At a Glance

Founded in 1979, St. Margaret’s is the premier, independent, college-preparatory day school in Orange County, serving 1,234 students in preschool through grade 12. St. Margaret’s is situated on a picturesque 25-acre campus in San Juan Capistrano, California, with dedicated campuses for each of four school divisions, modern classrooms and facilities, including a performing arts center, visual arts center, science and technology labs, library, outdoor classrooms, gardens, athletics fields and gymnasiums. Head of School Dr. Jeneen Graham leads a team of experienced and passionate administrators and educators, including principals in each four school division. A vigorous and balanced liberal arts curriculum, is research-based, developmentally appropriate and coordinated from early childhood to high school graduation. St. Margaret's prepares every student for success and healthy, productive lives, today and tomorrow. With 2,600 alumni who have matriculated to colleges and universities across the country, St. Margaret’s is a vital member of the community and educational landscape of Southern California providing an inclusive, vibrant and nurturing environment where students thrive.

List of 10 items.

  • Academics

    • Faculty: 137
    • Faculty with Advanced Degrees: 64%
    • College Counselors: 3
    • Library Staff: 5
    • Annual Faculty Professional Development: 100%
    • Professional Development Budget: $320,000
    • Early Childhood School Class Size: 10-12
    • Lower School Class Size: 18-24
    • Middle School Average Class Size: 16
    • Upper School Average Class Size: 16
    • Advanced Placement Courses: 26

    Class of 2021 SAT Middle 50%

    • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 600-730
    • Math: 630-760
    • Total: 1220-1460
    • Colleges visiting campus annually: More than 150

    Graduates of the Class of 2021 attend a selective and diverse group of four-year colleges and universities across the nation and beyond, including:

    Boston University (4)
    Brown University (2)
    California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo or Chapman University
    University of California, Los Angeles (2)
    Carnegie Mellon University (2)
    University of Chicago
    Cornell University (3)
    Dartmouth College
    Fordham University
    Johns Hopkins University
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    University of Michigan (4)
    New York University (3)
    Northwestern University (3)
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 
    University of Pennsylvania (2)
    University of Southern California (3)
    Southern Methodist University (3)
    Stanford University
    Villanova University
    Yale University
  • Our Students and Families

    • Total Student Body: 1,234
    • Early Childhood School: 74
    • Lower School: 380
    • Middle School: 305
    • Upper School: 475
    • Students of Color: 54%
    • Families: 864
    • Faith Backgrounds: 22
    • Episcopalian: 8%
    • Local Cities & Communities Represented: 28
  • Community Life

    • Varsity Sports: 24
    • Junior Varsity Sports: 21
    • CIF Championships: 32, State Championships: 7
    • Middle School Sports: 12
    • Drama Productions: 7
    • Music and Dance Productions: 16
    • Film Festivals: 2
    • Music Groups: 19 including Orchestras, Concert Band and Choir
    • Visual Arts Courses: 31 and 8 annual exhibits

    Student Clubs and Leadership Organizations:

    • Associated Student Body
    • Honor Committee
    • Peer Counselors
    • Admission Ambassadors 
    • Tartan Inclusivity and Diversity Education (TIDE)
    • Principal’s Faculty and Student Cabinet
    • Student Council
    • Lower School Character Committee and Green Team

    Student Clubs: 55+

    • Upper School: Weekly
    • Middle School: 2x per week
    • Lower School: 4x per week
    • Early Childhood School: Weekly

    Service Learning: Students develop a relationship with a community organization and serve them repeatedly over the course of the year within their advisory group.

    Student Advisory Groups:

    • Upper School Student to Advisor Ratio: 10:1 
    • Middle School Student to Advisor Ratio: 10:1

    School Nickname: The Tartans
    School Colors: Crimson and Navy
  • Technology and Facilities

    • Campus: 25 acres
    • Classroom Buildings: 9, modern, flexible and comfortable classroom environments specifically designed for subject-needs and student ages.
    • Science Labs: 10 research and lecture labs

    Technology-rich learning commons features collaborative work stations and private studios, reading lounge, iPad minis for accessing the collection and extensive digital library.
    Technology Labs: 9
    Integrated Lower School STEAM Center, robotics and engineering lab, makerspace lab, Middle School innovation lab, Library media studio, sound and video production studios and digital media arts labs.
    Innovative wireless learning spaces equipped with interactive touch displays, digital white boards and document/artifact cameras. BYOD in the Upper School, one-to-one iPad program in Middle School, one-to-one Microsoft Surface tablets in grades 2-5, and iPads and Surface tablets used throughout curriculum.
    Performing Arts Center:
    Designated an All-Steinway School for Excellence, 2 performance theaters, dance studio, 3 music classrooms and 11 music practice rooms equipped with 15 Steinway-designed pianos.
    Visual Arts Center:
    6,000-square-foot center featuring 7 dedicated visual arts studios designed for studio art, 2D, 3D, ceramics, digital art, film and photography; opened August 2017.
    Gymnasiums: 2
    Athletics Fields: 3
    Playgrounds: 2
    School Garden and Greenhouse, Early Childhood School and Lower School Outdoor Classrooms
  • Tuition and Financial Aid

    St. Margaret's seeks students of exemplary character who demonstrate the ability to succeed in an academically demanding program, show potential for engagement in leadership and service opportunities, and whose parents' educational and developmental goals align with those of the school.

    • Early Childhood School: $19,712 - $28,985*
    • Lower School: $32,956
    • Middle School: $36,927
    • Upper School: $40,897


    Financial Aid awards in 2022-2023: $4.5 million

    Students receiving aid: 16%

    St. Margaret's commitment to community and diversity is at the heart of the need-based Financial Aid program. St. Margaret's endeavors to attract students and families from all backgrounds who are a right match academically and philosophically regardless of financial resources.
  • Annual Giving

    Community members participate in the life of the school in meaningful ways through volunteerism and philanthropy. Parents, alumni, grandparents, faculty, the St. Margaret’s professional community and friends of the school support endowment, Annual Fund, capital projects and special events, annually.
  • Accreditations & Associations

  • Mission and Core Values

    Mission Statement
    Our mission at St. Margaret's Episcopal School is to educate the hearts and minds of young people for lives of learning, leadership and service.
    Core Values
    Character - We emphasize integrity, spirituality, empathy, perseverance and responsibility.
    Community - We champion mutual respect, engagement, collaboration, service learning and a commitment to the common good.
    Balance and Breadth - We believe personal growth, balance and well-being are fostered through a broad range of academic, artistic, athletic and co-curricular opportunities.

    Equity and Inclusion - We embrace and celebrate the identity of every human being, and advocate for equity, inclusion and justice.
    High Expectations - We prepare and empower our students to discover and develop their unique gifts and talents to achieve their full potential.
  • Non Discrimination Policy

    St. Margaret's Episcopal School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational, admission, financial aid, hiring and athletic policies or in other school-administered programs.
  • Employee Code of Conduct

    As of January 1, 2018, CA law AB 500 requires schools to share their student/employee interaction policy on their websites.
    From the SMES Employee Administrative Policies & Procedures: Student Relations Policy and Procedures
    Student Relations
    All employees should be conscious of and actively manage their relationships with students. In particular:
    • Students must never be left in a room unsupervised. This includes breaks, lunch, study halls, rehearsal periods, etc. 
    • Classrooms should always be locked when you leave.
    • Window blinds must be fully open at all times, except during a lockdown and when necessary to block the sun through an individual window.
    • Faculty and staff members should not be alone in a closed room with an individual student. If you find yourself in a room with an individual student you must ensure that the door is opened and secured in that position until the student leaves. Exceptions to this would be during a lock-down emergency, and Chaplains, Counselors, Nurses, and other Administrative Staff specifically designated by the Head of School, when necessary to undertake their work.
    • Avoid all but essential physical contact with students. 
    • Do not discuss non-school-related, personal matters regarding the student or yourself with a student.
    • Electronic communications with a student should be restricted to school-related matters and only using your school email address. Do not use a personal email address. Do not text or call a student on the phone and do not ‘friend’ a student on social media.
    • Do not go off campus with a single student, and do not transport a single student in your car except in an emergency.
    • Do not use student bathrooms.
An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California
St. Margaret's Episcopal School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational, admission, financial aid, hiring and athletic policies or in other school-administered programs.
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
31641 La Novia Avenue
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
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