Education (K-12) and Special Needs
St. Louis prides itself on its award-winning school systems, which have produced countless successful graduates who have gone on to achieve fulfilling careers, thanks to the strong academic foundation they built growing up here.
The St. Louis area features a great many public school districts and numerous private elementary and secondary schools. Over 350 private schools represent a wide range of both non-sectarian and religious organizations enrolling over 80,000 students in Greater St. Louis. These include more than 70 non-sectarian, over 50 Lutheran, and more than 150 Catholic schools — ensuring that no matter where you live in the area, there are multiple options for quality education in a school that fits your needs.
For additional information on independent schools, visit the web site of Independent Schools of St. Louis, a non-profit professional association of 38 independently governed elementary and secondary schools throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. To search for private schools in your area, click here. To search for public schools in your area, click here.
Although there are too many schools in the St. Louis area to list, highlighted below are the largest St. Louis area public school districts and the largest area independent private schools, ranked by the St. Louis Business Journal by 2008-2009 enrollment.
Public School Districts
There are over 150 different school districts in the St. Louis, MO-IL MSA and more than 850 public schools. All districts are funded by local tax levies with varying assessment rates. Municipalities play a central role, with the local tax base of each school district funding new and existing educational programs and services, as well as providing maintenance and upkeep to the facilities.
Many St. Louis MSA schools provide additional programs for gifted students, special programs for challenged students, and magnet or charter schools for children seeking a non-traditional learning environment.
Local school rankings can be viewed here.
Private School Districts
There are over 300 private schools in the St. Louis, MO-IL MSA. Many long-established and strong independent schools exist, as well as an active parochial school network. The St. Louis region ranks nationally for having one of the largest percentages of enrollment in Catholic parochial schools, as measured by the number of registered Catholics in the St. Louis area.
In addition, the Special School District of St. Louis County (SSD) is one of the nation’s leading providers of special education services, educating over 27,000 students. SSD provides services to students in over 250 public schools allowing the vast majority of the students who receive SSD services to attend a school in their local district.
St. Louis is home to several nationally renowned educational facilities for children with sight and hearing challenges.
The St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf
, founded in 1837, was the first school for the deaf west of the Mississippi, and became one of the first in the world to teach deaf children to talk. The school was also the first to offer an educational program for infants. St. Joseph, which draws families to St. Louis from all over the nation, continues its commitment to advanced oral education as a research partner to several universities in studies on deaf education.
The Central Institute for the Deaf
, established in 1914, is world-renowned for its innovative and comprehensive training of teachers. The country’s first deaf education teacher training program to affiliate with a university, it also began the country’s first master’s degree program in deaf education. Like St. Joseph, it draws families from all over the country.
Founded by Jean Sachar Moog, St. Louis’ Moog Center for Deaf Education
teaches deaf children to talk through an award-winning curriculum and serves as a model for Moog schools established in other cities. The center offers an oral school for children ages three to nine, and a family school for children under three and their families.
Established in 1851, the Missouri School for the Blind
became the first in the western hemisphere to teach the reading and writing of Braille. Today the school offers specialized courses in Braille, orientation, mobility and independent living skills. Students also experience work training in a competitive and supportive environment with local businesses.
For additional information on Higher Education in the St. Louis region, click here.