The academic buildings. The athletic fields. The chapel. The student centre. The centre for creative and performing arts. These are some of the many spaces and resources that will shape your child’s growth at Episcopal High School (EHS), a private 130-acre boarding school for boys and girls in grades nine through 12 in Alexandria, Virginia. At this 24/7 community, students live and learn in a setting that promotes the camaraderie of common experience and lifelong friendships.
Just ask student Bennie Wang, who adores having all at hand. “From a rare books collection that rivals that of the Ivy Leagues to a tour of the National Gallery during class guided by our all-knowing Latin teacher, the school provides immense resources that could scarcely be found elsewhere for high school students,” shares Wang. All of these spaces and vast resources support an ambitious programme that will educate and prepare students for the world that awaits their contributions.
Stand on EHS’s campus roads and you will see that they lead to the homes of faculty members, who are not only masters of their subjects, but enthusiastic supporters, advisors, and mentors. Look out to the distance and you will see an endless stream of planes in the sky. These planes arrive from places students have come from and leave for places that students will soon go out to make a meaningful impact in the world.
Beyond those planes, just over the Potomac, sits Washington, D.C., a thriving metropolis Charles Dickens called the “City of Magnificent Intentions.” It’s a city that EHS students get to know as more than just a tourist, thanks to the school’s multi-faceted weekend activities programme and close connection with Washington. Students can expect to have approximately 100 experiential learning opportunities in Washington, D.C. and its surrounding communities.
An experiential learning experience through city exploration
With access to Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area at their fingertips, EHS students immerse themselves in real world experiences that extend beyond the classroom. Students learn from and work with experts from trailblazing, history-making organisations, such as the National Symphony Orchestra, Ernst & Young, US Department of the Treasury, The White House (Office of the Staff Secretary), Pew Research Centre for the People and the Press, National Institutes of Health, and US Environmental Protection Agency.
EHS student James Hong loves exploring the nation’s capital. “Our school’s proximity to D.C. is fantastic, as I can visit places that I have only seen on the Internet and in books,” he shares.
That’s not all. In senior year, students get to take part in the month-long EHS Senior Externship Programme. It’s an authentic professional experience — spanning approximately four 35-hour weeks — where students job shadow, research, or create with an organisation. It’s the final leg of the EHS student journey that will help them thrive in college and beyond, thanks to the diverse resources and network that Washington, D.C. has to offer.
The Washington Programme is one of EHS’s many initiatives, all of which are coordinated and supported by the McCain-Ravenel Centre for Intellectual and Moral Courage. Established in 2018, the centre has one main goal: to prepare students for life outside Episcopal and to help them embody the Portrait of a Graduate.
It helps faculty and staff connect students with the resources of Washington, D.C. and design programmes that serve as a launchpad to the school’s mission. From inspiring conversations by more than 200 experts and professionals, to programmes that focus on today’s critical issues and talks by more than 5,000 alumni, these events ensure EHS students obtain real-life experiences to excel beyond high school.
Living, learning and discovering together
The perks of a 100% boarding institution are undeniable. EHS offers a 100% residential community, providing 24/7 immersion for students to develop character, learn to use time wisely and build strong relationships with their teachers and friends.
“Life at EHS, especially living in a dorm with diverse people, allowed me to earn the skill to view people as a sole individual transcending race and gender,” shares Hong.
It is the diversity of experiences and backgrounds that makes the high school an amazing place to learn and grow. More than one-third of students at EHS are students of colour, coming from 26 states, Washington, D.C., and 19 countries.
For Lara Georgia Guimarães Noronha, it’s this factor that made her time at EHS an unparalleled educational experience. “EHS is a wonderful place where I feel safe and comfortable to be myself and express my culture. I love learning about all the different nations and traditions represented by our student body, and can’t wait to get to know the new people coming to our next school year,” she shares.
Ultimately, at EHS, students are minutes away from the heart of the nation’s capital. They get to wake up each morning surrounded by friends as well as committed teachers, 83% of whom stay on campus. They live, learn, work and play in a place that feels almost like home.
As the parent of one young graduate says, “Episcopal is unlike any other boarding or day institution we know. To have a morally sound close-knit community that spends its days building and educating ethically sound people while exposing them weekly to the vastness of the Capital City as an educational and extracurricular outdoor classroom is one of a kind.”
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