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Ethical Society Nursery School

Let Me Play. Trust Me, I’m Learning.

Green Room

Two Day Program

Age 2½, Tuesday, Thursday
September-May, For 12 children
$230 Per Month

Green Room

Three Day Program

Age 3, Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9am-12pm
September-May, For 14 children
$330 Per Month

Blue Room

Five Day Program

Age 4-4½, Monday-Friday
September-May, For 14 children
$460 Per Month

Yellow Room

Five Day Program

Age 4½-5, Monday-Friday
September-May, For 14 children
$460 Per Month




At ESNS we feel that the lifelong process of learning is best fostered in early childhood through play. We believe that children learn best when they are allowed the freedom and opportunity to play and explore with limited, but structured, direction from adults.

Periods of activity and quiet play include:

Outdoor playground activities
Nature walks on the grounds
Dramatic play
Group games
Art projects
Block and building play
Water play
Field trips
Science projects


We focus on the children’s social and emotional development by encouraging them to identify and discuss their feelings and ideas, and to learn how to resolve conflicts with other people. Indeed, we believe that one of the most important tasks of early childhood is learning how to get along with others. And one of the best ways children learn to develop socially is through play. As children learn to enter play and cooperate with their peers, we gently guide their interactions in order to empower them to advocate for themselves, to include their classmates in their play, and to peacefully resolve conflicts when they inevitably arise.


The school’s program also focuses on the nuts and bolts of early childhood physical and mental development; the children have opportunities to practice their gross- and small-motor skills and they are encouraged to be creative, to explore, and to try out new things. Our daily routine provides many opportunities for the children to practice self-sufficiency. When we encourage children to actively participate in the care of themselves and the world around them, we foster a sense of independence and of pride.
We feel that the most conducive environment for playing is one that gets kids to explore what they are interested in. Thus we have no screens in our classrooms (TVs or computers) to distract them from engaging with what the class has to offer. We get the kids outside, year-round, and incorporate Nature themes in our activities.


Robert Bernstein teaches and makes music every week with the ESNS children. Eight years ago he became the music teacher for ESNS summer camp and that continued into the next school year. A musician for many years, Robert has loved music since early childhood and began playing drums in his teens. When he moved to St. Louis in 2003 he began teaching a Music Together program.
One of the essential ideas he learned from teaching this program is that it can never be too early to introduce and learn music. It is generally understood that learning a second language can start from infancy. Language and music learning share the same part of the brain, so introducing music at infancy can be beneficial AND fun – an important Music Together concept is, “Music learning supports all learning”.

A special note from Robert Bernstein to ESNS families:

“Hopefully your children will tell you at some point about some of the music we make at school. I hope you will take the opportunity to continue the music learning with them at home using some of those songs from our music time as well as introduce songs/music that you enjoy with them as well. If you ever want information about any songs we do in class (lyrics, etc.) just let me know!
I feel that music is an amazing art form, activity and learning tool. It can be experienced on many levels: physically (dance), emotionally and intellectually (among others). I try to include all of these aspects when experiencing music with the classes at ESNS.
It has been a pleasure and privilege to make music with the Green, Blue and Yellow rooms!”


Liz McCane (Science) has been bringing Nature on the Move to the school for eight years. She has a passion for kindling an interest in the natural world in young children, in hopes of them becoming lifelong stewards of their environment. Each month Liz presents a different topic related to Missouri wildlife, using pictures, artifacts and live animals to illustrate her message. A summary of the program is sent home with the students so that parents can reinforce their children’s understanding of the topic.



Our early childhood education program provides a supportive environment in which each child is accepted as unique. The preschool strives to enhance self-esteem, promote positive social skills, and encourage the natural curiosity and creativity of the preschool child. Attention to self-help skills contributes to a child’s feelings of capability and independence. In this environment, children enjoy problem solving and feel free to take risks in their exploration of the world. Age-appropriate activities are geared toward all facets of growth: physical, cognitive, emotional, as well as social.
Our preschool occupies the east wing of the Ethical Society building on Clayton Road. The Ethical Society is a liberal religious fellowship dedicated to universal, humanistic ethical principles, rather than to a particular creed, ritual, or tradition. Accordingly, the Nursery School welcomes children of all racial and religious backgrounds.

Membership with the Ethical Society is not a prerequisite for registration to the school.


Our Environment


Full of natural light, our three classrooms are warm and inviting. The cozy environment is enhanced by children’s artwork lining the walls and a wide variety of toys, games, and art materials within their reach.


Our popular playground is composed almost entirely of natural, sustainable materials and allows for creative free play and practice of gross motor skills.


The north end of our property includes beautifully maintained nature trails for children to explore, as well as an outdoor classroom.

Outdoor Learning Environment

Two of our classrooms open to a large porch containing a sandbox, sensory table, and plenty of room to run and play. The children enjoy observing the surrounding vegetation and wildlife.

The Garden

A local farmer visits frequently to teach the children how to grow their own food organically. The children participate in every step from seed to harvest and at times our snacks are straight from the garden!

Rainbow Room

Affectionately dubbed “The Rainbow Room” by the children, music class and other large group activities are held here.




Meet our Staff


The Ethical Society Nursery School staff is truly excellent, with warm, skilled, well- educated individuals who enjoy working with young children. The teachers are the single most important indicator of quality for any school. A note of introduction follows for each teacher.

Parent Involvement


We build strong partnerships with parents for sharing and communicating through:

  • Fall and Spring Newsletters
  • Family Facebook Page
  • Snack Share
  • Parent-Teacher Phone and E-mail Contacts
  • Classroom Schedules Posted Monthly
  • Field Trips
  • Family Evening Programs
  • Parent Volunteer Projects
  • Family Oriented Fundraisers
  • Two Scheduled Parent Teacher Conferences


Contact Us


Ethical Society Nursery School
9001 Clayton Road
St. Louis, MO 63117
Director: Jill Allen
Tel: (314) 991-1353