One School. Two Campuses.
In 2011, The College School purchased 28 acres of property in the LaBarque Watershed near Pacific, MO. It’s quickly proven to be a rich place for experiential, hands-on, inquiry-based learning and our headquarters for learning beyond the classroom.
Labs at both campuses offer hands-on opportunities for science exploration and inquiry. The natural setting at the LaBarque Campus allows a more intimate and familiar connection to the science of the land: observations can be made over time, changing seasons can be experienced, and trends can be tracked.
Both 3rd and 6th–8th Grade Social Studies curriculum involves projects about ancient civilizations. The Webster Campus computer lab provides opportunities to research, e-mail with experts, or interact with maps. Lessons then come even more alive at the LaBarque Campus, where students can set up and sleep in teepees, throw hatchets, do flint knapping, cook over campfires, and experience period crafts.
There is a full climbing wall at the Webster Campus, and at the LaBarque Campus, there are two climbing trees and a rock rappel station. On both campuses, adventure education teaches students they can do more than they initially believe—a powerful lesson.
All schools recycle and talk about caring for the community. However, not all 3rd Graders earn an MSD tax credit for our semi-permeable pavers; not all 4th Graders compare coal, wind, and solar energy on their own campus; and not all schools are committed to building a green building structure.
Our experiential education program cannot be contained by one campus. Lessons traverse and connect between our suburban Webster Groves campus and our pristine 28-acre outdoor LaBarque Campus in Pacific, MO.
Jan Phillips Learning Center
The Jan Phillips Learning Center is designed to connect people with nature and advocate a sustainability ethic for our region. This 6,550 square foot complex, completed in December 2016, promotes The College School’s long held values of conservation and sustainability and serves as a regional headquarters for sustainable conversations, learning and inspiration.
After one year of use, the learning center will be certified Living Building Challenge, one of only 11 such structures in the world. Living Building Challenge is widely considered to represent the highest level of achievement in a green building rating system even above the better-known LEED certification.