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SAIS Featured School: Coast Episcopal School

Wednesday, February 22, 2017  
Posted by: Christina Mimms
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The gifts of joy and wonder are hallmarks of life at Coast Episcopal School. Founded in 1950 by The Reverend Charles Johnson, under spreading live oaks and by the Gulf of Mexico in Bay St. Louis, MS, our mission statement continues to this day. “We exist to develop a life long love of learning.” Our commitment to develop each child's intellect, creativity, spirituality and ability in self expression, have long been what we are known for. With more than 200 students from toddlers through 6th grade, our coeducational independent day school, hums with the arts, sciences and religious expression.


Situated on a lush 24-acre campus, Coast Episcopal School offers a diverse and expansive curriculum that incorporates the natural environment into science, literature, math, history, and language arts. In addition, this school offers a 35,000 volume library, garden, full science lab, comprehensive art and music programs, technology and computer training, physical education, Spanish immersion, and a variety of field trips in all grades, including a 6th grade hiking trip along the Appalachian Trail. Coast Episcopal is always encouraging the child to be curious and eager as they observe, inquire, and evaluate in a family-like atmosphere. Coast Episcopal boasts a 9:1 student teacher ratio.


The Coast Episcopal renowned toddler and preschool programs are geared to igniting the child’s sense of wonder in the daily curriculum and recognizing that play is the primary occupation of children at this age. The environment in both programs is designed to help children develop by allowing them to build upon the world they know and understand with new and challenging experiences through language, poetry, stories, hands-on science experiments, music, art, and games.


Boundless curiosity and energy envelop Coast Episcopal School elementary students. Much of this spark is kindled in daily morning chapel. Coast Episcopal celebrates the richness of many denominations among its students, faculty, and staff. Each morning before classes begin, students and faculty gather to attend chapel services. During this time students sing together, hear important school and community news, and share talents and information during this time. Students are also recognized for participating in special events or their achievements. Every Thursday, the Eucharist is celebrated with students participating in the service and often celebrated by guest Episcopal priests as well. Parents and visitors are always welcome to attend any of our chapel services. 


Whether it be singing the national anthem, praying our school prayer, receiving communion, or listening to the joys and concerns of fellow students, daily morning chapel sets a positive and uplifting tone for their day. In addition, chapel is the ideal environment for students, beginning in Kindergarten, to develop their self-expression by delivering presentations both as a group and individually. Daily chapel service reminds Coast Episcopal School students of a greater purpose and fills them with the spirit to meet the exciting opportunities of the day ahead.


Coast Episcopal is home to the Gail Keenan Art Center, a major venue for local artists’ exhibitions, offering four shows each year and a fall Holiday Market. The Gail Keenan Art Center is also the art and music center to the school, offering music education, a handbell choir, after school music lessons, art education, after school art classes, and ceramics. The gallery provides a visual space for the students to nurture and express their artistic talents and experience being as creative contributors to our world. It serves as a teaching resource to enable students to make connections between art and life, while expanding learning opportunities through the robust visiting artists program. Through exhibiting works of regional artists, the gallery serves the community at large and increases awareness of the broad education offered at Coast Episcopal School.


Coast Episcopal School offers an after-school enrichment program, called Lagniappe, meaning in French Creole “a little something extra.” The program is offered to any child on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Courses are available to all children in the community and range from exciting topics such as Chess, Latin American Culture, Ceramics, Brazilian Jui Jitsu, and private piano lessons, to STEM courses such as SeaPerch, Wetland Ecology, and 3D printing. 


Coast Episcopal School graduates are recognized as Duke Tip Scholars, National Merit Finalists, Valedictorians, exceptional athletes, and leaders in our community. Coast Episcopal School is accredited by both SAIS and SACS CASI. 


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