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Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  What is the typical class size at St. James’?
A.

Our preschool is licensed for a maximum of 60 students in four classrooms.

Kindergarten – 6th grade classes are typically 22–24 students, and there are two classes at each grade level.

Q.  Is St. James' accredited?
A.

St. James' is accredited by California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) and National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Additionally, we are members of National Association of Independent School (NAIS), Educational Records Bureau (ERB), National Association of Episcopal Schools, Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs, Commission of Schools in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education, and Southern California People of Color in Independent Schools (SoCal POCIS).

Q.  Is there a foreign language program?
A.

In preschool, students are exposed to words and sounds from a variety of world languages.

Spanish is formally introduced in Kindergarten and continues through 6th grade; the curriculum introduces students to both language and culture. Students receive Spanish instruction 2–3 times each week, with the frequency and duration increasing with each grade level.

Q.  What other specialty classes does St. James’ offer?
A.

Regular study in art, music, science, dance, drama, technology, physical education, health, library, and religion enriches the St. James' curriculum. Integration of these subjects across grade levels at St. James’ provides a comprehensive and challenging program.

Q.  What preschools do most applicants for Kindergarten come from?
A.

St. James’ students embody the rich cultural and social diversity of Los Angeles. Last year, over 70 preschools were represented in the applicant pool. 

 

Q.  How many students are admitted to each grade level?
A.

Each year on average, we welcome approximately 50 new students to St. James'. Most of those new students begin in Kindergarten or preschool (P2 Dolphins).

Q.  Are most St. James’ students Episcopalian?
A.

Approximately 18% of St. James’ families are Episcopalian. St. James’ has always been a diverse community representing a multitude of ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds.

Q.  Does St. James’ give standardized tests?
A.

In partnership with Educational Records Bureau (ERB), St. James' students take the CTP-IV tests each spring.

Q.  How do you select students for admission?
A.

Admission to St. James’ School is very competitive. We receive hundreds of applications each year. We believe it is important that we can support students to make the most of their academic potential and who approach learning with enthusiasm. Above all, we want to enroll children who have the potential to thrive at St. James’.

The Admission Committee considers applicants on the basis of academic and social skills, developmental readiness, school experience, teacher recommendations, and character. Because diversity is central to our mission, we also consider applicants in the context of bringing together a balanced group of students who have the ability to be successful in our community, both academically and socially.

Q.  Are letters of recommendation required for entrance?
A.

For Kindergarten Readiness (preschool ages 4+) through 6th grade applicants, a recommendation form from your child’s current teacher is required as part of the application process.

Teacher recommendation forms for preschool Dolphins and Butterflies (ages 2-3) are not required, as we do not presume that all applicants at that age are currently enrolled in a preschool program.

Additional letters of recommendation are not required. In order to preserve the integrity and fairness of the admission process for all applicants, unsolicited letters of recommendation will not be shared with the Admission Committee.

Q.  Will we have an opportunity to meet current families as part of the admission process?
A.

Absolutely. St. James’ parents will be available at our admission events, including the Open House tours. A panel of current 5th and 6th grade students will answer questions at the Open Houses to give applicant families their student perspectives, as well.

If there is someone you would like to speak with (e.g. alum families, affinity group, specialty teachers), please ask and we will make the introduction.

Q.  Do all St. James’ families live near the school?
A.

No. St. James’ families come from all over the Los Angeles area. We currently have 57 zip codes represented in our community. Carpooling is one of the recommended benefits of our strong community; with respect for Mother Earth, carpoolers are helping reduce our collective carbon footprint.

The Family Directory can help you find neighbors and friends in your area.

Q.  Does St. James’ have uniforms?
A.

Yes. The purpose of our school uniform is to discourage competition in clothing, to minimize the visibility of economic differences between families, to simplify the daily task of getting children ready for school, to encourage students to approach the academic day with purpose, and to promote a sense of unity and pride. We do allow our students periodic breaks from the dress code by having free dress days throughout the school year.

Q.  How can parents get involved at St. James’?
A.

Parent participation is important at St. James', and opportunities for involvement abound! We are thankful to have a community of parents who enhance our programs with their time, talent, and expertise. We encourage all our parents to become involved in the school. Through programs operated by our Parent Association, we regularly see St. James' parents on campus helping with hot lunch and in the library, preparing for community events, supporting service projects, or helping with school fundraisers. You can also find parents working in the classrooms, chaperoning field trips, sharing a particular passion as a guest speaker in the classroom, and much more.

 

Q.  Is there an annual giving program at St. James’?
A.

Tuition and fees cover only about 87 percent of the cost of a St. James’ education. The school depends on tax-deductible gifts to the annual Every Child Campaign to finance the rest of the school’s operating budget.

The school expects that every family will contribute financially to this campaign in whatever way they are capable. The funds raised are critical to the fiscal health of the school.