Explore what it means to fall in love with learning.

The Children’s School at Stephens College takes a holistic approach to education, emphasizing exploration and study of the arts and sciences.



Enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year opened on April 2 for all CSSC grade levels and programs.


What Makes CSSC Different

Our arts-infused curriculum and classroom activities are designed to promote independence, problem solving, creativity and critical thinking.

Founded in 1925, we believe children should be active learners who have a variety of opportunities to test ideas in real-world situations.

We go beyond helping children recall information; we challenge them to actively use what they've learned in the classroom to ensure they understand what they’ve learned and why it’s important.

Children, by virtue of their age and status are constantly being told "no." For a child like my son, that is especially true. But CSSC is always open to entertaining my son's ideas. If there is any way to engage him and reap some educational benefit from his idea, no matter how whacky or outside the box that idea might be, they are open to it. I want to express how extremely grateful I am for this culture of entertaining the possibility of "yes." It has made all the difference in my child’s attitude toward learning and what a school can/should be.

School Highlights

    • Arts integration across the curriculum, including visual, literary and performing arts
    • Inquiry-based curriculum that allows children to have a hands-on approach to learning
    • Children apply their knowledge with real-world learning opportunities
    • Holistic approach focused on social, emotional and intellectual development
    • Students work at their own pace and are grouped by ability in multi-aged classrooms, allowing children to learn patience for all learning styles and to work in groups 
    • Master-level, certified teachers lead all classrooms assisted by pre-service teachers in training
    • College students work with small groups of children while being mentored by lead teachers
    • One-on-one learning and evaluation, including daily and weekly assessments to group children appropriately 


Become a CSSC Family



  • Half-day preschool and full-day preschool for ages 3-5
  • K-5 elementary school where students are grouped by ability rather than age
  • Before- and after-school care options


Tuition + Fees

Half-Day Preschool

8:30-11:30 a.m.


Full-Day Preschool or Elementary

8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.


Morning Extended Day

7:30-8:30 a.m.


Half-Day Preschool Lunch Hour

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


Afternoon Extended Day

3:30-5:30 p.m.


Morning and Afternoon Extended Day



Hourly Extended Day





Financial Aid

Financial assistance may be available. Please email [email protected] or call (573) 876-7260.

Stephens College employees or undergraduate students should contact Human Resources to determine if they are eligible for tuition benefits.

Plenty of schools can say they have low teacher-student ratios and things like that, but what makes CSSC so different is the overall attitude of allowing kids to be their unique selves.

Meet Our Staff


Elizabeth Watson
Beth Watson
Ph.D. candidate in Learning, Teaching and Curriculum (ABD); M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction

Elizabeth Watson is the director of The Children’s School at Stephens College and continues to work with preservice teachers. Her passion for education has been shaped over the past 16 years as a classroom teacher in both preschool and elementary and as an instructor in the college classroom. She started her career at Stephens College as an undergraduate student from Minnesota and received her early childhood degree and teaching certification. After her first year of teaching, she continued her education at the University of Missouri and received her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Reading. She is now ABD and will finish her doctorate at the University of Missouri in Learning, Teaching and Curriculum with an emphasis in Reading. As an early childhood and elementary educator, she believes the best way to enhance learning is to provide students with hands-on experiences that will create thought-provoking experiences for students to become independent creators.


Stacey Anderson

Administrative Assistant
B.S. in English Writing and Literature

As a Minnesota native, I am thrilled to be heading back to the Midwest after spending the past three years in Texas. I’ve been working in Campus Living & Learning at Baylor University and have absolutely loved interacting with students and watching them grow in these crucial, pivotal years. Prior to that, I served as an administrative assistant at the Evangelical Free Church of America, and I am so excited to work as an administrative assistant while continuing to work with both college students and now the vibrant, diverse kids at The Children’s School at Stephens College. You can usually find me with a cup of coffee with more creamer than may be decent. When not at work, I enjoy reading and writing, playing the occasional video game, or hanging out with my Ph.D.-seeking husband and our Shiba Inu. I’m a firm believer in the power of stories to unite people, so I’d love to hear your latest book recommendations!


Preschool Teachers


Jenna Arnold

Jenna Arnold is excited to continue teaching at The Children’s School at Stephens College! She has spent the last 13 years in arts education, working with a diverse group of children and adults alike. She has a passion for arts integration and theater, and has choreographed and directed over 18 full-scale productions. She believes all students can learn and grow through exposure to the arts and is committed to helping students express and push themselves in a supportive and uplifting environment. When not in the classroom, Jenna can be found teaching arts classes in the community, playing with her adorable rescue beagle Lily, or spending time with her wonderful husband.


Taylor Midgley

M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction

My name is Taylor Midgley. I received my Bachelor of Science in Education in 2012 and my Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. I have been teaching preschool at The Children’s School at Stephens College since 2013. I have a passion for early childhood development and believe the key to unlocking a child’s full potential is through developing a safe, nurturing and loving learning environment. 




Elementary Teachers


Rachel Johnson

Rachel Johnson

M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction

Rachel Johnson is proud to be a Stephens alumna, receiving her B.S. in Elementary Education in 2004 and M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction in 2010. A seventh-year teacher, Rachel has also worked as curriculum coordinator and director of Crossing Kids. She is passionate about learning alongside her students, teaching tolerance and social justice, and cultivating a love for reading. Originally from Colorado Springs, Rachel enjoys hiking, camping and all things in nature, but savors a good book, a cozy chair and a cup of coffee just as much.


Peter LeMear

Peter LaMear

M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction

I teach in the open elementary classroom of the Children’s School, the laboratory school of Stephen’s College, and teach Foundations of the Teaching and Learning Process in the education program. Additionally, I am currently researching teacher well-being with a team at the University of Missouri. My scholarly interests include psychodynamic theory, creativity, learning, learning to teach, and depictions of teachers in narrative and documentary film. Previously, I have worked as an English and math teacher in public schools in Chicago, Illinois; Chelsea, Massachusetts; and Fulton, Missouri. I have trained teachers with Harvard Teacher Fellows, developed an integrated ESOL/Know Your Rights curriculum with Boston College’s Center for Human Rights, and taught sections at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. I hold degrees from St. John’s College and Harvard University.


Sarah Parks

Sarah Parks

M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction

Sarah Parks is a Columbia native and a Mizzou and Stephens alumna! She graduated in 2010 from Stephens with her B.S. in Education and 2011 with her M.Ed. She returned this year to CSSC and Stephens College after teaching at another school in Columbia for the last seven years. Now in her 10th year of teaching elementary students, she is so excited to be back on campus! She loves yoga, nature, spending time with her family and pets, and reality TV competition shows! 


Teacher's Aides

Tracie Huffman

"Hello! My name is Tracie Huffman. I am excited to be working at the Children's School and I enjoy working with all children of all ages. I just graduated from Stephens College with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and a minor in Equestrian studies. I was a student teacher during my junior year at Stephens, so I am familiar with the children and love the school. I especially love the unique approach the Children's School has in teaching their students. I originally was accepted into the Peace Corps, but due to COVID-19 I had to change my plan a little. I instead have decided to put off going to the Peace Corps and to continue my education at Stephens, so I am currently in the Master of Education in Counseling program to become a school counselor. When I am not at working or doing school work, you will find me under a tree with a good book, wandering and exploring the great outdoors, horseback riding, and/or volunteering for Second Chance."


Abigail Lemberger

Abigail Lemberger

"Hello! My name is Abigail Lemberger and I am originally from Newcastle, England! I first came across to America in 2015 to pursue my undergraduate degree at William Woods University, while playing on the tennis team. I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and a minor in criminal justice in 2018, then decided to continue with my studies and graduated with a Master of Education in Athletic Administration in June 2020. After graduation I took a tennis professional position at The Club of Old Hawthorne, in which I taught all ages of children as well as adults. My main passion is tennis and is the main reason I was able to come over to America to begin with. When I have spare time, you can usually find me on the tennis courts or at home reading a good book! I am super excited to be a part of this team and to get to know everyone!"  

The Children’s School at Stephens College

(573) 876-7260 [email protected] 105 Melbourne St., Columbia, MO 65201

Audience Menu