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Day School




Spring Message from Director Suzanne Odom

We are counting the days to our 50th Birthday Bash which will take place on Sunday, April 30, 3-5 pm.

All current and former famillies and staff are invited join us for a celebration of our 50 years of learning through play.  There will be a short ceremony in the church at 3:15.  We want everyone to have a chance to sing the song "I'm Downright, Upright, Inright, Outright Happy All The Time."  We will also recognize some special guests that have been associated with St. Aidan's over the years.  After that we will serve cake and ice cream, and the classrooms will be open for visiting between 3:30 and 4:30 with current teachers present.  If you are a fan of St. Aidan's, please help us spread the word!  We have set up a Facebook page for the event, and have some street and email addresses but we know we don't have contact information for many alums and families.  Contact me at staidansschool@verizon.net if you would like your email added to our database.

As of March 1 we have raised $14,000 towards some needed building renovations.  If you haven't had a chance to donate we would still love to hear from you.  You can donate online at https://celebrating50yearsofplay.causevox.com.

Everyone who has been affiliated with St. Aidan's, no matter how briefly, knows how passionate we are about helping the children of our community learn and grow and have fun.  Sunday, April 30 will be a recognition of all the wonderful familes and teachers who have walked through our red doors, made friends in our classroom, and run, climbed and slided on our playground.  Make plans to join us!




November Message From Director Suzanne Odom

Are you looking for a preschool or Junior Kindergarten for next year?  St. Aidan’s Episcopal Day School is opening its waitlist for the 2017-2018 school year. 

To apply, simply fill out the preschool enrollment application form shown below.  After saving the filled out PDF to your own computer desktop, you can email it back to us at St. Aidan’s.  No fees are required to apply.  Current families will be provided registration packets in January 2017 so you need not apply at this time.

After church members and current families register in January, new family registration will begin.  It is important to note on your application if a parent or sibling attended St. Aidan’s, because these legacy families are given priority.  Families who have submitted an enrollment application will be contacted via email as soon as we are able to confirm that we have a space available for your child.  That process begins in late January and may continue into the summer, as enrollment evolves. When you accept a spot at the Day School, you will be provided an enrollment contract.

As part of the application process, we request that you call us to schedule a private tour of the school.  Give us a call at 703-360-4160.  We want to show you what a special place we have at St. Aidan’s, answer any questions you might have, and help you be certain that St. Aidan’s is a great fit for your family.  You should try to schedule your private tour prior to the end of January, because once you get that exciting email notification that we have a space for your child, you will have a limited time period to make the big decision to attend!

New this year: Junior Kindergarten, 5day Threes, and 3day Twos!

Our new 3day Twos and 5day Threes are intended for older twos and threes-- children who have a birthday prior to January 31 will be given priority for these classes.

 The new Junior Kindergarten is intended for children who meet the State’s age requirement for Kindergarten, but who would benefit from another year in our nurturing environment.  These children receive priority placement in JK.  This program may also be offered to students with a fall birthday if there is space available and both the Day School and parents feel that a child is developmentally ready.   Applicants to the Junior Kindergarten are required to fill out a Supplemental Parent Questionnaire in addition to the Enrollment Application.

The Junior Kindergarten employs project-based learning to build skills in an engaging manner that is relatable to a child's own life experience. The Junior Kindergarten curriculum is play-based like our other programs but will build skills key to kindergarten success through hands-on learning in the areas of language arts, math, and science exploration.  Students will bring a bag lunch and have a longer day, dismissing at 1pm Tuesday-Friday, in order to help build up stamina for the full-day Kindergarten ahead. 

Our curriculum includes a drama component to build self-confidence, Spanish to begin exposure to a second language, and drumming/rhythm as an important element of both body awareness (such as crossing the mid-line) and as a building block for mathematical relationships.  The Social Studies aspect of Junior Kindergarten will include cultural celebrations and field trips to teach children about the world around us.  The Junior Kindergarten will also participate in weekly Music, Chapel, and Movement class.   As our "senior" class, students gain confidence from being the leaders of our school and acting as role models for our younger students.

 If you have any questions at all, please contact me by email at staidansschool@verizon.net.  We look forward to helping your child learn through play, with plenty of Music, Movement, and Mess! 




October Message from Director Suzanne Odom

“Since I came to St. Aidan’s I’ve made a lot of friends!” Just like our school song says, we’ve been helping children like yours make friends for the last 50 years.  As we prepare to celebrate this milestone anniversary, we are kicking off a capital campaign to fund timely and necessary improvements to our building.  Our list includes a bathroom renovation, energy efficient lighting,  outdoor seating, and technology for the older classes.

Please consider a donation to our 50th anniversary fund to help us continue our tradition of music, movement, and mess. Any amount is helpful and is completely tax deductible.  You can donate online at https://celebrating50yearsofplay.causevox.com.

 Our suggested donor levels are:

  • Block Builders - $50:  Receive a commemorative St. Aidan’s car magnet
  • Sandbox Diggers - $100: Receive the commemorative car magnet plus the opportunity to decorate a tile* for our 50th Anniversary legacy tile wall.
  • Tire Swingers - $500: Receive a car magnet, decorate a tile, and an invitation to a celebratory dinner hosted by St. Aidan’s staff on Saturday, April 29.

If you are not able to help financially at this time, please help us by spreading the word to others in the community who have been a part of the St. Aidan's family.  As St. Aidan’s continues to evolve and grow in our work with children, please keep us in your prayers for another fantastic 50 years!





We proudly introduce our faculty assignments for the 2016-2017 school year.

Librarian and Assistant to the Director: Lynda Dunne

Kindergarten:  Mary Anne Hesch assisted by Anne Weikart 

Young Fives: Co-Lead Teachers Susan McGraw and Beth Burke

Five-Day Fours: Laura Carbone assisted by Beth McDowell

                           Bev Jurta assisted by Carrie Leveridge and Amanda Espinola 

Four-Day Fours:  Co-Lead Teachers Jennifer Forsythe and Eleanor Whitaker 

Monday-Wednesday-Friday Fours:  Lisa Shannon assisted by Kristen Culver

Monday-Wednesday-Friday Threes: Co-Lead Teachers Becky Kelley and Anna Waters

                                                           Mary Olivia MacLeod assisted by Meredith Mulhern

Tuesday-Thursday Threes:              Lisa Shannon assisted by Jessica Kidwell

Tuesday-Thursday Young Threes:   Co-Lead Teachers Becky Kelley and Meredith Mulhern

                                                         Mary Olivia MacLeod assisted by Amanda Espinola

Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri Floater           Kathryn Cook Graves

Wednesday Floater                           Sandy Boden








2017-2018 Monthly Tuition Rates

Junior Kindergarten $475 (includes longer days on Tuesday-Friday)

5-Day Programs $435

4-Day Programs $360

3-Day Threes  $290

3-Day Twos $300

2-Day Programs $230








 Enrichment Programs for 2016-2017

Intro to Sports (Wednesdays and Thursdays October  This fun and exciting four week class will focus on the basic developmental skills needed to play soccer, basketball and baseball.  Each week will focus on a different sport with the last class offering a mix of all three.  We will also explore the importance of good sportsmanship and teamwork when playing sports.

Storybook Art with Bev Jurta and Sandy Boden (Wednesdays in November )

 Spanish for Young Children with Lynda Dunne and Amanda Espinola (Thursdays in November and December)

 Yoga and Movement  with Lisa Shannon and Mary Anne Hesch (Wednesdays in January)

Cardboard Camp with Suzanne Odom (Thursdays in January)

Books and Cooks with Bev Jurta and Amanda Espinola (Wednesdays in February)


Yoga and Movement with Lisa Shannon and Mary Anne Hesch (Wednesdays in March)

Spanish for Young Children with Lynda Dunne and Amanda Espinola (Thursdays in March)

 Intro to Sports with Beth Burke and Kristen Culver (Wednesdays and Thursdays in April)

Mini Music Camp (May)

















Our Philosophy

“Since I came to St. Aidan’s I’ve made a lot of friends.”  Parents of our day school students hear this a lot, not just

because it is part of a song we sing, but because it is true. 

Graduates from as far back as 1966 – the year this private, Episcopal school was founded – say that St. Aidan’s

prepared them for elementary school academically and socially, in a fun, creative, caring and safe environment.

Each child grows and develops at his or her own pace, emotionally, socially, intellectually, and physically.  At St. Aidan’s

Episcopal Day School, we recognize that these elements are interdependent, that our program must reflect this, and that

we must respect the integrity of each child.

We strive to promote a loving, caring atmosphere rich in experience, materials, and equipment to nurture the total

development of your child.  Our goals are to give your child a healthy sense of self, helping each to develop social, physical,

and educational skills.  In an environment of understanding, respect, acceptance, and assistance, we encourage interaction,

individuality, creative expression, and, most importantly,  nurture feelings of self-confidence.  Our curriculum is rich in the

3 M's: Music, Movement, and Mess.  We believe these varied sensory experiences are critical to your child's development.





Our Staff

Staff members are selected for their ability to relate to young children, as well as for their educational background.  

Teachers engage in continuing education throughout the year in order to grow professionally, improve skills, and learn

about current developments in the field of early childhood education.  Lead Teachers are required to have a 4-year 

college degree or its equivalent.



Our Classes for the 2017 - 2018 School Year


- Each class has a lead teacher and a full-time assistant teacher (or 2 teachers who teach as a team).
- Children who will be two years old by August 30, may attend a 2day Tuesday/Thursday or 3day Monday/Wednesday/Friday

class.  These classes end at 11:45am.  Children who will turn 3 prior to January 31 have priority for the 3day class.

- Children who turn three years old by September 30 may attend either two (Tuesday/Thursday),  three (Monday/Wednesday/Friday)

or five days per week, in a class of 10-12 children.  Children who will turn 4 prior to January 31 have priority for th3 5day class.

- Children who turn four years old by September 30 have the option of attending three, four, or five days per week, in a class of 10-12

children.  This is our 4s/Pre-K program, for children getting ready to go to Kindergarten.

-  Children who meet the State’s age requirement for Kindergarten, but who would benefit from another year in our nurturing

environment may enroll  in Junior Kindergarten. Children who are age-eligible for kindergarten have first priority for 

this class.  Children who turn five by December 31 may enroll if both teachers and parents believe a child is developmentally ready for 

a longer day and more challenging program.



Our preschool philosophy is that children learn through play, so we provide lots of carefully supervised buy unstructured play.

The curriculum for the preschool classes is based on loosely on the Core Knowledge Preschool program.  In addition, we use

the Handwriting Without Tears Get Set for School program to help children develop finger strength and dexterity, and

ultimately learn how to form letters correctly.  Developed by an Occupational Therapist, Handwriting Without Tears uses a

multi-sensory approach that is developmentally appropriate for our students.



Our Facilities and Activities

In addition to regular classroom activities, our program includes weekly chapel, music, movement, and occasional

field trips.  Our library has an extensive collection of children’s books and parenting books that are available for check-out

to the families of St. Aidan’s.                                                                        















St. Aidan’s has a safe, spacious playground in a natural setting that the children enjoy on a daily basis.  In inclement

weather, classes may go to the Muscle Room, which includes a climbing structure and a variety of indoor gross motor


Our Parents Committee plans several family-oriented events throughout the year.  These include Oktoberfest, Santa’s

Workshop, Family Fun Night, Olympics, and the Ice Cream Social and Art Show. 

Our Schedule

The school opens its doors each morning at 9 a.m.  Most classes run from 9:00 a.m. to noon.  The exceptions are the Twos classes,

which end at 11:45 a.m., and Junior Kindergarten which ends at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday - Friday..  An extended day option 

 is available for children to stay until 1 or 2 pm on most Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.  Enrichment activities, which may include

yoga, soccer, or foreign languages, are offered during the second hour of extended day (1 - 2 pm.)


The school’s holiday schedule and snow day policy closely follows those of the Fairfax County Public Schools. 




Special Report:  Outdoor Learning in the Early Years At St. Aidan’s Day School 

We all know that playing outside is fun for children.  But there are real developmental benefits associated with outdoor play. 

The following explains some of these benefits.  We are very fortunate at St. Aidan’s to have a perfect setting for outdoor

activities, and we hope you will agree that time outside is time well-spent in early childhood!




Constructive play occurs when a child uses their imaginative skills to create a product.  A child can put on a performance,

learn problem-solving skills, or build structures.   For example, artwork, magic shows, and building an ant farm all invoke

constructive play.  This type of play is important for obvious reasons.  It develops problem-solving skills, imagination,

fine motor skills, and self-esteem.




Fine Motor Development

Fine motor skills are activities that require the use of the small muscles of the hand.  These activities include grasping

small objects like beads, holding a pencil correctly, and buttoning.  It is easy to see how critical fine motor skills are in

every area of a child’s life!  Fine motor skills can directly affect a child’s self esteem and success at school.


Sand Play

There is no right way to use sand.  It invites participation, it permits children to make and test hypotheses, it stretches the

imagination, it provides a potentially soothing sensory experience, and it is an excellent avenue for children to learn

physical, cognitive, and social skills.  Because sand play is open ended, the child determines the direction of her or her

own play.  This freedom clears the way for the child to learn developmental concepts.




Art is important for children, especially during their early development.  Research shows that art activities develop brain

capacity in early childhood.  Art engages children’s senses in open-ended play and develops cognitive, social-emotional,

and multi-sensory skills.



Gross Motor Development

Gross motor skills are important for major body movement such as walking, maintaining balance, coordination, jumping,

and reaching.  Gross motor abilities share connections with physical functions and cognitive abilities.  A student’s ability to

maintain upper body support, for example, will affect his ability to write. 


Role Playing

Pretend play requires the ability to transform objects and actions symbolically; it is furthered by interactive social dialogue

and negotiations, and it involves role taking, language, and improvisation.    Many cognitive strategies are exhibited during

pretend play, such as joint planning and dispute resolution.



Gardening is a wonderful way for children to discover, explore, and learn.  The beauty of gardening in a preschool

program is that you can involve children every step of the way.  The whole process of gardening, easily woven into

the fabric of a preschool day, is an extended sensory and learning process -- preparing the soil, digging and planning,

watering, weeding, observing the plants growing and flowering, and harvesting!




Water Play

Water play delights the senses and is more than simply pleasurable for young children.  This type of sensory play is

important for the development of the young child.  Water play is good for children’s physical, mental, cognitive, and

social-emotional growth.  It helps them to improve their physical dexterity and eye-hand coordination.  By playing with

others they develop social skills.  At the same time, they use their minds as they explore why certain objects sink in

water and others float.  Children learn mathematical concepts such as empty/full, before/after, shallow/deep and

heavy/light in a hands-on way.




Music through play develops multi-sensory, cognitive, and social-emotional skills.  Making and playing instruments,

singing, and dancing allow children to learn language, make connections to familiar experiences, and form communities. 

Research has shown that children who are regularly and actively involved with music are better able to focus and control

their bodies, play better with others, and have higher self-esteem.






















Operation of the School

St. Aidan’s Episcopal Day School was founded in 1966 as an extension of St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church.  The school is

ecumenical, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, national or ethnic origin.  The school’s operational policies, goals, and budget are guided by a board composed of parents, parishioners, the church rector, and the school director.  St. Aidan’s Day School is a non-profit organization.  Fees are used to defray daily expenses, and vary according to program.  


Tuition rates for the 2015-2016 School Year areas follows:

Kindergarten: $435 per month

Young Fives: $400 per month

5-Day Fours: $400 per month

4-Day Fours: $320 per month

3-Day Classes: $270 per month

2-Day Classes $220 per month





For more information, please contact:
Suzanne Odom, Day School Director
St. Aidan’s Episcopal Day School
8531 Riverside Road
Alexandria, VA  22308