Updated December, 2012
If you’re seeking a well-rounded private education for your children – where they can move seamlessly from those tender prekindergarten days through high school graduation – a tour of Saint Andrew’s School should be on your list.
The 81-acre Jog Road campus serves 4-year-olds through 12th-graders, where the “vertical integration” of curriculum allows kids to build on the previous year’s academics, without having to switch schools. They can start Chinese or Spanish in kindergarten – three or four days a week. Students may have the same music teacher for years.
A few years ago, the city estimated that about half of Boca’s children were enrolled in a private school. While the recent economic downturn may have had some effect on enrollment, private education is still in great demand here. Saint Andrew’s added prekindergarten only three years ago and is fully enrolled, with 1,300 students in pre-K through 12th grade.
Saint Andrew’s is a nonprofit, with tuition averaging about $20,000 a year. The school is seeing more requests for financial aid, which is given to about 15 percent of the student body.
A part of the value is private college counseling, personalized attention, teacher support and after-school help if needed, said Denise Redington, associate director of admissions
A new head of school, Peter Benedict, takes over July 1, 2013. He has had a long career leading private, college-prep schools, most recently in Dayton, Ohio.
The school campus is much like a small college – neat and manicured. Saint Andrew’s lower school, added in 2000, is LEED-certified, built to environmentally friendly standards. And the playground equipment is designed for circular motion, which stimulates the brain.
There are “smart boards” in all the classrooms, and students in the middle school grades lease MacBook Air laptops. Ninth-graders will get them next year. There is campus-wide wi-fi. Lower school students use iPads.
The school’s mission is to nurture the students in mind, body and spirit. It offers a rigorous International Baccalaureate program for all grades.
The program is part of the school’s worldly focus. While it is affiliated with the Episcopal Church, Saint Andrew’s is independent and embraces students of all faiths. Students attend chapel, but the speakers focus on multicultural, thought-provoking messages. An emphasis on character and values are ingrained in the culture of the school.
“It’s very inclusive, very respectful,” said Carlos Barroso, director of marketing and communications.
Part of the Episcopal tradition is service oriented. Every grade does a service project. A common message to the students is: To whom much is given, much is expected, Redington said.
For those anxious middle years, the school is proactive about bullying and drugs, and teachers are vigilant, Redington said. Students follow an honor code.
“It’s cool to be smart here,” she said.
Sports are a big part of the Saint Andrew’s experience. Upper school students are required to play a sport. Well-known Saint Andrew’s alumni include champion boxer Steve Geffrard and young golf sensation Morgan Pressel.
The school has 10 tennis courts, an Olympic size pool (swimming is part of PE), and three gyms – a brand new one for the middle school.
“The scholar athlete does well here,” Barroso said. “They’re balanced out.”
For arts, middle school students take performing arts every day. Upper school students can take song-writing classes or stage crafts. They produce three drama productions a year in the school’s 653-seat theater, which is also used by the Boca Raton Symphonia.
Saint Andrew’s also has a co-ed bagpipe band, a nod to its Scottish founders.
About 75 percent of Saint Andrew’s graduates go the most competitive, or highly selective colleges, Redington said. But the guidance counselors work hard to ensure students end up with a good match. Close to 90 percent stay at the first college they go to, she said.
In October 2013, Saint Andrew’s will host the Round Square Conference, with participants from all over the world. Round Square is an organization of more than 80 schools (Saint Andrew’s is one of six in the United States) committed to personal development and responsibility in students. It involves community service projects and international exchanges of students and faculty. The conference is expected tol bring 1,000 particpants to South Florida.
- Uniforms are required in lower grades; dress code in upper grades.
- Each division – lower, middle and upper grades – has its own library and dining hall.
- The school day runs roughly 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., depending on the grade.
- Before- and after-care is available.
- About 100 students – mostly international – board at the school.
- Tuition: Averages about $20,000 a year; includes food and tutoring. Books extra. (Need-based financial aid is available).
The first step in applying is calling the admissions office to schedule a tour: 561-210-2000.
For the fall, Saint Andrew’s expects to have 48 slots for 4-year-olds. Testing begins in January, so apply now if you’re interested.
For sixth grade, the school expects to have 13-15 openings. For the best chance of getting in, apply by Feb. 1. The school will keep accepting applications after that.
Saint Andrew’s is looking for motivated students who will add to the school community. For older students, grades, test scores and recommendations are considered.
Sixteen per class in prekindergarten; 22 in kindergarten; up to 24 by third grade. Saint Andrew’s uses the co-teacher model, with two full-time teachers in the classroom through fifth grade.
Saint Andrews also offers a summer camp that is open to the public. Registration is going on now. Click here for more information.
To learn more
Visit the school’s website.
For information on the public school academy programs for the middle grades, visit our middle school guide.