Change Font Size:   A A A

Jan 15, 2016

St. Francis Opens Doors to New Primary School Campus


On Tuesday, January 5, St. Francis Episcopal Day School welcomed its Primary School students to their new school home at 2300 South Piney Point Road. Situated on the school’s South Campus, the new facilities comprise three Primary School cottages totaling 31,000 square feet. The buildings and accompanying outdoor plays yards were designed with an eye to Reggio-inspired education, a hallmark of the Primary School. Featuring spacious, richly equipped classrooms; an indoor/outdoor drama stage; art decks for painting and sculpting; child-sized kitchens; and an outdoor classroom with exploratory nature trails, the new campus caters to St. Francis’s project-based learning environment with whimsy and more than a little imagination.


St. Francis’s Main Campus, located at 335 Piney Point Road, had been home to the 200-plus-student Primary School division since the school’s founding in 1952, and still houses the Lower School (grades kindergarten through fourth) and Middle School (grades fifth through eighth). In 2011, St. Francis purchased the wooded, 23-acre South Campus, complete with three historic structures, including a circa 1850s home. In January 2014, Middle School athletics fields opened to play on the property, followed by the groundbreaking for the new Primary School in September of that year. Next in the phased development of the campus will be construction of a field house gymnasium complex to accommodate the school's approximately forty athletics teams. St. Francis is also in the planning stages of opening an Upper School (grades ninth through twelfth), with anticipated completion in fall of 2018.


Head of School Susan B. Lair, PhD, views the Primary School opening as one step along the path to St. Francis’s future. “Years of research, preparation, and prayer have led us to this moment in time, when our Primary School will finally have the breathing room to allow our faculty to fully explore the possibilities of our Reggio-inspired program,” she said. “The move also allows us to better serve as a model school and training center for other educators, and we are so grateful to the St. Francis family and friends whose vision and generosity have made it all possible.”