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Why Preschool through 8th?

Middle School boy playing with lower school students

At St. Mark’s, we believe a foundation for lifelong learning is established in the elementary and middle school years. Our educational approach maximizes the potential for growth while focusing on each individual child’s development. Our primary goal is balance, with emphasis on serving the whole child while offering a rigorous academic curriculum.

Teachers at St. Mark’s believe that all children have gifts, or a personal genius of some kind, and it is their role to provide the opportunities and disciplines for students to discover their callings. Students are encouraged to take risks in the spirit of learning, for there are as many lessons in failure as there are in success. The environment at St. Mark’s Episcopal School actively nurtures the development of personal autonomy so students may grow into independent learners and thinkers.

At St. Mark’s, we value being a school that ends in 8th grade. Our environment allows students to experience age-appropriate activities and events without the influence and pressure of older students. Being a pre-teen and young teenager is difficult, and middle school students often feel stuck between childhood and adolescence. By allowing our middle school students to lead within our school, while still giving them the time to play, we find that our children are free to remain younger a bit longer, while they develop into mature, young leaders. In essence, we create a community that preserves the innocence of childhood.

A Community Engaged

St. Mark’s is a purposefully small school with an enrollment of approximately 450 students. Our structure creates an environment in which each child is known and revered. As a result, our students experience an increased sense of belonging and stronger teacher-to-student relationships. St. Mark’s is a second home to families who strive to partner with their child’s school, truly creating a community of engaged learners, engaged parents, and engaged teachers.

Continuity from Primary School through Middle School

Students benefit from a self-contained school environment that progresses smoothly from primary school though lower school and middle school grades. The continuity between teachers, classmates, programs and expectations typically enhances child development and better prepares students to be lifelong learners. Additionally, it is common for adolescents to face emotional, physical, and social challenges; avoiding a transition at this time can be significantly beneficial for students.

Age-Appropriate Activities and Events

Our environment allows students to experience age appropriate activities and events without the influence and pressure of older students. As a result, our children experience less pressure to conform and are free to remain younger a bit longer. Upper middle school students are proud to take on their role as the seniors of our school campus, yet they enjoy the opportunity of comfortably being their age.

Early Leadership Opportunities

Middle School students at St. Mark’s are the oldest on campus and enjoy many opportunities for leadership, whereas these students at a K-through-12 school can get lost “in the middle.” Students in our lower grades look to our middle school for leadership, and our older students display both maturity and confidence. Leadership opportunities and activities are not limited to a small group of individuals. Our environment affords every student the opportunity to get involved in any activity on campus.

High School Choices

During the primary school and lower school years, parents make the school decisions. When selecting a high school, we find a family decision involving the student, along with the support of our team, yields positive outcomes. By 8th grade, a child’s strengths, learning styles, and interests are better understood, and determining the appropriate school match is more easily identifiable. At St. Mark’s, we work with every student and family to identify potential high schools and to provide guidance through the admission process. Our students emerge from St. Mark’s confident and capable, ready for the challenges of high school and better prepared to explore college opportunities in the future.

Experiencing Change

After many years in the same school, 8th grade students are often ready for a change. They are interested in experiencing a fresh environment that supports their interests before college and expanding their circle of friends. St. Mark’s students support one another during this process of change and growth as they move on to their respective high schools. United by their time at St. Mark’s, our graduates leave us having formed life-long friendships that will serve them as they grow into adulthood.

Why St. Mark's