In 1978, led by founding headmaster the Rev. Warren “Jess” Borg, St. Andrew's opened in the basement of Pilgrim Lutheran Church on Massachusetts Avenue with 40 students in grades 7-9, nine part-time teachers, and a school library comfortably housed on four shelves. From its early days, the school cultivated challenging programs in a joyful and supportive atmosphere, celebrating its students’ diversity of interests, backgrounds and abilities and developing each child’s potential in the “four pillars” of academics, arts, athletics, and spiritual life.
The school grew quickly in reputation, programs, and enrollment, outgrowing two locations before moving to the former North Bethesda Junior High School campus on Bradmoor Drive in Bethesda in September 1981. With 245 students, 28 teachers, and its first graduating class that year, St. Andrew’s had entered the ranks of full-fledged independent college-preparatory schools.
In 1989 Montgomery County decided to reclaim the Bradmoor site, and St. Andrew’s began a search for a new home. Led by the energy and resourcefulness of its Board of Trustees, St. Andrew’s purchased a 19.2-acre site on Postoak Road in Potomac, Maryland in 1993. At one critical juncture, six trustees personally guaranteed the loan that secured the Postoak Campus and the school’s future. In 1998, St. Andrew's dedicated the Postoak Campus and quickly grew to 450 students in grades six through twelve. From 2008 to 2010, St. Andrew’s expanded again, adding grades preschool through five and a new Lower School campus by acquiring the former St. Francis Episcopal Day School on River Road in Potomac Village.
St. Andrew’s strategic vision is to be the destination school for research-informed teaching, learning, and service. In 2011 St. Andrew’s launched its Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning (CTTL), which oversees educational research, partnerships, and professional growth at St. Andrew’s and trains public and private school teachers and administrators regionally and globally in Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE) science. Through its publications and flagship Science of Teaching and Learning Academy, the CTTL has worked with thousands of educators from dozens of states and countries. Working closely with university professors and leading MBE researchers, the CTTL has garnered recognition from numerous foundations and think tanks while improving teaching and learning for every St. Andrew’s teacher and student. In 2019 the CTTL launched Neuroteach Global, an innovative virtual professional development tool that will further expand the CTTL’s international network of research-informed educators. Thanks to its strong public purpose and cutting-edge practices, St. Andrew’s is the only school to have received multiple educational leadership grants from the E.E. Ford Foundation.
In 2016 St. Andrew’s opened a new 43,000-square-foot Student Center on the Postoak Campus. This transformative building includes two gymnasiums, a bright and spacious student commons, a beautiful fitness center and dance studio, and expanded research and workshop space for the CTTL. The Student Center project has also created a new central, grassy quadrangle for our close-knit community. In 2019 the school opened a new 31,000-square-foot preschool to grade 5 Lower School building, with signature spaces for science, design, and the arts. This exciting project caps a decade of strategic expansion and brings our full community together on the Postoak Campus. St. Andrew’s is now the largest school in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, having grown to 650 students in preschool through grade 12.
The mission of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is to know and inspire each child in an inclusive community dedicated to exceptional teaching, learning, and service. That ambitious mission remains the catalyst for our aspirational values: inspiring community, dynamic growth, transformative achievement, and visionary leadership.