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Welcome to St. Paul’s Episcopal Preschool!

Our mission is to educate the hearts and minds of young people for lives of learning, leadership, and service. Our early childhood program is designed to engage the youngest learners to develop socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively through developmentally-appropriate practices rich in social connections, language literacy, math, and other disciplinary skills and content. We are committed to making the preschool experience as rich and positive as possible. For many parents, this is their child’s first experience away from the home-learning environment. It is a big step for both parents and children. It is a gift that parents are giving to their children, the value of which cannot be underestimated. It is a door to learning and exploration.

Over one hundred years of research has shown us the importance of children’s learning through play and exploration. Current research only solidifies the understanding that children learn best when they are actively and mentally engaged in their own learning. The knowledgeable and experienced teachers at St. Paul’s facilitate and guide students with well thought-out strategies and environments that motivate and encourage preschool-age learners to investigate, question, problem solve, and discover.

In the classroom, children learn to navigate friendships by sharing materials, taking turns, acting responsibly, and taking perspective of others’ ideas. Collaboration and small group work are supported by the teachers who encourage exploration in an enriched learning environment. Cognitive skills are further developed through investigation and exploration. Teachers provide materials and activities that develop literacy, numeracy, and scientific thinking. Children are encouraged to question, create, problem-solve, and explore.

Our teachers are carefully selected for their nurturing and understanding of young children. They must meet the Department of Social Services training requirements in early childhood education for preschool teachers and aides. Our teachers are the strength of St. Paul’s Episcopal Preschool. They are truly dedicated to making your child’s experience as rich and positive as possible.

Parents are recognized as valuable and vital partners in their child’s learning experiences. We strive to provide a variety of opportunities to work together with you in our school community.  St. Paul’s Episcopal Preschool is a wonderful place for preschool learners, 18 months – 5 years old, to develop a foundation for a love of learning through a socially and academically lively learning environment.

Chris Stegmaier Byrnes
Interim Head of School

St. Paul’s Episcopal Preschool, a Christian school in the Episcopal tradition, provides a nurturing and safe environment for children 18 months-5 years old that encourages curiosity, exploration, compassion, and a love of learning through play.  Each child is known, loved and belongs as they develop to their fullest potential—spiritually, intellectually, and socially. Children develop a love of God, a sense of self-worth, and a respect for others.

  • Built on the foundation of Christian love
  • Instills character and integrity
  • Honors individuality
  • Committed to strong communication and relationships among parents, community, school, and parish

At St. Paul’s Episcopal Preschool, we believe that play is the work of children.  Through imagining, building, pretending, and manipulating children learn how the world works and how they might change it. Our teachers facilitate learning by encouraging, guiding, clarifying, comforting, and loving. Low teacher-student ratios allow our teachers to give individualized attention to help children develop to their fullest potential.

Creative exploration and curiosity are encouraged. Materials are presented in an orderly, organized manner. Children are expected to handle materials appropriately and respect their areas and leaving it in good condition for others.

Communication skills are of great importance. Children are encouraged to “use your words” from the moment they enter St. Paul’s. As children move through the preschool years, tremendous growth takes place in vocabulary and in their ability to express ideas and feelings.  The children learn to solve problems and conflicts through discussion and conversations. Using attentive listening and involvement in child-initiated conversation they increase their self-confidence and build character.

In the end, fostering a child’s confidence is our goal. We allow children to do as much for themselves as they possibly can while keeping expectations in line with ability.  Children are most often successful when they feel competent.

School Board 2020-2021

St. Paul’s Episcopal Preschool is overseen by a Board of Directors made up of members of the church and school community.  The Board of Directors has oversight responsibility for the policies and operation of St. Paul’s Episcopal Preschool in accordance with the Charter and Bylaws.


Chair Andrew Lund
Vice-Chair Anne Ashley Croker
Secretary Catherine Linskey
Treasurer Karen Grane, ex-officio, non-voting

Board Members

Catherine Schmidt
Katherine Murphy
Don Lefeve
Elizabeth Rees, Ex-officio, voting
Chris Byrnes, Interim Head of School, ex-officio, non-voting

At. St Paul’s Episcopal Preschool we welcome parents and families to be involved in life at school.  Sign-ups for parent volunteers will be available via Sign-up Genius—stay tuned!

The St. Paul’s Preschool Office is open Monday through Friday from 9 am until 12 pm. If you have questions or would like to schedule a tour please give us a call at (703) 548-6089 or email us at preschool@stpaulsalexandria.com.

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