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Our History

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    St. James Preschool, like many church preschools, was born out of need – mothers with young children who needed a place for their children to play a few hours a week. So, with the initiative and determination of a group of mothers, much like our involved and hard-working preschool moms today, and support of the Church, the preschool started as a Mother’s Morning Out program (MMO) in the fall of 1971. The MMO was held in the upstairs portion of the education wing, offering safe and loving care to ages crib through 3 years. Within several years the need to care for the older children was identified and St. James Kindergarten was formed. A Board of Managers was established to govern this new kindergarten, and a director was hired to be the administrator. The kindergarten offered educational opportunities for children ages three through kindergarten, and was housed in the downstairs portion of the church education wing. Although the MMO director and kindergarten coordinated shared facilities and common calendars, the programs where run and governed separately.

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    During the mid 80’s, a church committee evaluated the kindergarten and MMO and determined that the two programs should be combined and governed by one Board of Managers and led by one director. With the opening of the 1986-87 school year, all children, crib through kindergarten, were attending the St. James Preschool. As public school kindergarten programs increased, the interest in private kindergartens declined. St. James Preschool opened in the fall of 1987 without a kindergarten program.

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    By the early 1990’s prospective parents were expressing a desire to have an accredited preschool program. After careful evaluation, the application process began to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). In May of 1998, St. James Preschool opted to change accrediting agencies, and began pursuing accreditation with Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS/CASI).

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    Today, St. James Preschool is a thriving preschool with over 190 students, close to 150 families and over 30 staff members. Collaboration among parent, teachers, and staff cultivate deep, lasting relationships and a strong sense of community. New ideas and carefully considered feedback continue to shape the thoughtful preparation and planning of the St. James experience for both current and future families.

Trusted And Loved By Atlanta’s Parents

As a former elementary school assistant principal and teacher, it was important for me to find a preschool for my own child that had an enriching curriculum and a nurturing community. When we found St. James, we feel like we hit the jack pot! The school has a close-knit feel; the director knows the name of EVERY student. And for the academics, the research-based phonics and handwriting instruction ensures high levels of learning for all students.

Pam Padak

Our family has been at St James Preschool for many years, and it has been such an incredible experience for our children and for us as parents. We’ve watched our kids fall in love with learning and develop what will no doubt be lifelong friendships. Throughout their time at the preschool, our children have been surrounded by teachers and staff who put so much effort in getting to know and care for each child who walks through the doors. St James Preschool will forever hold a special place in our hearts!

Ryan & Melissa Briley

The moment we walked through St. James we knew that this was the school for our girls. Having just moved to the Atlanta, St. James gave us the sense of community that we needed. We are now going on year 4, and at the end of each year we are so happy to know that it was not yet our last. We love everything about St. James - the staff, the curriculum, the beautiful playground, the welcoming classrooms, and the families. St. James is truly wonderful! 

Danielle Nolte

St. James Preschool is more than just a school, it’s a community filled with love and compassion for growing our children! This is seen through the simple yet intentional acts of each teacher and staff, starting from knowing all kids’ names during carpool to genuinely investing in your family (even after they graduate from the school!) Each year as we progress into a different class, I think to myself this can’t top last year and then somehow it does. We truly feel blessed to have the teachers, staff, and other families at St. James as part of our extended family and know they are all having a positive impact on our children.

Keri Kanitz