First thru Fifth Grades

We provide a warm, welcoming, and joyous environment for your child’s first through fifth grade experience. We are sensitive to the needs of each child in the classroom and often tailor stories, art experiences, and class work to the unique developmental place of an individual child. Our school days include many exceptional activities that you can read about below.

We have a combined First and Second Grade class and a combined Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade class. Our school day runs from 8:20am to 2:20pm.

Outdoor Days


Every Friday, we take our students outside for the day. We believe that free time to play and explore in nature reduces stress and anxiety, builds cognitive functioning, supports creative learning, and connects children to their natural world. We visit Rockbridge State Park, Three Creeks Conservation Area, Mark Twain National Park, local farms, and many other natural areas around Columbia.


Student Work
A third grade main lesson book from a block on Measurement. Third graders learn the history of measurement in addition to their basic knowledge and practical application.

Each week our students have two Handwork classes. Working with their hands helps students in coordination, reading, and left-right brain integration. When students work hard to complete a project, they exercise their will and ability to focus. When they hold their finished hat, flute case, or puppet in their hands, their faces beam with pride. Handwork projects such as these build confidence in our students and teach them that they have the ability to make everyday objects with their hands. Many of our students then feel they have the ability to make anything! Students learn new skills in each grade level. First graders learn to knit. Second graders learn to crochet. Third graders learn to hand sew and embroider. Fourth graders learn to knit a hat and needle felt various projects. Fifth graders learn to knit a pair of socks. The skills get more complex as the children get older.

Language Classes

Students at our school take Spanish and German language classes with our wonderful native speaking teachers, Senora Ginna Salamán and Sarah Arriagada. Students have German on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Spanish on Mondays and Wednesdays. The class is full of songs, verse, stories, conversation, and games and the older children take this work deeper. Our goals for our students are to develop an ear and voice for another language, to experience new cultures, and to develop understanding and empathy for different ways of thinking and speaking.

Cooperative Games and Movement Class

Twice a week our students have a Cooperative Games class taught by Justin Wiles. Similar to a P.E. class, our students play games and exercise their bodies. We focus on social games that require cooperation and activities that enable students to know their bodies, feel their place in space, and improve coordination, balance, and rhythm.

Outdoor Aftercare Program

In addition to our school program, we provide a fulfilling, nature-based after school option for families who need child care. This aftercare program offers a consistent rhythm without the demand of structured activities. Children free play at Peace Park, play group games, draw, read, and hear stories.  They have time to be with friends and explore the park or have a quiet rest on a blanket under a tree.


May Pole

We celebrate many seasonal festivals throughout the year. These festivals mark the cycles in our lives and connect us to the changing seasons and to our school community.

Our children look forward to each festival for special reasons. Our harvest festival, Michaelmas, celebrates the fruits from the summer. We build harvest structures and dye silks and yarn with native plants. Our Lantern Walk in late fall gives us a chance to quietly walk through a chilly evening with nothing but our candle-lit lanterns to guide us. We are reminded of the lights we carry within even though our days grow darker. In the spring, our traditional May Day Festival celebrates the sunlight and warmth returning as we dance and sing around the May Pole together. Our festivals remind us to celebrate, reflect, and connect with our world and those around us.

Columbia Art League

Once a month, our students love their class at Columbia Art League. We walk the short block to their studio space for mediums such as clay, mosaics, and collage.

Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture


We are fortunate to visit an urban farm once each month and have adopted a small portion of their gardens for our pleasure, learning, and care. We’ve mixed soil, created beds, planted, prepared beds for the winter, and picked produce.

Homeschool Enrichment

Beginning August 2018, City Garden School will offer an option of one, two, or three homeschool enrichment days per week! Children will be integrated into our current first and second grade classroom or our third, fourth, and fifth grade classroom which will allow for plenty of social interaction and deep connection with peers. We provide art-infused lessons, ample outdoor time, and an intellectually rigorous curriculum. Homeschool students will be encouraged to join the school for our various festivals throughout the year (see above) and other community building activities we offer for students and their families to enjoy together.

The program will run Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Families will be asked to pick the same days each week for the whole year for consistency for the children and teachers. Families need to be signed up for Wednesday or Thursday in order to send their child with us on outdoor Fridays.

If you are interested, we would love to schedule a tour with your family and give you more information about this new program! We will visit the classrooms, talk with teachers, and answer any questions. It’s also a great opportunity for us to get to meet your child! Please email with any times or dates that work for your family.

Summer Camp

Summer Camp

City Garden will host three weeks of Summer Camp in 2019 for 6 to 10 year olds at Rockbridge State Park. In addition we are holding spots for alumni of our camp who would like to come back as junior counselors. Children will be outside the entire morning exploring the woods as well as the creek. We will be catching frogs and crayfish, hiking, observing the forest, singing songs, and playing games. We hope to spend one morning each week to explore Connors Cave.

We will offer three weeks of summer camp for 2019!

June 3rd – June 7th

June 10th – June 14th

June 17th – June 21st

Please fill out our enrollment form here.

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