Rival Reviews: St. Andrews


Riley Hawkinson

SUPRISING ST.ANDREWS – Francesca and Becca pose in front of the St. Andrew’s Lion. The duo was shocked by the culture and amenities of the institution.

The vibes were made clear from the beginning at St. Andrew’s. We showed up in our typical Jackson-Reed attire – baggy jeans, tiny top, and sambas – and were met with stares from girls in their Love Shack Fancy and guys in their polos. We just so happened to choose one of six of St. Andrew’s dress–up days to visit this precious Potomac school. 

This special day was to honor the induction of 16 new members of the Cum Laude Society (weird name). Students are chosen based on their academics, merit, and character. We’re not really sure what it does except uphold a longstanding tradition and look good on a college application. Students that are selected find out in the moment in front of peers and parents (no pressure). 

Another selective process at St. Andrew’s is the enrollment in AP classes. Students need to be recommended by their teachers in order to take APs, so while they are offered, they aren’t as common as they are at Jackson-Reed. Their honors classes, however, are more rigorous than ours. 

Something unique to the school is that it operates on a trimester schedule. Why? Who knows. Moving on…

Dress up day or not, St. Andrew’s holds a strict dress code. Sorry pajama-pant warriors, only professional clothing allowed. No jeans shall be ripped, no sweats shall be shown, and no shoulders shall see the light of day. 

A big part of the ambiance is that its in the middle of no where Maryland. This means, believe it or not, there is no Tenleytown. Because of its isolation they have school buses that carry students back and forth to school. The bus schedule accommodates athletes that all practice at the same time and get on the same afterschool bus. This works since there are 1,500 fields, so all the teams can practice at the same time. Similar to JR, the lax bros make playing lacrosse their entire personality trait.

Luckily for the unathletic bunch, St. Andrew’s offers theater and/or music instead of PE or doing a sport. 

We’re not sure if its just the Maryland air, but this is the first private school that we’ve seen where students do not abandon their backpacks, congrats!

To address the elephant in the room, we did not see Baron Trump. While he was a student here, his glory days are over and he left no trace behind. Funny enough, we learned that St. Andrew’s is a pretty liberal school and lots of students actually live in DC proper. Additionally, the school is committed to diversity of students and we noticed signage that represented the schools effort to promote inclusivity. 

Another thing that stood out to us was the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning. This is essentially a space where students and teachers study the psychology of learning and apply their knowledge to the inner workings of their classroom environment. 

While their cafeteria doubled for their auditorium, it had a luxurious buffet with an entire shelf devoted to different kinds of bread.

Overall the outdoor campus feel of St. Andrew’s gave it a college-like ambience. There was a nice courtyard in between some of the main school and the student center with lawn chairs galore. The curb appeal was definitely one of the best qualities of the school.

Something that does not reflect this college-like exterior is that even upper school students are not allowed to have their phones during the day. What they do without an airpod in at all times we will never know.

As we were on our way out we caught a final glimpse at the parking structure that we so desired for JR students and staff alike. Oh the luxury of not worrying about getting a ticket on Chesapeake.