Initiatives and Programs
Led by the new, all-school St. Andrew’s International Society (see below), the Diversity Committee, and various language clubs, this initiative includes celebrating different international heritage weeks/months and flying new flags on campus representing the 40 different countries of birth of students, parents, and faculty currently at St. Andrew’s. It also is expressed visually and artistically in the new International Alley in the Upper School. For the adults in the community, the celebration includes the Starry Night Celebration, held annually in November, which showcases food from around the world. Over the next year, the School also will be conducting a diversity audit as part of the Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (AIM) process sponsored by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).
Student Council Diversity Committee
Led by senior leaders, this student created committee focuses on educating peers on issues related to diversity. Students plan and conduct a diversity focused assembly once a year, while working closely with the student-led Global Studies Committee to plan and facilitate weekly conversations with the school community and engage the middle school and upper school Mosaic Clubs.
School-wide Diversity Advisory Committee
Members of the Diversity Advisory Committee hail from the various constituents in the school community. Student members, alumni, classroom teachers, administrators and board members come together to discuss issues around diversity and inclusivity. The 2014-2015 Diversity Advisory Committee drafted the first Diversity and Inclusivity statement in the history of St. Andrew's. The 2015-2016 committee will be charged with getting the draft statement approved and helping to implement the action steps of the 2016-2020 strategic plan.
Building on the school’s strong academic tradition and multifaceted curriculum, the Upper School has added new classes in international relations, contemporary issues, world literature, and religions of the Middle East, as well as AP economics and AP human geography, to further enrich global offerings. These buttress a wide array of related courses in history, economics, literature, art, science, and world languages.
Exchange Programs and International Travel
- Dr. David Rutherford (professor of geography at the University of Mississippi and director of the Mississippi Geographic Alliance);
- Mr. Mayo Flynt (President of ATT Mississippi);
- Dr. William Storey (professor of history at Millsaps College);
- Gen. Scott Woods (US Army, retired);
- The Honorable Raymond E. Mabus, Jr. (Secretary of the United States Navy, former Governor of Mississippi, and US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia);
- Mr. Jay Moon (President and CEO of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association);
- Dr. Walter Neely (Professor of Finance at Millsaps College);
- Mr. Haley Fisackerly (President of Entergy Mississippi);
- Dr. Scott Silverstone (professor of social sciences and director of the foreign policy program at the United States Military Academy);
- Dr. George Bey (professor of anthropology and Dean of International Studies at Millsaps College);
- Dr. Robert Luckett (professor of African American Studies at Jackson State University).
More experts will be at St. Andrew’s in the future – for class visits, lunch lectures, seminars, workshops, and other programs that can prepare our students and engage our community.
Student Council Global Studies Committee
This student-led committee plans an important part of the school mission. Students plan International/Geography Week, host international guests, help plan and facilitate Travel Thursday forums, provide awareness for Model UN & the Central Mississippi Asian Cultural School. In addition to these activities, students assist with our school-wide fundraiser, Arts on the Green.
Driven by student interest and spearheaded by the Upper School Student Council, both campuses have launched a community-wide effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle -- to become more ecologically aware and responsible stewards. Recycling bins have been placed in all classrooms and workspaces, as well as at strategic locations on both campuses. Students in all three divisions also are responsible for emptying the bins, with all proceeds derived from their efforts benefiting the recently formed Environmental Action Committee. As the school moves forward implementing its new Master Plan, with several new buildings planned on the North Campus, students also will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on research concerning the school’s energy use and environmental footprint. Already, though, the efforts of the school community are bearing fruit and being recognized, with St. Andrew's named the 2009 Going Green Mississippi Champion by WLBT and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.
One of the many strengths of St. Andrew’s academic program, training in world languages starts in the Lower School and continues over fifteen years through the Middle and Upper Schools, intensifying each year as students build on past experiences and develop a base for life-long language learning and cross-cultural communication. At present, languages offered during the school day include Spanish, Mandarin, French, Latin, German, and Italian, as well as Japanese for our exchange students, and afterschool auxiliary programs in Mandarin, Spanish, and French.
A long-standing program sponsored by the Model United Nations Association, this Middle and Upper School program provides hands-on learning opportunities for students to examine critical global issues, to collaboratively problem-solve with students from other schools and areas, and to experience the give-and-take world of negotiations and diplomacy in the context of simulating the United Nations General Assembly and Security Councils. Competitions are held annually at the state, regional, and national levels, with interested students volunteering to prepare, participate, and travel. Mr. Scott Sexton can be reached at email@example.com for more information.
NAIS Challenge 20/20
One of the new global education initiatives sponsored by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the Challenge 20/20 Program focuses attention on twenty critical global issues and partners schools from the United States with schools from other countries to work together to help solve one of these problems. This year, Middle School students will be working on deforestation with two other schools in the United States and a school in Malawi. Last year, St. Andrew’s collaborated with a middle school in Lagos, Nigeria and Good Shepherd Episcopal School in Dallas, Texas, to help address the problem of "climate change." The year before, St. Andrew's partnered with a middle school in Cluj, Romania in a collapborate effort to help bring "education to all." Among the activities conducted as part of these efforts have been a book drive, a read-a-thon, a raffle for books, and a compilation of poetry, with comprehensive reports submitted annually to NAIS.
National Geographic Bee
Sponsored by the National Geographic Society, this annual competition tests students’ knowledge of national and world geography, as well as of historical and current events, with rounds held on various levels: classroom, grade, school, state, and nation. Typically targeted at Middle School students (grades 5-8), the school has worked to extend the competition into the Lower School as well, with fourth graders participating in their own Bee and third graders conducting unofficial classroom competitions to whet their appetite, gain experience, and gear up for more formal competition in subsequent years. The 2015 state winner, Ian Espy, is a student in the upper school.
St. Andrew’s International Club
Driven by student interest and entrepreneurship, this organization seeks to increase global awareness and engagement in the community. The group meets regularly to discuss pressing international issues and to devise appropriate student and school initiatives to address them. It also uses international films, foods, and festivals to reach out to other students. The International Club works with the leadership of the student council Global Studies Committee.