St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School strives to create a diverse and inclusive learning community of students, faculty and staff, and parents who recognize the infinite value of every individual as a child of God. We are committed to developing character, advancing human understanding, and promoting academic excellence to shape engaged citizens who live with integrity, empathy, and purpose.
Mission statement for equity, diversity, and inclusion
The work of equity and justice must be at the heart of an Episcopal parish day school education. St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School’s determination to promote equity and justice, diversity, and inclusion proceeds from two fundamental ideas: First, that every individual has infinite value as a child of God and, second, that we come to understand the world more fully through others. As such, our community is committed to exploring, understanding, and honoring the multiplicity of human experiences and identities that enrich our lives, including differences in belief, ethnicity, race, culture, country of origin, economic background, age, family configuration, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and ability. It is within a diverse and inclusive community that is welcoming and safe for all participants that we are best able to develop the skills necessary to be actively engaged and to thrive in an interconnected world, to understand other perspectives, to address bias, to oppose prejudice and to promote justice.
St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School educates students in Nursery through Grade 8. Believing that all of the individuals within the St. Patrick's community—teacher and learner, adult and young person—are active, growing, and changing, we work to challenge and support them in what we understand to be a lifelong process. In particular, we strive to create an atmosphere of trust and cooperation in which to nourish each student's growth toward personal integrity and a lifetime of service.
We encourage our students to extend their fascination with the world, to gain confidence about their roles in the world, and to understand the world more fully through others. We believe that when young people first enter school, they bring with them a deep interest in the world around them, a tremendous appetite for learning, and a real need to make sense of the world in the present, characteristics that we must engage across their time with us. As their world increasingly opens up to and embraces others in the learning community, we encourage them to work collaboratively as well as independently, to take other perspectives, and to understand and value the range of differences—of race, culture, creed, age, gender, and circumstance—that enrich humanity.
We recognize that all of our students benefit from the high standards of a varied, challenging academic program that expects each individual to take increasing responsibility for meeting those standards while also helping each individual to discover and to develop his or her own unique talents. Recognizing young people's wonderful enthusiasm for pursuing what interests them, we must shape the learning process in a manner that sparks fresh interest and reveals unrecognized gifts. By varying teaching styles and activities, we honor students' diverse learning styles. We encourage habits of diligence and perseverance, believing that a positive spirit of determination and appropriate risk-taking are essential to intellectual growth. We also recognize that we need not choose between being a warm, nurturing, joyful place—where students see that they are known, respected, and loved—and one that sets challenging standards for students' academic work, for their sense of responsibility, and for their behavior.
We dedicate ourselves to each student's moral and spiritual growth, a commitment evident in an abiding concern for the quality of our shared life in this place and for service to the wider communities of which St. Patrick's is a part. As a parish day school, our relationship with St. Patrick's Episcopal Church is a central, distinguishing feature of our school life and the foundation of the system of values we embrace. At the same time, we recognize in students, families, and faculty and staff of other faith traditions sources of great richness and strength in our community. Through the lessons and experiences of religion classes, shared worship, varied opportunities to serve others, and attention to the quality of the relationships that shape young people's school lives, we believe that students can develop for themselves the values that will guide them in their lives beyond the school. A particular benefit of an Episcopal school education is learning that we are all part of something larger than ourselves. In recognition of the many gifts and opportunities with which we are blessed, we strive to cultivate grateful hearts and habits of service among all members of our community.
We commit ourselves to promoting each student's physical development, believing that lifelong habits of fitness, health, and wellness must be established early, with the proper education and support. Recognizing that solid foundations of knowledge and skills, as well as positive attitudes, are precursors to involvement and success in physical activities, we begin physical education classes in Nursery School and add intramural and then interscholastic athletics in our Upper School. In these classes and during less-structured recess and playground times, students have opportunities to discover the joy of movement, the challenge of acquiring mastery, and the rewards of teamwork. Classroom instruction in health, nutrition, and decision-making also contributes to each student's ability to make healthy and responsible personal decisions.
St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School and the parish that brought the school to life fulfill their sense of purpose in the acceptance, the care, and the nurture of God's children. Through our efforts within a Christian community we enable young people of all races, creeds, and cultural backgrounds to achieve wholeness in their intellectual, social, emotional, moral and spiritual, and physical lives, in the present and well into the future.
In accordance with applicable laws and in the interest of being an effective, equitable, just, and inclusive community, St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation, family status, economic status, age, or physical disability in the administration of its admission policies, financial aid programs, educational policies and programs, or other School-sponsored programs and activities, or in the hiring and terms of employment of faculty and staff. As an Episcopal parish day school, St. Patrick's gives special consideration in the admission process to active members of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church.
St. Patrick’s was founded in 1956 as a parish day school offering, at first, classes for only six Nursery School students. The addition of the elementary grades began in 1967, and the first Grade 6 class graduated in 1974. In September 2002, St. Patrick’s completed the addition of Grades 7 and 8, and the first Grade 8 class graduated in 2003.
Today, we have evolved into a thriving day school with 470 students on two light-filled academic campuses, the Whitehaven Campus and the MacArthur Campus in Washington D.C. A third, the Foxhall Campus, houses our stadium and regulation-size athletic field. Our facilities include multiple libraries, science labs, art studios, music rooms, a gymnasium and performance center, and expansive outdoor playgrounds.
In September 2017, we opened a 19,000-square-foot middle school for students in Grades 6, 7 and 8. The facility is a mix of instructional spaces targeted at the particular needs of young adolescent learners.
The Day School has benefited from the committed and stable leadership of only three Heads of School in the last 50 years, who have cultivated and maintained the strong tradition of academic excellence within the Episcopal tradition, influenced and contextualized by an ever-changing world.