. I will discover and use my precious gifts to bring value to the lives of others.  I understand my purpose and am mission-driven.

Learn more about our learning experience!

Funnel

Enroll Today!

THE APPLICATION PROCESS FOR LITTLE LEADERS ACADEMY ENROLLMENT WILL BEGIN IN JANUARY FOR THE 2024 / 2025 ACADEMIC YEAR.

We currently have limited spots available for the upcoming term.

If you’re considering joining our vibrant learning community, now is the time to act! Spaces are filling up quickly, and we don’t want you to miss out on this transformative educational journey.

Email Us

april.maura@gmail.com

Call Us
+1 (520) 709-5784
Visit Us
St. Louis, Missouri