The Children’s School of Boise is an independent, non-profit school founded in 1980 by Mary Clagett Smith. Our educational programs emphasize that affective (emotional) development is equally important as cognitive (thinking) development. Both function simultaneously to determine what is learned. Since the early 1900’s this approach, known as Developmental Interaction, has evolved through research and analysis at Bank Street College of Education in New York City. It is a coherent integration of developmental psychology, cognitive theory and educational theory and practice.

The Children’s School of Boise is an independent, non-profit school founded in 1980 by Mary Clagett Smith. The roots of our 27-year-old school are in research started at Bank Street College School for Children in New York City nearly 100 years ago.

The mission of The Children’s School of Boise, Inc., is to enhance human development by supporting children, during their childhood years, as they experience themselves as capable learners. The school will provide a developmentally and educationally sound program for children through age 8. In its actions, the school will serve as a community advocate for the whole and healthy development of children and families, and as a progressive educational model

  • 1980 – Founded by Mary Clagget-Smith
  • 1983 – Relocated to 1015 N 8th St.
  • 1989 – Received the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation – the first school in Boise to receive NAEYC accreditation.
  • 1996- The school’s founder and first director, Mary Clagget-Smith retired
  • 1999 – Played a leadership role in developing a nationally recognized educational resource on the teaching of children and conflict
  • 2008-2009 – Participated as a research site for a study funded by the National Science Foundation. With the “Ramps and Pathways” project, children problem solved scientific problems related to motion, slope, and speed.
  • May 2010- Began renovating our school building that was built in 1958
  • May 31, 2011-Mayor Bieter issued a proclamation honoring The Children’s School for its 30-year history.
  • November 2011 – Received Grow Smart Award from Idaho Smart Growth for the school’s renovation which prioritized green elements, considered the nature and upkeep of the school, and reflected the high standards of the program and its neighborhood.
  • 2011-became Boise’s first school to receive LEED Certification.
  • August 2016- finished the addition of a basement and two new classrooms and began our 36th year of school