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Tradition & History

For 90 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 legacy continues to influence student-learning today.

Beauvoir still celebrates 

  • Hands-on, active learning experiences; 
  • Movement in the classroom;
  • Encouragement of classroom discussion;
  • Celebration of unique learning styles;
  • Independent and collaborative work;
  • Shared community values and personal development;
  • Innovative learning environments including art studios; science and STEAM labs, gardens, gymnasiums, and performance spaces;
  • Emphasis on inquiry and joy in learning as the basis for educational innovations.

For more than 90 years, Beauvoir has been a leader in early childhood education and has provided an extraordinary foundation for lifelong inquiry and joy in learning. A longtime innovator in the field, Beauvoir was one of the first elementary schools in the region to introduce a reading readiness and math program for preschool children. The School created a “World Mindedness” program (called Global Studies today) to teach children about establishing a worldview emphasizing respect for differences with others. In the 1950s, 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 social emotional learning.

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