The Episcopal School in North Philadelphia

And How You Can Help

Dear Friends of the St. James School Community,

As the world adapts to new realities in response to the coronavirus COVID-19, St. James School is adapting and responding as well. We know this is a crisis with medical, social, and economic dimensions. We want you to know that – because of you – our extraordinary school and community are a hub of care for our students, graduates, and families. Our commitment to them remains strong, even though the challenges we currently face seem overwhelming at times.

We are providing essential services: Our school is officially closed until March 30th but still offering essential services to students, graduates, families, and neighbors. The Welcome Table team is providing 95+ meals per day from two tables set up on Clearfield Street between 9 am and 1 pm. (See photo at bottom.) Students and families can pick up breakfast, a hot lunch, and a grocery bag full of food for dinner. I expect requests for food to grow.

We are checking in with students daily: Teachers working from home contact every student every day by phone, text or email. Staff also are visiting some families at their homes each day, from a six-foot distance. Annie Lerew, math teacher and Director of Operations, is on the street each day to lead and support our work.

We are protecting our health and safety: We are doing everything we can to minimize the chances that coronavirus will spread in our community.

  • We are following the sensible advice to practice “social distancing.” Chef Brooks comes in and cooks in isolation. The six residential staff are the only ones on campus and they are managing the operations so that those working at home can function. They are managing kitchen operations, The Welcome Table, clerical operations, and the distribution and collection of student academic work.
  • Our business operations team picks up and drops off paperwork on Clearfield Street to keep our vital fiscal operations going.
  • Everyone else is working from home. Each day we have an all-staff online Zoom video conference that includes prayer, announcements, and a review of our daily work plan.

Our efforts, while in self-isolation, are making a world of difference thanks to the extraordinary capabilities of technology. For our students and families, daily contact from one of our teachers, counselors or principal is a supportive hand during an emotional, anxiety-filled and uncertain time for everyone.

Do you want to help us at this critical time? Please donate through our updated Amazon Wish List or visit our donate page for more ways to give. Food donations are urgently needed. Specifically, we need grocery store sized boxes of rice and pasta, spaghetti sauce, canned tuna/chicken, canned vegetables, and peanut butter. You can deliver directly to St. James School or drop items off at St. Christopher’s Church (226 Righters Mill Rd, Gladwyne, PA 19035). The Parish has placed large plastic bins marked “St. James School” under the cloister walk between the school building and the church. You can access this area from their parking lot.

Call me at 215.226.1276 x108 if you have any questions or other ideas for how to help.

We are grateful to you for all the many ways you support our work, especially in this period of great uncertainty. Community is what binds us together, even if virtually and electronically. May God watch over you and bless you.

Sincerely yours,

Dave Kasievich
Head of School

The Welcome Table is on Clearfield Street in front of St. James School.

The Welcome Table is open 9am – 1pm daily on Clearfield Street in front of St. James School.