Welcome to the Upper School at St. Andrew’s!
As Head of this division, it is my privilege to work with a group of tremendously dedicated faculty, talented students, and committed parents in our common pursuit of creating and maintaining a premiere educational environment for 21st-century teaching and learning unmatched by any other school in Savannah.
As you might know, the St. Andrew’s Upper School ended last year on an unexpected high note--receiving word out of the blue that we had been ranked very highly on Washington Post columnist Jay Mathew’s list of America’s Most Challenging High Schools. This ranking is based on the percentage of a school’s graduating class that takes AP or IB tests, a measure of how many students are given the opportunity to participate in an academically rigorous curriculum for which they could, depending on exam performance, potentially earn college credit.
When I think of the question, “Why choose St Andrew’s?” I go back to that accolade because it really does represent what we do best here and what I am proudest of at our school. We are providing a rigorous, relevant and authentic education for the 21st century and we are making it available, not just to the top 5% of our class or an overly elite segment of the population, but to our whole student body. We are putting our money where our mouth is and saying that all of our students deserve challenging and engaging classrooms, all of our students benefit from a curriculum that asks them not just to memorize and repeat, but to apply, to think, to collaborate, to create. That is why we have an open-access policy to our full IB diploma program, with the only criteria being the motivation to strive to do your best. And while we challenge students, while we push them to reach their full potential, we always take care through advisory and close mentoring relationships between faculty and students to provide them with the individual support they need to meet that challenge.
We believe every student deserves to be known and valued, to be challenged and mentored, in a safe and supportive environment surrounded by people who won’t allow them to slip through the cracks. You’ll see this same structure, challenge with meaningful support, echoed throughout our programming, whether it is in the arts or athletics. If a student has a desire, they will be allowed to participate in a full range of academic and extracurricular opportunities.
This year, we continue our efforts to be Savannah’s most challenging and supportive school, staying true to our vision to provide your student with the most relevant and authentic college preparatory education in the city. We are committed to taking the best of the old--cherishing our community and our traditional connections--but not shying away from the 21st-century methodologies or the acknowledgement that we live in a global world and our students need a well-developed global awareness to succeed in it.
Tradition and innovation--a perfect balance. It is more than our tag line; it is our mission. If you are already in our community, I hope you know how profoundly grateful and humbled we are by the trust you have placed in us to manage the care and education of your children. If you are a prospective St. Andrew’s family, I encourage you to schedule time for a tour and visit. I know you will be impressed by what you find.