St. Paul Academy and Summit School is an independent, nondenominational, coeducational, college-preparatory school serving students in grades K-12. The school’s two campuses—divided between the Lower School (K-5) and the Middle and Upper Schools (6-12)—are located a mile apart in a quiet, tree-lined residential neighborhood in the heart of St. Paul, Minnesota.
SPA’s history of exceptional academic achievement and college preparation dates back more than a century and draws from the rich histories of its two founding institutions: St. Paul Academy, established in 1900 for boys; and the Summit School, founded in 1917 for girls. In the four decades since the 1969 merger of the two schools, SPA has retained those original shared strengths: academic rigor, small classes, outstanding faculty, a myriad of co-curricular opportunities, and exceptional college preparation while enjoying a national reputation for both the academic achievement and co-curricular successes of its students.
At the heart of the SPA experience is the authentic love of learning and sense of responsibility that infuses each child’s experience in the classroom, on the athletic field, and on the stage. At SPA, there is no “back of the classroom”: every student’s voice is essential, and each student is an active participant in his or her own learning. We call this “the accountable classroom,” and this responsible and responsive scholarship is what characterizes an SPA education. In every division, students learn to think forcefully and listen carefully. They learn to think like scholars and act with compassion. They approach problems creatively and confidently, and they recognize that personal achievement and collective responsibility are linked.
This approach produces graduates who possess the ability to think critically, taken ownership of their ideas, and offer and receive critique with grace and maturity. When our young alumni/ae leave SPA, they are thoroughly prepared to excel and lead at the nation’s most demanding colleges and universities.