About Us

Learn more about our why and find out the history of our wonderful school here at St. James Episcopal Day School.

Our History

Located in the heart of downtown Baton Rouge, St. James Episcopal Day School provides a warm, nurturing environment and developmentally focused curriculum to children from ages eighteen months through fifth grade. Historic, architecturally significant buildings are home to “the Day School,” a two-time U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon school winner and a school known for its innovation in combining traditional education with advanced technology. Our small student-to-teacher ratios and loving Christian environment provide the setting for meaningful academic and personal growth. 

St. James Episcopal Day School was founded as a kindergarten by Mrs. Doris deBessonet in 1948. The school was given official status by the St. James Episcopal Church Vestry in 1951 under the leadership of the Rector, Parson Phillip Werlein. Today, St. James Episcopal Day School is a landmark in downtown Baton Rouge.

Multiple generations continue to choose St. James primarily for three reasons: the rigorous curriculum, the warm and loving family environment, and the strong Christian foundation.  The school is well known for its ability to challenge its strongest students while supporting and guiding students who struggle.

Our Philosophy

St. James Episcopal Day School is dedicated to the concept of a traditional yet innovative curriculum with developmental emphasis presented in a warm, loving, Christian environment. Our goal is to reinforce Christian values and the God-given dignity and individuality of each child as expressed through the Anglican tradition. Within this framework, we stress the pursuit of academic excellence, the development of self-esteem and emotional well-being, as well as respect for all individuals.

Our Commitment

  • Encourage the unique gifts of each child
  • Nurture individual potential in each student
  • Instill academic excellence
  • Develop spiritual formation​

Our Mission

St. James is committed to developing each child’s unique gifts by providing a strong foundation combining academic excellence and spiritual formation within a warm, loving, Christian community. 

Awards and Accomplishments

  • National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, 2009 and 2015
  • Apple Distinguished School, 2017-2022
  • Accredited by Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools (SAES)

St. James by the Numbers

280 Students 

50 Faculty 

Student-to-teacher ratio 7:1

Average Class Size (Pelican’s Nest) – 12

Average Class Size (Day School) – 15

Academic Enhancement Teachers – 5

Enrichment Teacher – 8

Why St. James?

Children are encouraged to grow in a kind, warm, and nurturing community.

Small class sizes enable teachers to give individualized attention to each student.

Children experience a faith-based education through weekly lessons, Chapel services, and Christian leadership.

Children are prepared for a lifetime of success through a well-rounded curriculum that focuses on academic excellence in core subjects as well as a number of enrichment courses.

Our focus on elementary education from early childhood through grade 5 enables the school to better meet developmental needs and helps students to enjoy the younger years of childhood without the influence of middle school and high school before they are ready

Not Just Academics

Student Life

Along with chapel services in the historic St. James Episcopal Church sanctuary, students and their families enjoy beloved school traditions throughout the year.