Celebrating an Independent Education

How to Ease the Transition to Middle School

by Guest Writer

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

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Posted on: 03/ 09/2018 11:26 AM Comments (0)

How Field Trips Contribute to a Whole Child Education

by Lisa Robinson

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?

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Posted on: 01/ 29/2018 10:46 AM Comments (0)

The Science Behind Our Outdoor Classroom

by Lisa Robinson

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

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Posted on: 11/ 13/2017 03:29 PM Comments (0)

Episcopal Schools - How Are We Different - and Special?

by Dave Davies

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!)

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Posted on: 10/ 23/2017 12:26 PM Comments (0)

Talking to Children About Tragedies

by Dave Davies
Unspeakable tragedies appear to be occurring with increasing frequency in recent years.  Whether naturally occurring (setting aside the related climate change debate) such as flooding, hurricanes, or earthquakes or human generated such as the mass shootings in Las Vegas, London, and other locations, the news is filled with human suffering, loss of life, and massive property damage. Parents and schools have to make difficult judgment calls when these events occur, and determining age-appropriate responses, including whether a response is warranted at all, is a challenge.  There is no correct response for all children of a particular age.  Each child is at a different emotional and developmental stage from his/her peers.  For schools,
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Posted on: 10/ 03/2017 04:39 PM Comments (0)

Rigor - a characteristic that is much easier to desire than to define.

by Dave Davies

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

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Posted on: 09/ 13/2017 03:35 PM Comments (0)

Summer Reading

by Lisa Robinson
While summer is a break from school, it shouldn’t be a break from reading. Children who don't read over the summer experience summer learning loss. It’s true. Kids don't just feel like they've forgotten some of what they've learned -- they actually do forget it. And the effect can be cumulative. In 2010, a study carried out at Dominican University found that:
  • "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
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Posted on: 06/ 21/2017 07:30 AM Comments (0)

Practicing Mindfulness

by Father Cameron Ayers

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

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Posted on: 05/ 24/2017 01:56 PM Comment (1)

Characteristics of a Saint Andrew's education

by Lisa Robinson

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?"  

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Posted on: 01/ 24/2017 11:08 AM Comments (0)

The Value of Choice in Elementary and Middle School

by Erik Carlson

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

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Posted on: 01/ 09/2017 03:30 PM Comments (0)