From entering our Reggio Emilia – inspired PreK to a layered foundation through 8th Grade, student experiences are guided by the core values of pursuing knowledge, building community, and serving others. SJA Graduates are well-prepared to become citizens in a global society!
St. James Academy is located on 89 acres of rolling countryside in northern Baltimore County. The school building - includes a design thinking lab, science labs, theatre, and a full-size gymnasium. The campus also includes multiple playgrounds, athletic fields, and a new outdoor classroom/pavilion.
The Elizabeth I. Legenhausen Library Media Center benefits students as they engage in technology, literature, reading, and research skills that allow them to become effective problem solvers. This area provides students with the latest tools to enhance their learning. Throughout the year, visiting authors talk with students about their careers as writers and illustrators and dedicate a piece of artwork.
At St. James Academy, we strongly believe in allowing our students to explore, create, and discover throughout their journey to acquiring the knowledge and skills that will ensure lifelong learning. Free-choice is at the heart of the Reggio Emilio inspired philosophy, and the children genuinely drive their educational journey. The curriculum is student-centered with an emphasis on nature, inquiry, and exploration. In addition to language arts and math instruction, PreK students attend music, art, library, physical education, technology and science classes. This also provides them with opportunities to interact with various teachers and transition from space to space as they learn to navigate in a larger school setting.
The Kindergarten program is designed for multi-sensory and hands-on discovery. We balance the targeted language and math instruction with open-ended experiential learning in science and social studies throughout the Lower School. Lower school students receive differentiated instruction based on their developmental levels.
Our smaller class sizes allow us to know whether a student should be academically extended or supported. A 1st Grade highlight is the annual “Ag Day” celebration which caps off a unit of study about agriculture.
Students experience enrichment classes of Music, Art, PE, World Language, Library, and technology. Hallways display cultural events, musical and dance performances, sports team representation, and library skills, encouraging a love of reading and self-choice.
We offer 1-1 laptops for students in 3rd Grade through 5th Grade and iPads for the lower grade, thus enabling students to utilize such platforms as Google Classroom and Seesaw.
SJA students learn essential success skills such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. They are encouraged to share their thoughts, work in teams or independently, especially when working on Project Based Learning activities. PBL emphasizes active engagement in meaningful real-world projects, and our students are encouraged to discover knowledge through intrinsically motivating projects that give the children a purpose to their learning.
At the end of their time in the Lower School, our Fifth Graders can reflect on their growth through the experiences they have had here at SJA. Whether in classwork, Specials lessons, Student Council, educational visits, and after-school activities on the stage in a musical or the school field representing a team, all will have met and overcome new challenges. Our goal is to facilitate this journey in a safe and fun environment, enabling our children to be well-rounded lifelong-learners who will take all they have gained to the next level in our Middle School.
At St. James Academy, students participate in hands-on and multi-sensory science projects and labs. Technology is integrated into science instruction.
At St. James Academy, students participate in hands-on and multi-sensory science projects and labs. They explore many topics, making discoveries (and a few messes!) along the way. Technology integration enhances student engagement.
6th Grade students have their area to begin and end the day – transition year to Middle School.
St. James Academy teachers are encouraged to invite professional guests to visit their classrooms to expose our students to the world around them. SJA hosted a School Sculpture Residency with actor and kinetic artist, Kevin Reese. As a kinetic artist, Kevin was inspired by the work of Alexander Calder, the inventor of the mobile. In a full schedule of classes during the residency, Kevin met with every SJA student to create a permanent kinetic sculpture for the school and smaller group mobiles for the library and lobbies. Over five days, students designed, measured, cut, sanded, painted, and assembled the sculpture, giving them a hands-on experience of the creative process.
SJA TV-Radio is a student-run and student-lead radio show that runs every morning. Students broadcast current events, the St. James Academy school prayer, honor code, and pledge of allegiance. Throughout the year, there are many opportunities for younger students to participate in public speaking, and parents are invited to visit and watch the shows. When grade-level guests appear on the show, the student body lines the hallways to cheer for them.
As an Episcopal school, St. James Academy is an inclusive community that is grounded in reason and open inquiry and rich with tradition. We have a core belief that each child is endowed with gifts from God. The exceptional educational opportunities and relationships within the community support our focus on creating contributing members of our world. St. James Academy students are empowered for lifelong learning and are leaders during their time here and as they move on to high school and beyond. Students attend weekly chapel services which serve as important opportunities for the SJA community to gather together.
Physical movement is important at St. James Academy. Students participate in PE 1-2 times a week. All grade levels learn about physical fitness and develop skill sets in a variety of sports. Middle school athletics begins in fifth grade, and students can choose from over ten different sports.