Who We Are

The mission of Chesterfield Day School is to provide a personalized education of unparalleled excellence
for students of diverse backgrounds.

Our Vision

Through meaningful work, Chesterfield Day School students will develop  fundamental skills, think creatively and critically, identify and solve complex problems of the world, express themselves to the community, and grow in character.

Our Values

  • Excellence: Endeavor to be the best we can be in our work and in our character
  • Innovation: Actively pursue and integrate theories and solutions that are both rooted in knowledge and skill and inspired by foresight
  • Community: Foster a student-centered approach by encouraging a friendly, accepting, comfortable, and joy-filled environment
  • Diversity: Respect and honor the uniqueness of all peoples — a commitment that enriches us at every level of our shared experience

School History

CDS was born in 1962 as the first Montessori preschool in St. Louis. The innovative sprit required to create a new community based on a relatively unknown educational philosophy — in the midst of a world in great flux — required originality, creativity, and tenacity.

The same characteristics that define our beginnings continue to inspire us as we educate students from Toddler through Sixth Grade, preparing them for a world that demands of its most productive and successful minds an ever-evolving, rich set of skills and experiences. CDS’s robust start-to-finish education produces exceptional students of remarkable character who attend the secondary schools of their choice and lead meaningful adult lives in communities all over the world.

School History

1962 – Founded as the first Montessori preschool in the St. Louis area—St. Louis Montessori Academy by Mrs. Elna Amant

1971 – Becomes a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and begins serving students ages 6-9

1974 – Relocates to 1100 White Road in Chesterfield, allowing the school to add classes through Sixth Grade

1977 – The first Sixth Grade class graduates

1980 – Becomes affiliated with the American Montessori Society (AMS)

1982 – Accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS)

1983 – Addition to the building to increase preschool, K/1 classrooms and administrative offices

1984 – School changes its name to Chesterfield Day School

1987 – Addition to the building to increase 2nd/3rd grade and 4th/5th/6th grade classrooms

1989 – Second ISACS evaluation/accreditation

1991 – Purchased the “Little House” next to the White Road campus for expanded programs

1995 – Most recent addition to the White Road facility is completed, including additional space for the 4th/5th/and 6th grade program

1996 – Third ISACS evaluation/accreditation

2002 – Fourth ISACS evaluation/accreditation

2005 – Long-time Head of School Dr. Barb Fulton passes away after 30 years of service to CDS

2010 – Fifth ISACS evaluation/accreditation

2012 – CDS’s 50th Anniversary celebration

2017 – CDS graduates its 40th class of Sixth Graders!

2017 – Peggy Fiala named Head of School

Beyond CDS

Our start-to-finish program yields graduates who are highly sought after by area secondary schools. According to the administrators at these schools, what makes a CDS student unique and coveted are the following characteristics:

  • strong fundamental and 21st century skills
  • self-advocacy
  • high level of executive function
  • well roundedness
  • the ability to pick up on and absorb ideas/concepts that are introduced


After graduation, our students flourish in a number of different secondary schools, including:


Chaminade College Preparatory School

John Burroughs School


St. Louis Priory School

Westminster Christian Academy

Whitfield School

Villa Duchesne

Visitation Academy

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