Head of School Dave Kasievich welcomes new 5th graders.
Opening Doors in Our School's 10th Year!
St. James School welcomed our newest students on September 14th, as we began our 10th year of opening doors to high school and beyond for children in the Allegheny West neighborhood of North Philadelphia. Following our “slow, steady, safe” reopening plan, we welcomed 66 returning students, 15 new 4th graders, four new 5th graders, and two new 6th graders, for a total of 87. In addition, our Graduate Support team is serving 87 alumni in high school, college or a career path.

School leaders welcomed each class separately on opening day. Our chaplain, The Rev. Andrew Kellner, gave an inspirational blessing. Head of School David Kasievich brought a tray of broccoli seedlings and spoke about planting seeds for students' individual growth. Principal David McDonough asked, “What are the special 87 reasons that St. James is here?” In the 5th grade classroom, Skylar raised her hand and replied, “The students!”

The welcomes ended with the Whitney Houston song Greatest Love of All, which begins: “I believe the children are our are future / Teach them well and let them lead the way…” Making the song more special was its passionately sung delivery by Javvieaus Stewart, Director of Choral Music & Art/Music Education.

Our school is following a hybrid schedule that combines virtual home learning with a period of in-person instruction on campus for every student every day. We are committed to protecting the health of students, families, employees, and guests. We will make adjustments if CDC or city guidelines change.

Please help us support our safe reopening by donating today!
Skylar raises her hand to answer a question in her 5th grade classroom.
Ayden uses the hand sanitizer outside the 4th grade classroom.
Teacher Steph Padilla and Lyric give each other an air high-five.
Only 3 Days Until Dawning of our Decennial
Join us!
Sunday September 20th, 6:00pm

Join us virtually for an uplifting Evensong and special anniversary reflections from the campus of St. James School and The Church of St. James the Less.

Three easy ways to join us:
St. James 
School Website
Sydnee talks virtually with Tineef as he shares about the Great Barrier Reef.
Tutoring with Tineef
A reflection by Sydnee Reddy, Class of 2015
Five years have flown by since I graduated from St. James! Whenever I'm back on campus, I'm always left speechless. The school has added so many activities and resources for the students and families - it's amazing. Sometimes, I wish I were one of the current students so I could experience all of the opportunities, like taking part in the student-run Tone and Tenor radio program and being paired with a graduate tutor.

Then one day in late June, Mr. Todd, Director of Graduate Support, asked me if I would tutor a rising 6th grader named Tineef. I said yes without a second thought. I had been friends with his older sister, Tynae, who was a grade below me in middle school.

But who was Tineef? In the month of us meeting virtually every day for two hours, I got to know him pretty well. His favorite video game is 2k19 and his favorite subject is English language arts. He has a pet lizard, but it doesn’t have a name. He thinks the bravest animal in the world is the monkey because they aren't scared of heights while climbing through trees.

Tineef saw our time together as an opportunity to get some extra help with math and reading before he started 6th grade. I was really nervous; first because I didn’t have any experience, and second because I really wanted to help him out and I doubted myself. He was reading novels during Summer Camp so we worked on his homework. Book subjects ranged from a biography of Ruth Bader Ginsberg to everything you need to know about the Great Barrier Reef.

Something about Tineef reminded me of my middle school self. When it came to math, I would get discouraged easily. One day I took a chance and asked, “Hey Tineef, do you struggle somewhat with math?” He responded, “Yeah, I do.” I used the opening to share with him that countless times I had felt hopelessly discouraged by math. I advised Tineef, "Don’t be afraid to ask questions! You’ll never be the only one who’s confused and you’re not bothering teachers because they want you to understand." The last point I made was, "Don’t give up, because the end result of finally understanding is the best feeling ever!"

As Summer Camp came to a close, so did tutoring Tineef. I asked him how he felt about our sessions. He said, “I'm excited because if it wasn’t for this, I wouldn’t be so prepared for 6th grade!” I really enjoyed the month I spent with him. I also learned something about myself: Even though I have decided not to major in education, I still have a love for educating kids and making an impact on them, just like the teachers at St. James did for me when I was a student. So yes to tutoring again - and next time I won’t be as nervous.
Class of 2020 Graduation
Adrienne, proud member of House Patientia (orange headband) waves her diploma with smiling eyes.
Head of School David Kasievich and The Rev. Frank Allen, Board Chair, wait to greet grads with balloons.
The Rev. Andrew Kellner and Science Teacher Nick Gurol hand out gifts of candles to the graduates.
Twins Kareem and Kyaire enjoy the graduation car parade in their caps and gowns.
A Word with Matthew English
Front Desk Representative & Administrative Assistant
What brought you to St. James School?
I was a supervisor for an interpretation company in Center City, where I felt there wasn’t much opportunity for growth. I heard about this role through Javvieaus Stewart [Director of Choral Music & Art/Music Education]. She was my classmate at Temple University and I’ve been a member of the St. James Community Choir for a year. She connected me to Dave Kasievich [Head of School] and Dave McDonough {Principal].

My mother actually inspired me to work at a school. She was a middle school teacher when I was growing up. [The photo at top right shows Matthew in middle school.] She'd come home from teaching and share stories about how proud she was of her students. She always told me that the power to educate was a gift.

What are your job responsibilities?
I handle logistics for the school, coordinate mail delivery and answer phone calls from alumni and parents. I also help with ordering things, such as uniforms and classroom materials. My favorite part of my day is seeing students and checking them in during our Wellness Screenings. I was so excited to hang out with the 4th graders during their orientation that I almost forgot to eat lunch! The students really lift my spirits.

What are your hopes for this year?
I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of smiles - through masks, of course - on the faces of students who are eager to learn. I also hope to grow alongside the faculty, staff, and students during this difficult time.

When you’re not on campus, what do you like doing?
I love to cook French and Italian cuisine. I also enjoy studying and watching operas — my educational background is in music. I enjoy singing in the St. James Community Choir and am currently singing in two operas that will be performed virtually in the winter.

We’re so glad you’re here!
Thank you! I really love what St. James does for its students. I’m excited that I get to be part of an amazing school that inspires and guides future generations. I feel so blessed.
10th Anniversary Corner
We've come a long way in 10 years! Check out our collection of Then & Now photos to see for yourself!
St. James School is a faith-based Philadelphia middle school in the Episcopal tradition, committed to educating traditionally underresourced students in a nurturing environment. The school is a community that provides a challenging academic program and encourages the development of the moral, spiritual, intellectual, physical and creative gifts in its students.
St. James School | 215-226-1276 | www.StJamesPhila.org