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A Coeducational School | Early Learners to Third Grade

Our Story

For more than 85 years, Beauvoir’s beautiful view of learning has provided young students with a dynamic foundation on which to build the rest of their lives. Beauvoir blends a unique history and tradition with constant innovation, creating an environment that respects and challenges young children.

Beauvoir was founded in 1933 as a coeducational primary school for students who would move on to one of the Cathedral Schools (St. Albans or the National Cathedral School). In 1939, Beauvoir was established as a "separate and independent school in the Cathedral system" by the Cathedral Chapter. Beauvoir's Head of School Elizabeth Glascock Taylor and her faculty were motivated to do more than just instruct through memorization and recitation. Their mission was to make children's education exciting so that their students would be inspired to learn. Mrs. Taylor’s goal for her students was that they might "learn the joy of work well done."

Mrs. Taylor's influence is still felt by students today: Beauvoir still celebrates hands-on, active experiences; movement in the classroom; the encouragement of classroom discussion; recognition of different learning styles among children; work both individually and in groups; an emphasis on developing community values and individual character; the concept of resources in art studios; science labs, gardens, gymnasiums and performing spaces as places of learning; and above all, the emphasis on joy as the basis for educational innovations and as a central tenet of its mission today.

Setting trends in early childhood education is nothing new to Beauvoir. Beauvoir was one of the first elementary schools to introduce a reading readiness and math program for pre-school children. The school created a "World Mindedness" program to teach children about establishing a worldview emphasizing respect for differences with others. In the 1950's, Beauvoir was the first school affiliated with the Cathedral to racially integrate. Finally, Beauvoir has consistently placed a strong emphasis on the importance of faculty professional development, integrating brain research into classroom teaching and prioritizing character education.

Photos from the Archives

The 1940's

The 1960's

The 1980's

The 1950's

The 1970's

The 1990's

3500 Woodley Road, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Tel: (202) 537-6485
Fax: (202) 537-6512

Our Mission

At Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School, we provide an extraordinary early childhood education in a diverse community that values every individual. Beauvoir’s program encourages creative, courageous learners and builds an enduring foundation for a lifelong spirit of inquiry and joy in learning.
© 2020 - Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School