St. Andrew's Kicks Off 88th Year of Education "Accessible to All, Regardless of Means"
St. Andrew's Kicks Off 88th Year of Education "Accessible to All, Regardless of Means"
Liz Torrey

St. Andrew's 88th year of education began on Tuesday, September 4, after a week of leadership training, athletic camps, Form orientations, and a hot, humid, and happy Opening Day.

This year's student body is comprised of 315 students (162 boys, 153 girls), with 92 students (47 boys, 45 girls) new to St. Andrew's this year. Our Saints hail from 26 states and 18 countries, and 38% of students are students of color, while 16% are international students. The School continues to carry out its founding mission of a radical financial aid program; this year 50% of students are receiving financial aid, with an average grant $44,965, or 74% of full tuition. St. Andrew's will grant nearly $6.3 million in financial aid this school year.

Faculty went back to work on August 22, for a week of all-faculty, dorm team, and athletics meetings, plus curriculum-mapping sessions, student safety & wellness workshops, and a few social gatherings for faculty and staff. The Class of 2019 returned to campus on Monday, August 27, for two days of senior leadership training designed to prepare them for their roles as the stewards of the School and the student body during this academic year. That Monday evening, seniors gathered with faculty for a "welcome back" cookout and softball game.

Athletic camps for varsity athletes kicked off on Wednesday, August 29. Seniors not participating in athletic camps participated in a day of service at the Warriors Helping Warriors home for veterans in Middletown. "The house is nearing completion after years of volunteer work and donations, and they need our help to push it closer to the finish line," explained Dean of Students Will Robinson, who organized the outing. New international students and families arrived on campus on Friday, August 31, for two-day orientation to St. Andrew's with returning international families. Finally, the remainder of our student body moved in on Opening Day, Sunday, September 2. As always, the senior class served as escorts, particularly for new students and parents, as well as moving "muscle" for bags and boxes. After dorm rooms had been reasonable settled, parents and students said their goodbyes. New students were then connected with their "Big Sisters" and "Big Brothers" (VI Form students are assigned an underclassman to mentor throughout their first year at SAS), while parents attended a talk by Head of School Tad Roach in Engelhard Hall, then attended a Parent Party on the lawn in front of the Generaux Aquatic Center.

After parents departed campus, students gathered for an all-School meeting with Mr. Roach, then joined hands for the annual Square Dance and cookout on the Front Lawn, followed by an Open Mic Night in Engelhard.

"On behalf of all of us in the Admission Office, I wanted to say a huge thank you for all the hard work, incredible energy, and care that went into preparing for the arrival of our students and their families over the course of the past week," said Dean of Admission Heather Daly, who joined St. Andrew's this summer. "For those of you who came in early and stayed late to ensure that the grounds, dormitories and other buildings were ready and looked beautiful for our new and returning families, thank you. For those of you who prepared the many meals to sustain us through this busy time, thank you. For those of you who wrote letters to advisees and their parents, worked with seniors to assume their new role, or posted name tags and "I Am From" poems on doors and decorated the dorms, thank you. For those of you who worked with student athletes in the heat and humidity, wrapped ankles, covered blisters, dispensed medicine, or took trips to the ER, thank you. For those of you who led meetings, served on panels, hung banners, or took scores of ID photos, thank you. For those of you who answered questions, offered a kind word or opened your arms and hearts to welcome students and families to campus, thank you. As someone who is new to St. Andrew's and experiencing all you do in your work on behalf of students, both as a new parent and a colleague, thank you. I feel incredibly lucky to work with you and to learn from you.'

Welcome to the 2018-19 school year!