the problem is
our schools were designed to give St. Louis what we wanted in 1838
“Ideally 99 students out of 100 are automata, careful to walk in prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed custom. This is not an accident but the result of substantial education, which scientifically defined, is the deliberate subsumption of the individual."
William Torrey Harris
Superintendent of St. Louis Public Schools (1868-1880)
U.S. Commissioner of Education (1889-1906)
Despite years of "reform," many schools in St. Louis maintain pernicious mindsets from their original design. Rich and powerful Americans wanted factory workers, so the country adopted an educational model from Prussia meant "to make citizens subservient."
A lot has changed in the last century. Experts predict that within 15 years, automation will replace 83% of jobs earning less than $20/hr. As those jobs disappear, our city’s 8th graders—only 9% of whom can do math at grade-level—will find themselves unemployed. To succeed in the economy and society of tomorrow, students need to start learning in schools that look less like the bygone Industrial Era and more like the Information Age of the future.
because our kids
deserve a school that prepares them for the challenges of their lifetime
Some students excel at English; others struggle with math. Our multimedia coursework adapts to meet kids where they are. It's like giving every student a textbook tailored to their exact questions and learning style. Paired with one-on-one tutoring, the differentiated instruction challenges everyone but leaves no one behind.
Coaching & Choice
Students meet with their coach every day to develop the mindsets, skills, and habits of productivity. Working with families, coaches gradually transition students to college-style self-directed learning. Students guide this transition, earning more scheduling choice as they make responsible study decisions.
To prepare students for 21st-century careers, Kairos coursework trades mindless memorization for creative, hands-on projects. The world is our classroom, and students learn about it firsthand through experiential field trips and internships.
Kairos students do more than just talk about leadership. They practice it by leading study groups, extracurricular clubs, and Hogwarts-style Houses. From mediating peer discipline to advising our school board, students own more than just their schedules and education—they own their community.
so we asked
what do St. Louis kids need to succeed in the 21st century?
No Two Students Are The Same
With a personal school laptop, every Kairos student is able to learn in the way that's best for him or her. Students choose which resources and activities will help them master material and advance through our interactive lesson plans. Every child has different strengths and weaknesses, so we let them work at their own pace, on coursework tailored to their needs, receiving immediate feedback on their questions. Blending technology into instruction frees up teacher time to do what we love most: meeting with kids one-on-one and in small groups to support struggling students, mentor creative projects, and coach our advisees.
Autonomy, Not Control-and-Compliance
Rather than depending on a factory-line schedule (like in a traditional school), Kairos students practice managing their time in the same flexible environment as a college student or modern-day professional. Through our individualized coaching model, students learn how to learn independently. Productive decisions—about what, how, where, when, and with whom to work—expand students' choice; unproductive decisions constrain it. At full choice, Kairos students navigate our building's coworking spaces on their own, leveraging resources (including teachers) to reach goals they set for themselves.
More Time, More Breaks
Instead of following an agrarian calendar—with 14-week semesters and 12 weeks of summer break during planting season—Kairos educates students all year round. Learning follows two-month cycles: students work hard for five weeks, then recharge for two. During those two weeks, families can drop their children off at enriching childcare (rec center swim lessons, externships, and other free programming we arrange with our community partners). Faculty use one of the weeks for professional development, analyzing individual student data, devising personalized growth plans, and improving our resources for the following cycle.
Trust In Teachers
Distributing Power to Faculty
As educators, nothing drove us crazier than watching out-of-touch administrators give orders that hurt kids. That's why at Kairos, we give all the power to people who know your child best: his or her teachers. With the time freed up by technology, our teachers fulfill traditionally "administrative" roles—mediating restorative justice discipline, planning experiential field trips, and making other decisions that impact kids. To recruit the best and brightest for these roles, Kairos offers teachers unparalleled salary, professional autonomy, and pathways for career growth.
and we're not alone
we found the best of the best, then brought them to St. Louis
Kairos is working with Summit Learning in a first-of-its-kind partnership to integrate their world-class resources into our model. Summit provides Kairos with best-in-class curricula, designed by Stanford professors and housed online in a learning platform built by some of the world's top engineers.
2315 Miami St.St. Louis, MO 63118-3910