Upper School

Welcome to Barstow Upper School

Since 1884, The Barstow School's mission remains to promote sound scholarship and give symmetrical development "to mind, body and character." In the upper school, that means challenging and rigorous college preparatory courses, competitive and award-winning athletics and meaningful service learning.

Project-based learning gives students memorable, hands-on experiences. Whether they are AP Environmental Science students conducting field research, budding filmmakers producing award-winning documentaries or history students recreating an ancient trade market, upper school students are active participants in their education.
Innovation is a hallmark of the Barstow curriculum. The Hybrid Learning Consortium, founded at Barstow, gives students online access to highly independent school faculty from around the world who develop and teach courses unique to their own expertise and students' interests. Our signature debate and robotics programs, fine arts offerings, STEAM initiatives, service learning and global education trips develop the whole student—and make a Barstow education an unparalleled experience.  

                                                                               Liz Bartow, Director of Middle and Upper School
                                                                               Joe Fox, Assistant Director of Middle and Upper School

Upper School News

Currriculum Spotlight: Service Learning

Upper school students engage in meaningful community service projects, often of their own creation, and apply the experiences to their academic and personal development. Students gain leadership skills as they actively work to solve problems at home and abroad. 

Students participate in more than a dozen service learning clubs that support local charities such as Spofford House, Rose Brooks Center and Operation Breakthrough. Many students who travel through Barstow's global education program serve their host communities. Projects include reforestation, organic gardening and trail restoration.

During the 2016-2017 school year, 62 students received Presidential Service Awards  for performing more than 9,000 combined hours of service.

2017 Upper School Convocation

Convocation 2017

Special Events

List of 13 items.

  • Class Retreats

    The first week of school includes class level retreats:

    • For freshman, a day on campus learning about the people, places and traditions that will form their Barstow upper school experience
    • For sophomores, a day of team building, service and exploration in Kansas City
    • For juniors, an overnight trip to Hannibal, Missouri, with Mark Twain scholar Dr. Jarrod Roark, to study one of America's greatest writers
    • The senior class takes an overnight trip to build unity and consider issues of leadership, community and responsibility and to strengthen the bond that they have developed over their years at Barstow. 
  • Freshman/Senior Buddy Event

    This event welcomes new freshmen class into the upper school and provides a connection to the student leadership among the seniors.
  • Kindergarten/Senior Buddies

    Having preschool through grade 12 students together in one building on a single campus is one of Barstow's most unique benefits. It allows the students to interact and share. Kindergarten students pair with seniors for monthly activities in this beloved Barstow tradition.
  • Dances

    The Upper School sponsors four dances every year:
    • Fall Dance, sponsored by Student Council,on campus
    • Winter Dance, sponsored by Student Council, location to be determined
    • Homecoming, sponsored by the Pep Club, in Prive Hall
    • Prom, sponsored by the Junior Class, location to be determined 
    Typically, the dances begin at 8:00 p.m. and end at 11:00 p.m. See the Social Events policy in the Student Handbook for guidelines.
  • Cum Laude Induction

    Students who have demonstrated an academic honor record, as well as good character, honor and integrity in all aspects of school life are considered candidates for election into Cum Laude.
  • Homecoming

    At this time-honored annual event, alumni, students, faculty, administration and staff enjoy several events such as the Friday Pep Assembly, pre-game dinner, boys’ and girls’ basketball games and the presentation of the crown and sword to the Queen and King during halftime of the boys varsity basketball game. All Alumni are invited back to enjoy the festivities. There is a Homecoming dance the following evening.
  • Tree Day

    Tree Day is Barstow’s oldest tradition and its purpose is to beautify the campus. Seniors who have attended Barstow for 12 or more years and preschoolers plant a tree.
  • Senior Video

    Traditionally known as the "Senior Slide Show," technology has changed the name and presentation of this event honoring the graduating class. Each senior has his or her moment, with collections of baby pictures eliciting "oohs" and "aahs" of those in attendance. Upper School students are often joined by their parents for this event, as well as alumni.
  • Junior Senior Breakfast

    The breakfast for juniors and seniors precedes the Honors & Awards assembly. Also invited are any faculty member who may have taught the graduating class and wants to bid them farewell. The senior class president delivers a farewell message to his/her class and an alumni representative speaks to the students about the Alumni Association.
  • Upper School Honors and Awards

    Awards are given in a number of areas, including: academic, athletic, extra-curricular and citizenship. The event is followed by the ring ceremony and marks the beginning of the graduation celebration.
  • Ring Ceremony

    The ceremony in the Senior Circle follows the Honors & Awards assembly. Seniors are matched up with juniors, and the seniors present rings to the juniors. Both groups perform the Senior Line Song.
  • Baccalaureate

    This event is the Sunday afternoon before graduation. Seniors choose the speaker. They wear traditional cap and gown attire. The program has a religious tone. Seniors toss their caps in the air in the Senior Circle at the end of the ceremony. A reception follows in the Lisa Schultz Dining Hall.
  • Graduation

    The ceremony is held outdoors on the Barstow campus. In case of inclement weather, commencement will be held in the gym.

    The girls wear white dresses and the boys wear black tuxedos. Girls carry a dozen long-stemmed red roses. Graduation attire has been formal since at least 1924, when Barstow was an all-girls school. Seniors select the commencement speaker. After the ceremony, graduates greet family, friends and faculty in the Senior Circle. A reception follows in the Lisa Schultz Dining Hall.

The Arts at The Barstow School

The Barstow B-Line

The Barstow Youtube Channel

List of 23 members.

Student Clubs

List of 38 items.

  • Agathon Journalism Club

    The literary magazine of The Barstow School is an annual publication of student work submitted by students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The Agathon staff works diligently to select a compilation of poems, artwork, prose and creative pieces for the magazine. In doing so, students are able to apply and develop their writing, design, editorial, and photographic talents. The club also encourages students to share their writing by hosting Open Reading Nights each semester.

    The first online Agathon
  • Art Club

  • Asha for Education

  • Basketball Club

  • Biology Club

  • BTVN

    The Barstow Television Network (BTVN) provides streaming video of Barstow events: sports, academics, performing arts, and various interviews and news stories. 
  • Debate

    Barstow Debate participates in team policy debate at both the Upper and Middle school levels. The introductory and Beginning Debate classes do not require tournament participation, but all advanced courses are co-curricular. 
    Teacher: Linda Collier
  • eSports Club

  • Ethics Club

  • Film Club

  • French Club

    The French Club is open to all students. Members will discuss and explore French culture through activities, cuisine, music and drama. Each quarter, a trip will be organized to explore a bit of French culture in Kansas City, including dining at local French bakeries or seeing French films at The Tivoli. Vive la France!

  • Friends Through Borders

  • Glee Club

    The purpose of the Glee Club is to provide the opportunity for Upper School students to perform a variety of music in the style of a show choir or glee club.
  • Happy Bottoms Club

  • Improv Club

  • Japanese Pop Music/Chinese Culture

  • Karriessentes

  • Knowledge Bowl

    This academic team recruits students interested in math and science to compete in a fast paced competition reminiscent of TV quiz shows.

  • LEO

  • Magic: The Gathering Club

  • Model U.N. Club

    The Model U.N. Club simulate the U.N. system by learning about the United Nations system, the skills of debate, compromise, conflict resolution and negotiation.
  • Operation Breakthrough

  • Operation Empathy

  • Pep Club

    Pep club’s mission is to promote student and school spirit. Members are in charge of organizing all Pep assemblies and Homecoming activities.

  • Philosophy and Theology Club

  • Politics Club

  • Pretenders

    Pretenders is the oldest club at Barstow, celebrating its 101st year of existence. Activities vary and include performances of one-act plays, major productions, skits and assemblies. At the end of each year, the club presents a president-directed, student cast and crew production. When not working on production(s), club members play improvisational games, watch film and study technique.

  • Project: Identity

  • Robotics

    The Barstow Robotics Club is a student run team whose mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills; that inspire innovation; and that foster self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

  • Science Bowl

  • Spanish Club

  • Special Olympics Club

  • Spofford Club

  • Stock Investment Club

  • Stowetry Club

  • Survivalism Club

  • VS Game Club

  • Weathercock

    Barstow’s award winning Yearbook, the Weathercock, has been around almost as long as the school itself. The 250-plus-page record of the school year is created by students using some of the most sophisticated desktop publishing techniques and software available. The yearbook staff numbers around 20 Upper School students, a measure of the popularity of both the book itself and the opportunity to create it.

The Barstow School

11511 State Line Road • Kansas City, MO 64114
P (816) 942-3255 • F (816) 942-3227