St. Albans School

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Group.png St. Albans School  
Saint Albans logo.jpg
HeadquartersWashington DC, USA
Upper class school for boys in Washington DC

St. Albans School (STA) is an independent college preparatory day and boarding school for boys in grades 4–12, located in Washington, D.C. Within the St. Albans community, the school is commonly referred to as "S-T-A." It enrolls approximately 545 day students and 30 boarding students, who are in grades 9-12, and is affiliated with the National Cathedral School and the co-ed Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School, all of which are located on the grounds of the Washington National Cathedral. St. Albans, along with the affiliated schools and the Washington National Cathedral, are members of the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation.

The St. Albans motto, "Pro Ecclesia et Pro Patria," translates to "For Church and Country. St. Albans requires all students to attend Chapel twice a week in The Little Sanctuary. The school seeks to develop in its students a sense of moral responsibility through Chapel, its Honor Code, and a co-curricular social service program.

A 2004 article in the Wall Street Journal found that among U.S. schools, St. Albans had the 11th-highest success rate in placing graduates at 10 selective universities.[1]

Almost 75% of the faculty at the school have advanced degrees.[2] The school also maintains one writer-in-residence, who teaches English classes while developing his or her work. (A past writer-in-residence is Curtis Sittenfeld, who worked on her best-selling novel Prep while at St. Albans.)[3]


The school was founded in 1909, with $300,000 ($7.2 million in 2015 dollars) in funding bequeathed by Harriet Lane Johnston, niece of President James Buchanan. Initially, it was a school for boy choristers to the Washington National Cathedral, a program that the school continues today.[4]

School of Public Service

St. Albans established its School of Public Service ("SPS") in 2002. SPS is a residential public policy, politics, and public service program that takes place for a four-week period each summer, beginning in late June. Nearly 40 rising high school seniors are selected to participate in SPS, located at St. Albans School. SPS admits both male and female students who have already shown a great deal of interest in public service, as well as an ability to positively influence others. While in the program, students gain experiences designed to heighten not only an interest in public service but also their probability of entering into and succeeding in a career in civic leadership. SPS students are held to a high level of scholarship, using case studies (including some from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government) that are more commonly used at the graduate level.[5]

In addition to using the case study method—used for graduate study in law, business, and public policy—SPS students continue the dynamic learning experience outside the classroom through policy simulations, speakers, and visits and meetings with public servants from State Department Foreign Service Officers to serving Army and Marine officers. In the past several years, SPS students have (in simulation) run congressional campaigns, negotiated their way through a dangerous crisis with North Korea, taken steps to contain a flu pandemic sweeping the nation, and argued and decided Supreme Court cases on First Amendment and national security issues. In the "real" world, the SPS students have, among other things, visited the White House to talk with the White House Chief of Staff, had lunch with the Governor of Maryland, hosted a formal dinner for Ambassadors from around the world, attended screenings of "Meet the Press" and talked with host David Gregory, met with members of the U.S. Supreme Court, and chatted about fiscal policy with the Chairman of the Federal Reserve.


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