Nope, the Trumps aren’t going with St. Albans or Sidwell Friends.
According to a Mirror source, Barron Trump, 11, plans to attend St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, Md. It’s not a quick jaunt from the White House, but it has its advantages.
For one thing, the school stresses diversity.
“We value and respect all differences, including but not limited to age, ability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status,” says the school’s diversity statement. “To build and sustain a diverse community, the school proactively addresses equity and inclusion in its policies, programs, and practices. We hold everyone in our school accountable for respecting the multitude of human identities and perspectives and for promoting a safe and supportive school environment.”
For another, St. Andrew’s would give Barron lots of attention, since the school has only 580 students. The student-teacher ratio is 7:1. Class sizes range from 11 to 15 students.
“It has fancy buildings,” said a 15-year-old female who attended a summer program at the school.
I phoned St. Andrew’s. A flustered receptionist sent me straight to the “Admissions” department when I asked about Barron attending the school. No one returned my call.
Tuition isn’t cheap — it’ll run the Trumps $38,590 a year. That price tag jumps to $40,650 for high school.
Choosing St. Andrew’s would be a stark departure from other presidential kids.
For instance, Sasha and Malia are Sidwell Friends attendees — Malia graduated last spring and is taking a gap year before she goes to Harvard. The Bush twins, Jenna and Barbara, attended high school in Texas. Chelsea Clinton graduated from Sidwell Friends. Amy Carter went to Stevens Elementary School and Rose Hardy Middle School. Tricia Nixon and her younger sister Julie both attended Sidwell Friends.
If Barron completes middle school at St. Andrew’s — which is 6th to 8th grades — he’ll be required to participate in “service learning activities.” In the 8th grade, students take a two-day field trip to a church in Washington that runs a soup kitchen. Students listen to a homeless person’s life story. They also “make, serve, and eat a meal with the homeless.”
In Trump’s second White House term (if there is one) and if Barron finishes up high school there, he’ll be expected to complete 20 hours of community service between his 9th and 11th grades and 60 hours in the last two weeks of his senior year.
A statement of philosophy reads as follows:
“St. Andrew’s programs are designed to serve students of varied interests and abilities capable of achievement in a challenging academic environment. To create such an environment, St. Andrew’s supports a dedicated faculty and administration who respect and appreciate students.”
They also stress “balance” and “compassion.”
“St. Andrew’s strives to challenge and support all of its students in a balanced program to nurture their academic, artistic, athletic, and spiritual growth. The school believes that developing each individual’s intellect, character, and sense of self-worth encourages each to live a creative and compassionate life.”
Despite its name, the school is not particularly religious:
“This phrase in the Philosophy Statement of St. Andrew’s is important to our school because of what it does and does not mean. It does not mean that we want to ‘make Episcopalians’ out of our students. The perspective of the Episcopal Church includes respect for other religious traditions and even for those periods of life when a person is not identified with a particular tradition. …We feel little compulsion to ‘defend God’ or traditional theological expressions.”
The makeup of the student population is predominately Episcopal (16 percent). But there are other religions present in the student body, including Muslim (1 percent), Jewish (10 percent) and Roman Catholic (18 percent).
The school motto sounds rather poetic.
It’s Auctus Mentis Spiritusque which means “the increase of mind and spirit.”
Good luck at your new school, Barron!
UPDATE: Richard Coco, director of communications for St. Andrew’s, reached out to me. His response, however, was minimal. “St. Andrew’s respects family privacy and therefore will not comment on whether a particular student has sought enrollment at our school,” Coco wrote by email.