Welcome to the 2019-20 School Year

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Walking through the main door on my first visit to St. Anne’s School more than two decades ago, a Middle School student warmly greeted me, asking me if I “needed directions.” That encounter exemplifies what I have come to know about our community--that our superb faculty and families together hold a compass that points to a shared goal: guiding and ensuring that our students achieve their potential in an environment of kindness and belonging. As your family arrives to school this year, I hope you, too, sense that you are crossing the doorstep into a precious, unique learning environment dedicated to the full development of your child.

Leaders in Twos-Eighth Grade education, we are informed by data-driven research, founded in experiential and community-based learning, and committed to the social-emotional development of every learner. This is what sets us apart, and I am privileged to lead our school in what will be an exciting year of growth. This year, we will complete the self-study of all facets of our School in preparation for our 10-year accreditation visit by the Association of Independent Maryland and D. C. Schools (AIMS). Throughout last year, staff examined our mission and practice through workshops, dialogue, writing, and reflection. We are excited to welcome our visitors in the spring of 2020 and will keep you updated on this dynamic work. This process, rooted in our guiding strategic planning document, 2020 Vision, provides the direction required to continue to bring our mission to life authentically and serve our students best.

Thanks to our school families’ generosity, we achieved our annual fund goals for last year, making possible the most robust programming for every student. These donations allow us to continue our improvements with technology, design related curriculum, laboratory science, professional development experiences, and more. We begin the year with 81 new students from our Two-Year-Old program through Eighth Grade, reflecting 5% growth in enrollment over last year in Preschool through Eighth Grade.

Through the generous support of the St. Anne’s School parent community at our 2019 school gala “paddle raise,” we made critical improvements and equipment purchases to serve our students. Near the Lower School playground and the turf field, corrected drainage and new landscaping this spring set an inviting stage for the arrival of new equipment, including a “low ropes” obstacle course and swings on the Lower and Middle School playground . A “ship,” balance beams, and basket swing await our Program for Young Children students. We can’t wait to celebrate the opening of our playscape, knowing our students will delight in their new environment, as they swing, climb, and imagine!

One of the most distinctive features of St. Anne’s School that first compelled me to cross its sunny threshold was our commitment to our Episcopal identity. In fact, in developing our School’s mission statement, our founders considered a particular prayer for baptismal candidates, which asks that the child be given “an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works.”

As Lucy (’20) begins her Eighth Grade year--and I get ready to “graduate” along with her--and as I have recently settled Valerie (’15) into her college freshman dormitory, I am filled with gratitude for the gifts of joy and wonder our community has so generously provided our family. Our extraordinary staff have been inspiring in the formation of generations of learners, including my daughters. We have been blessed to share these critical years among a community of families who share a far-reaching and rare vision for developing caring hearts and inquiring minds in every student.

From awaiting the happiness that will ensue on our new playground to anticipating ways our teachers will foster every child’s innate curiosity in the classroom, I invite families to join me in celebrating a year of joy and wonder for all of our students at St. Anne’s School.