Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Day School




Summer Message from Director Suzanne Odom

Summertime!  The days are long (plenty of outdoor time) and schedules hopefully allow for quieter family time.  That might mean a trip to the beach, a car drive to Grandma's, or an afternoon at the pool.  Although your children are young, everything you do together helps them to grow and flourish.  What you do today becomes your "tradition."  Having family traditions and time together helps children feel safe and secure in their world, so they are ready to explore school with a self-confident outlook.

Our school is also busy with summer traditions.  We are cleaning and painting, stocking up on paint and other supplies.    Teachers are taking time with their families, and also studying and preparing plans for next school year.  Our big news is our bathroom renovations which are proceeding and will give us wonderful bathroom spaces for the fall!  These renovations are possible due to the generous financial donations of our families and alums.

At this point, you probably have received a classroom assignment with your teacher's name.  You will hear more from your child's teacher closer in time to school starting.  The following are key dates for Back to School time- a complete calendar for the year is available through the link on the upper left side of this page.  Remember that all families need to stop in at the Back to School Fair to pick up their child's red bag.  At the Back to School Fair you can also buy St. Aidan's swag, and learn about upcoming school events.

Tuesday, September 5- Classroom visits for 5day, 4day, and 2day students

                                    -Parents Committee Back to School Fair in White Hall 9-11am 

Wednesday, September 6-Classroom visits for 3day students

                                         -Parents Committee Back to School Fair in White Hall 9-11am

                                         -First day for 5day and 4day students

Thursday, September 7-First day for 2day students

Friday, September 8- First day for 3day students

Sunday, September 10-Playground workday 12-3pm, help us weed, trim, and fill sandboxes

Wednesday, September 13- Back to School NIght (Teachers and Parents only)

                                           -Parents meet with 2day Teachers in classrooms at 6:30pm

                                           -All Parents and Teachers meet in church at 7pm

                                           -Parents meet with 3day, 4day, 5day Teachers in classrooms at 7:30

 As always, contact me if you have any questions or concerns, and we are excitedly looking forward to another fantastic year with your family!










We proudly introduce our faculty assignments for the 2017-2018 school year (the photo above is from 2016-2017).

Librarian and Assistant to the Director: Lynda Dunne

Resource Teacher (to Teachers and Parents) and Mon/Tues/Wed Floater:  Mary Anne Hesch

Thursday Floater:  Sandy Boden

Friday Floater:  Allison Skarin

Junior Kindergarten:  Beth Burke assisted by Anne Weikart 

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

Five-Day Threes:  Co-Lead Teachers Anna Waters and Kathryn Cook-Graves (Gabi Bell assists on Wednesday)

Monday-Wednesday-Friday Threes:  Mary Olivia MacLeod assisted by Maggie Torgerson

                                                            Meredith Mulhern assisted by Carrie Leveridge

Tuesday-Thursday Threes:              Lisa Shannon assisted by Jessica Kidwell

Tuesday-Thursday Twos:             Mary Olivia MacLeod assisted by Allison Skarin  

                                                          Meredith Mulhern assisted by Gabi Bell


 Applications for 2017-2018                                                                                                               

We have a few spaces left in our 5-day Fours, interested families should fill out and send an application to the school.




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 2017-1018

Watch this space for details coming soon on our exciting enrichment offerings.

















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.


Unique Junior Kindergarten Experience 

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! 



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.  This class ends at 11:45am.  

- 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.  





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