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Mission Statement

St. James' Episcopal School is a diverse, joyful, and inclusive community of learners. With a focus on academic excellence and attention to the needs of each child, we strive to instill in our students intellectual curiosity, compassion for others, and respect for all of God’s creation.


Paramount to our philosophy of teaching and learning is the belief that intelligence is neither a fixed nor an unchanging commodity. St. James’ intentionally expands each child’s capacity for learning in a thoughtfully designed environment where children are not just “taught;” they are encouraged to explore, investigate, work collaboratively, and probe the world around them.

Though we are best known for our traditional educational approaches, we also believe that children should have the opportunity to construct meaning as they assimilate knowledge. Rather than merely providing rote learning in our classrooms, we encourage our teachers to stretch the children’s ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate what they learn; to apply their learning to new situations; and to present confidently and in a variety of formats what they have learned.

Because our children will inherit a complex and unpredictable world, we believe that a St. James’ education should provide our students with the thinking strategies they will need to solve problems and resolve conflicts. We acknowledge that our children must grow into adulthood with equal measures of creativity and critical thinking skills, and we foster the ability to seek and apply knowledge from a wide variety of sources. But above all, we at St. James’ pledge to inculcate in our students a commitment to ethical behavior and an abiding appreciation for the differences that mark each human being as an individual of inestimable worth and dignity.

Core Beliefs

Students and Teachers

  • Everything we teach and do is the curriculum.
  • All our efforts aim to enhance each student’s confidence, curiosity, creativity, intellectual integrity, competence, character, and ability to think critically.
  • Learning is its own reward.
  • Teachers best motivate students through encouragement, inspiration, respect, and love.
  • Teachers recognize each student’s individual gifts and inspire children to do their best.
  • By accepting responsibility for their own learning and through diligent work, students develop self-respect and intelligence.
  • Along with our emphasis on strong intellectual preparation, we help our students become empathetic, actively compassionate people who will use their talents in service to others.
  • We learn to value different cultures by engaging with one another.
  • We continually evaluate the curriculum for relevance, quality of intellectual content, and intrinsic interest.

The School Community

  • In an urban setting, we rejoice in the gifts and challenges of our diversity.
  • A wholesome, unpretentious atmosphere helps children develop a sense of balance and a realistic view of the world.
  • Each family's commitment to the mission of the school plays a vital role in the education of our children.
  • By virtue of being a member of the St. James' Episcopal School community, one is also part of the St. James' Episcopal Church community and invited to benefit from all it offers.

The World

  • We are mindful of the global and ethical implications of what we do.
  • We all work toward awareness of our responsibilities to our larger communities.
  • We strive to develop an informed, hopeful view of our roles in the world.
  • We commit to being good stewards of God's gifts.