Located on the banks of the St. Johns River, Episcopal School of Jacksonville is a renowned educational institution which sends its graduates to colleges and universities across the country. The school also recently won Best Private School for Secondary Education in the Florida Times-Union's 2017 "Bold City Best" competition.
An Episcopal education rests on four pillars — academics, athletics, fine arts and spiritual life — which collectively build a solid foundation for students' lives beyond graduation.
Episcopal, a co-ed day school for grades 6 - 12, embraces a learner-centered approach to education in which students are actively engaged in a deeper level of learning. A hallmark of the school's learner-centered environment is the Harkness Method, a method of teaching in which students are seated around a large table, empowering them to direct the discussion, rather than the traditional classroom where the teacher lectures and students take notes.
The Harkness Method requires all students to share the responsibility for the class discussion and the key points of discussion. Episcopal teachers, all of whom are experts in their field of study, utilize the Harkness Method and other learner-centered pedagogy to foster students' ability to think critically and contribute to the learning process.
To further prepare students for their next step, Episcopal college counselors work one-on-one with students from eighth grade until graduation. Counselors maintain personal contacts with admissions offices across the country, host seminars for parents and run an "Application Bootcamp" for seniors at the beginning of their final year.
Athletically, the school just completed a $17-million capital campaign that included a new 1,000-seat football stadium, new aquatic center, 10 new USTA tennis courts and a new baseball training facility. The campaign also completed the development of the 28-acre Knight Campus, which is solely dedicated to sports. The school's new and renovated athletic facilities now match the excellence of its athletic programs and the caliber of its coaches, most of whom played at the collegiate and/or professional level.
The centerpiece of Episcopal School of Jacksonville's third pillar, its fine arts program, is the Munnerlyn Center for Worship and Fine Arts. Student-made paintings, sculptures and projects are displayed in the entrance gallery. The Munnerlyn Center has a 700-seat auditorium facing a state-of-the-art stage complete with a fly system and orchestra pit. Students not only get to perform, but may also learn the behind-the-scenes technical aspects of creating a show. The visual arts complex holds digital photography labs, fully-stocked art studios, noise-reduced band rooms and a ceramics lab. The fine arts faculty at Episcopal is comprised of professional artists who are passionate about fostering in students an appreciation for the arts, further developing artistic skills and uncovering hidden artistic talents.
Finally, Episcopal School of Jacksonville's fourth pillar, faith and community service, encourages students to serve their community and their faith through weekly Chapel services and a broad array of opportunities to serve others. Episcopal welcomes students, faculty and staff from all or no faith traditions, with the belief that engaging with one's faith and understanding the perspective of others enriches all other aspects of learning.
For more information about Episcopal School of Jacksonville, call (904) 396-5751 or visit esj.org.