When young people enter into sixth grade, they are embarking on years of tremendous transformation with critical connections forming in their brains, their bodies growing and changing, and the development of character that will carry over into adulthood. Saint Andrew’s aims to foster a positive atmosphere that brings individual maturation and a sense of belonging within a community during these important adolescent years. The Problem with Many Middle SchoolsThere is quite a bit of evidence to suggest that students who attend traditional middle school or junior high do worse academically, socially, and emotionally compared to those who attend a school the offers grades K-8. A paper in the Journal of Early Adolescence tracked nearly 6,000
By 2010, more than half of American schools had eliminated at least some of their field trips. Instead of prioritizing unique learning experiences, many schools reduced these off-site experiences to tighten their budgets or emphasize test preparation. Why give students a “break” from the classroom when they could be advancing inside the classroom?
Outdoor classrooms inspire students to embrace learning — not only on a school campus — but in the world. By leveraging a hands-on approach to both science curriculum and a whole-child education, these unique environments foster lifelong curiosity. At Saint Andrew's, the outdoor classroom is evolving just like a natural ecosystem. The native plant garden centers around a giant, native California Oak tree. Ninebark, Snowberry, Monkeyflower, Coyote Mint, California Buckwheat, and two different kinds of sage grow beneath the oak. Students see flocks of local birds, as well as salamanders, katydids, rabbits, and even evidence of wild turkeys and bobcats in and around the natural habitat. In addition to the native plant garden, the outdoor
In my positions at two Episcopal schools, I have often been asked what the term “Episcopal Identity” means and how we are different from secular or other faith-based schools. Those are not easy questions, and there are many, multilayered answers. Also, I find comparisons of different schools politically sensitive; inevitably I sound as if I believe that we are better environments for students than the alternatives. (It just so happens that I do, so it’s hard to hide that!)
The concept of rigor is a complex one. To one person, the amount of workload is associated with rigor, regardless of the difficulty of the tasks. Others are more concerned with the level of challenge and less with quantity.In school settings, determining the appropriate level of rigor is complicated, partly because our “raw material” -- our students -- possess different abilities, capacities for work, speed, and motivation, and partly because parents have different expectations. One student’s challenge is a “walk in the park” for another.This past summer, the Saint Andrew’s faculty read Rigor is NOT a Four-Letter Word, a book by Dr. Barbara A. Blackburn. At the opening all-faculty meeting and divisional faculty meetings, we analyzed
- "Students who participated in the public library summer reading program scored higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the next school year than those students who did not participated and they gained in other ways as well."
- "While students who reported that they did not participate in the public library summer reading program also improved reading scores, they
As the Director of Marketing and Communications, I'm often asked, "What sets Saint Andrew's apart?" "What makes it different from other private schools?"
It may feel like much about school life is pretty automatic. Your child attends the local school in the district and shares a class with anybody of similar age from the neighborhood. They generally learn the same topics at about the same pace as most other schools who follow the mandates of the Common Core. At the end of the year, they take a standardized test to make sure that the school is still performing according to expectations and they get promoted to the next grade level if they pass the class. What can be missing in this automaticity are relationships and intentionality, both of which can be difference-makers in the growth of young children and early adolescents.When parents decide to exercise their choice and enter a