North Side's Grand Center Middle School

The middle school opened its doors in August 2018 to welcome 75 excited and hopeful fifth and sixth graders. The first year was a whirlwind of new operational systems and curriculum offerings. The whole North Side community came together to make it a success.

Seventh grade began in Fall of 2019 and the first 8th grade class was inducted in Fall 2020. Housed in the beautiful and historic Third Baptist Church building, the middle school features spacious classrooms with abundant natural light. Students enjoy a performance space, a gymnasium, and a short walk to some of St. Louis' most revered arts and culture institutions.

Why Start a Middle School?

“With the exception of just a few students, every child who enrolled in our new middle school is a graduate of our elementary school,” said co-founder Stella Erondu. “We heard our parents pleading with us to provide a middle school, and we knew we had to do it.”

By expanding to offer middle school grades, North Side is delivering a quality education to more students who are most in need of it. The vast majority otherwise attended schools where positive academic outcomes are rare. Now, these students have the opportunity to continue succeeding academically in a culture of respect and high expectations where they are encouraged by the attention they receive in small classes. Like North Side's elementary school, the middle school offers an extended day and school year that can be life-changing for many students. Classes are taught by highly-qualified teachers focusing on the same core subjects.

The Grand Center Advantage

The big difference at the middle school is the location in the heart of the Grand Center Arts District. When walking out the front door of the school, students immediately see KDHX community radio station, Jazz at the Bistro, and The Fox Theatre. The district draws guest artists from all over the world, and the church housing our school draws ESL students. “Students regularly hear adults speaking other languages and that exposure can be a very positive force in shaping their world view,” says co-founder Erondu.

“While we are not an arts school, North Side provides access to all that our region’s leading arts district has to offer,” says Erondu. During the first year of middle school, students enjoyed experiential learning with premiere cultural  institutions such as the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, The Contemporary Art Museum, and The Fox Theatre where our students were visibly and audibly in awe of the majestic surroundings.

The Future…Beyond Middle School

Erondu and her middle school faculty worked hard to create an exciting second year at the middle school. “We are adding electives for the students and working hard developing collaborations with nearby high schools and colleges where our students might flourish after eighth grade,” says Erondu. “We are also building relationships with reputable leadership and mentoring organizations that we believe will benefit our students as they pursue their academic endeavors now and later in life.”

For the 2022-23 school year we are excited to introduce our new middle school leadership team:

Stephon Greenlee | Principal

Mr. Greenlee brings 15 years of experience in education - teaching, leading, and coaching. He has been part of the North Side team since 2015 and has served as a teacher and administrator. Mr. Greenlee is committed to the success of all students and we look forward to his leadership.

Cait Zona | Dean of Curriculum & Instruction

Cait shares: "I am SO excited to serve as the Dean of Curriculum and Instruction at North Side Community School. This will be my 3rd year at North Side. I have served as Social Studies teacher, the 5th Grade Team Lead & Social Studies Instructional Lead. I earned my Master of Social Work and Master of Arts in Education from Washington University. Prior to that I worked at a charter school in Newark, New Jersey after graduating from the University of Central FL.
Fun Fact - My college mascot was the Knights, so I've always been a Knight at heart! My goal as Dean of Curriculum and Instruction is to support each teacher with what they need to make their classrooms more enriching, engaging, and efficient, and thus make each teacher's life easier!"

Doel Bailey | Dean of Students & Culture

Doel Bailey has been teaching since 1995 and coaching since 1994. Prior to his arrival in the US 23 years ago, he served as the Head of the PE department & Head Track and field coach in his native Jamaica. Doel earned his MA in School Administration and his Ed.S in Educational Administration from Lindenwood University. Doel is entering his 12th year at NSCS, and has served in various roles, including Dean of Discipline, Extended Day Director, Activities Director, P.E. Teacher, Teacher Leader, and more.
Dean is passionate about track and field & soccer, and believes that anyone can be whatever they want to be, they have to just trust and believe in themselves.

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