Find your Front Lawn.
Your adventure starts here.
Accessible to all, regardless of means.
The Glass Walls of Amos Hall
The classrooms of Amos Hall, our STEM facility, have walls that double as writing surfaces—glass or whiteboards—on which students can work out their thinking and problem-solving both visually and collaboratively.
Mr. Tower's Mission
Why do we study problem-solving math at SAS?
1) To discover something new.
2) To learn to communicate what we have found.
3) To gain the ability to demonstrate or prove that our discoveries are true.
Jon Tower, Math Teacher
Open Mic Nights
The Engelhard stage is set for that evening's Open Mic Night—a St. Andrew's weekend tradition.
St. Andrew's is an Arboretum
In May 2020, St. Andrew's tree-filled campus was certified as an arboretum. We are one of only 11 primary or secondary schools in the country to have an on-campus arboretum. Visitors to campus can learn about our trees by scanning QR codes on plaques posted on tree trunks.
Find Your Front Lawn
This student's sign mentions the Front Lawn—the heart and soul of our campus community.
My happiest memories, favorite traditions, and most meaningful moments occurred on the Front Lawn—after dinner on a warm summer evening, during impromptu snowball fight, while basking in the sun on a Free Day, or under the stars during a late-night game of cards, the Front Lawn is where connections are made and friendships formed. It embodies what makes St. Andrew’s beautiful and unique: anyone can sit down with anyone, we have meaningful conversations, and we prioritize face-to-face interactions. St. Andrew’s, at its core, is about genuine human connection. —Nicholas Lampietti ’21
On July 1, Joy McGrath ’92 began her tenure as St. Andrew's fifth head of school.
Joy is the first woman, and the first St. Andrew’s alumnus, to serve as head of school.
Since the founding of the school in 1929, St. Andrew’s has been a school affordable to all students who are qualified for admission, regardless of their financial means.
What matters most is your character and the contributions you will make to our community and our world.
of your family’s financial need will be met if you are admitted to St. Andrew’s
For 90 years, we've offered revolutionary need-based financial aid to all admitted students—ever since our founding in 1929. Our mission is—and always has been—to be a school accessible to all, regardless of means.
is the deadline to apply for financial aid
We not only learn together, but live together—and that fundamentally changes the nature of your high school experience.
Hear from current students on the ways in which living at St. Andrew's has transformed them.
Years ago, while her peers in Lagos, Nigeria were still learning to read, Angela Osaigbovo ‘24 was embarking on a competitive Scrabble career that would take her around the world—and eventually to Middletown, Delaware and St. Andrew's.
At the age of five, Angela began playing Scrabble as an extracurricular activity at her school in Lagos, and her talent quickly attracted attention from coaches nationwide. Just one year after she began playing, Angela competed at the World Youth Championships in Dubai, where she placed second in the eight-and-under age category. She has since competed for the US youth Scrabble team and the Nigerian national youth team, qualifying for Scrabble world championships in Australia, France, and Malaysia, while remaining a fixture at Nigerian national competitions.
The world of competitive Scrabble is much more than a word game in which one makes points by piecing together tiles. Developing an ever-expanding word bank, learning the strategy behind playing words of different lengths, understanding board layout, and calculating scores under the pressure of a timer are just some of the skills Angela has refined over the past decade. She also works with a coach to hone physical and psychological tools, learning to use body language and communication to throw off her opponents.
Angela notes that her young age usually works to her advantage. It’s easy to take older players by surprise, she says, and when she beats them, they are often excited to share their knowledge and experience to help her develop further in her game. In reflecting on her swift rise to the top, she credits the mentorship of these more experienced players.
Angela’s favorite aspects of Scrabble are the academic challenge and the game's community, and in choosing to attend boarding school, she sought the same from her high school experience. Scrabble has unsurprisingly has helped her excel in school; she credits mental math skills, the ability to pull ideas together quickly, and knowledge of linguistics from Scrabble with assisting in all of her classes. At St. Andrew’s Angela has become passionate about reading and writing poetry and playing in the Jazz Ensemble, and she hopes to eventually start a Scrabble club on campus.
Angela’s long term Scrabble aspiration is to remain competitive on the national and international stage, but this year she is most proud of how she has continued to play a strong game, despite the interruptions of starting at a new school, being away from her coach, and devoting most of her time to the demands of a rigorous boarding school schedule.
And her favorite word? (She gets asked that question a lot.) "My favorite word is 'zapping,'" she says, "because of how rare [in Scrabble] it is. I was playing in a tournament in which I was well below the age limit—you had to be in high school to play, but I was eight—and in my last game, my first word was 'zapping.' It was 111 [points], and the person I was playing against couldn't get up to that score throughout the entire game. I was just really proud of that."
While at home in the Bahamas during our winter virtual term, Liz Hall ’21 has been teaching underprivileged kids to row at her local rowing club. At St. Andrew's, Liz leads V Form girls on Mein Dorm, serves a Head Admission Ambassador, and has been a dedicated member of St. Andrew's girls rowing team for her three years at the school.
I'm teaching through a program called Learn to Row set up by my home rowing club, Nassau Rowing Club, which is the only rowing club on the island of New Providence, and one of only two clubs in the entire country. We're a small, fully outdoor club on the only rowable (brackish) lake on the island. Our coach has done a great job of working with the government and through advertising [to spread word of mouth about the program]. This winter six-week block of sessions has had our highest participation level yet.
All of the kids I've been working with had never been in a boat before, so we've started with having kids on the ERGs [rowing machines], then moved into tubby rowing shells on a tether, and then into double scull boats with me coaching from behind, and eventually into boats by themselves, with me in a launch boat coaching from the water. We also do some fun core and cardio circuits when capacity is too much on the water.
I think the kids who are participating are really getting a lot out of this. Two weeks ago, the mother of a young boy who I've been working a lot one-on-one came to me and said that she's noticed a shift in his demeanor, mood, and sociability since he began rowing. It's been amazing to see kids like him come out of their shells. A lot of the kids are hoping to working toward trying out for the junior team, which would allow them to row more frequently, and then later, work towards rowing in regattas in the United States.
I started rowing when I arrived [at St. Andrew's] as a new sophomore in 2018, and it's helped me in so many aspects of my life—which is why I decided to start the [college] recruitment process after my novice season. I'll be rowing NCAA Division 2 this fall! I've had the same experiences through rowing as it did for the boy I've been working with—it was a sport that gave me a team, and allowed me to focus and refine both my mental and physical skills, whether I'm rowing alone in a single, double, or in an eight on Noxontown Pond.
In January, the school watched and wept through the film Just Mercy together. Last Wednesday, Onyx and Essence, St. Andrew's black male and black female student affinity groups, treated us to a Chapel service celebrating Black History Month. In the words of Dean of Teaching & Learning, Elizabeth Roach, this service "...taught us—through song, dance, stories, poetry, and readings—about suffering, courage, resilience, the power of the arts and storytelling, and the importance of remembering the truth of our past and present as we strive for a better, more equitable, and inclusive world today." In such moments, suffering stirs compassion, which liberates the mind from its default-mode petty concerns, and we feel the vibrancy and vitality of living in a body, with a heart and a purpose.
Last summer, I traveled to upstate New York to sit for my first meditation retreat. I have been trying to understand the Buddhist concepts of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and no-self since I first learned about them at St. Andrew's a quarter-century ago. And, though I know my memory is fallible, I feel like I have been fascinated by these themes (especially impermanence and death) as early as I can remember. It is completely unsatisfactory that all of us will one day die. This fact is among the most horrific of all the facts that I know. And yet, paradoxically, this fact has so much to teach us about love, peace and happiness. Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh introduces a helpful analogy about suffering:
Everyone knows we need to have mud for lotuses to grow. The mud doesn’t smell so good, but the lotus flower smells very good. If you don’t have mud, the lotus won’t manifest. You can’t grow lotus flowers on marble. Without mud, there can be no lotus. Without suffering, there's no happiness. So we shouldn't discriminate against the mud. We have to learn how to embrace and cradle our own suffering and the suffering of the world, with a lot of tenderness.
It is only by looking at suffering and death that we get the beauty and vitality associated with life. By confronting the fact of suffering directly and often, it is possible to have a richer, happier, more compassionate connection with the living (and dying) amongst us, including ourselves. Unless we understand this at a deep level—unless we confront directly the suffering of all the rest of the world—there can be no true happiness. The single-minded pursuit of pleasure can, at best, provide an illusion of happiness; it is like trying to grow a lotus flower on a marble floor without the mud. True purpose—purpose worth living and dying for—comes from both witnessing and developing the compassion to respond to the suffering and setbacks of other people and concerns. Rhonda Magee, author of The Inner Work of Racial Justice, writes about this dynamic. We hope, she says, "to inspire the more heartful path of turning gently toward the particular and unnecessary suffering caused to so many and exacerbated by the very ways that we go blind to the operation of race and racism in our own lives and in those of our fellows in the world.”
Today, students left campus for Spring Break, and, in less than three months, the Class of 2020 will depart school for the last time. I once found it unbearable to dwell very long in these final moments of separation. I left parties without saying goodbye, and even silent pauses in conversations made me uncomfortable. Though I still struggle with life's mud, I have learned to turn toward these moments. They offer a priceless gift: when we contemplate endings, we are presented directly with the power, the immediacy, and the ineffability of our moment-to-moment conscious experience. How magical is it that we have life at all?
Over Spring Break and beyond, let’s seek out moments to turn toward the pain of racism, of separation, and of the innumerable deaths throughout our lives. For, in these moments, we get a glimpse of how full our lives can become. As we contemplate impermanence with compassion, we become a little less attached to ourselves and our wishes, a little less afraid and a little more free. In the process, we practice opening up to opportunities to remake the world.
Dear St. Andrew’s Family,
The other afternoon I wandered a bit during a free period. I walked through the cloister past a student reading a book—a library book, for fun—on a bench in the sun. Just down the way under the arched entryway sat another student, deep in thought, concentrating on a notebook of math problems. I walked past a classroom where students perched in the window seat, typing and thinking and writing. I headed for the library, filled with students and teachers reading, grading, or writing at tables that look out on the Front Lawn. As our students settle into the academic year, building their capacity to sustain focus and pursue challenging academic work, the St. Andrew’s campus culture of deep engagement is essential. We also know that it is increasingly precious and rare.
In stark contrast to SAS academic life, in most of our daily lives, a sentence or two of reading quickly gives way to interruption and distraction–phones and devices and emails consistently, relentlessly intervene. Even as I write this letter, my email tab sits a tantalizing one-inch scroll away. How do our students stay focused on their work amidst the alerts, clickbait, and pop-ups, all designed for quick responses and a constant state of distraction? I would argue that the practices of our campus culture – from our classroom layouts to our daily schedule—actively enable and reinforce deep focus. Because we put phones aside for the bulk of the day, and because we are deliberate about how we use technology and how we use time, St. Andrew’s creates the space for students to concentrate deeply and tackle complex questions.
James Williams’ recent book Stand out of our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy examines how phone apps and digital devices “privilege our impulses over our intentions” as they persuade us to turn away from our tasks and goals. Williams even sees these distractions as a “fundamental risk to individual and collective will” and a threat to our very values. His book forced me to look even more critically at what may be happening to our ability to read, think, form opinions and set goals. But when I walk through our SAS classroom spaces, or glimpse into study rooms during study hall, I wish Williams could come to our campus; I think he’d be quite reassured.
This week my advisee Marvi Ali ’21 shared with me what it was like to immerse herself for an hour and a half in an assignment for her Global Studies class. Totally absorbed by an article on immigration, she lost track of time and found herself reading for most of study hall. Moreover, she was inspired to share and talk about the issues she was studying with her family that night, and she plans to bring the article’s points and questions to the Current Events Club she formed two years ago.
It’s moments like these that make me aware St. Andrew’s is truly unique in its ability to encourage capacities for learning, concentration, and connection. Because we commit to our cell phone policy and protect time and spaces for study, we can hold discussions and conversations where we focus on one another, not on our blinking phones. Our students can read deeply, answer hard questions, and generate layered arguments, and most importantly, they can respond thoughtfully to the issues and demands of the world they’re learning about.
All my best,
Dean of Studies