I grew up in St. Louis. The private schools were ok and so were the magnet schools. I graduated from Cleveland. Most of the rest of the public schools were over run, the teachers were fighting to maintain sanity, much less an educational environment. It is too bad that parents do not seem to discipline any more and back up the school. Parents now team up against it. So my advice is to stay out of the St. Louis City public schools and try the magnet or private schools. Tower Grove is a good Christian school, as is Hope Lutheran, Gateway, and St. John's. The Catholic school scene is still pretty good too.
Parkway & Rockwood School Districts both serve the far western suburbs and are very good. Webster, Clayton, Ladue mentioned above are also well-regarded. St Louis City public schools are all pretty bad. Lindbergh District (south county) is not bad. North county schools (including Hazelwood District) are not recommended. The private schools, including catholic schools are all recommended - some are *really* good (MICDS, Chamanade, DeSmet, CBC).
I was just in a meeting this morning with the superintendent from Parkway (who used to be at Clayton) and he informed the group that if you live in the City of St. Louis (proper), where the school district was unaccredited last year, there is a law on the books that states that you can send your children to the public school district of your choice, and the City of St. Louis pays for it. They also have to pay for transportation of your child to that district. I'd choose Ladue or Clayton (Clayton spends more per child than any district in the state annually) if I lived in the City!!!
When I was growing up in STL I went to Classical Junior Academy, does anyone know if it still exists?? It was a K-12 school with a huge front lawn/playground and it was 4 stories tall. Just wondering, I enjoyed it though