About Us


Our Philosophy

Welcome to St. Paul’s Episcopal Nursery School, a vibrant and nurturing place for young children and their families. Since its beginning, St. Paul’s Episcopal Nursery School has been committed to providing a warm and enriching environment for preschoolers in Mt. Lebanon and surrounding neighborhoods. We thrive on a strong relationship among the school and our parents, which allows us to put the needs of each unique child first. Our philosophy has always been based on the concept that education should guide and challenge children towards developing lives of genuine meaning, purpose and service in the world they will inherit. Our curriculum is designed to prepare children for the active work of life…all in the spirit of play.

It is the purpose of the nursery school to provide a secure and happy environment in which children will flourish. Therefore, our focus strikes a balance between each child’s intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development. We strive to develop self-confident, independent, caring, and inquisitive young people who feel comfortable attempting new challenges that will lead to pleasure in learning and respect for others in their world.

Our program is lead byPlaying children an outstanding staff that encourages an exchange of ideas with each child through questions, observation and reaction. There is a fluid interaction between the teacher and child that gives the children the opportunity to lead and to be lead throughout their school day. St. Paul’s places primary importance on creating opportunities for children to satisfy their natural curiosity and to find fulfilling outlets through music, art, literature, and fine and gross motor activity through dramatic and other forms of play.



Inclusion As part of our mission to the community, we provide a quality early childhood program that is inclusive of children of all abilities. St. Paul’s Episcopal Nursery School believes that children of all ability levels are entitled to the same opportunities for participation, acceptance and belonging in school. We make every reasonable accommodation to encourage full and active participation of all children in our program based on their individual capabilities and needs.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Nursery School believes that children of all ability levels are entitled to the same opportunities for participation, acceptance and belonging in school. We will make every reasonable accommodation to encourage full and active participation of all children in our program based on their individual capabilities and needs.

To address the needs of children with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) we will:
• Ask all families to complete a request form for a copy of a child’s IEP/IFSP. This request will be placed in each child’s file
• File all copies of IEP/IFSPs in child’s file in order to be readily available to share with teaching team
• Provide copies of IEP/IFSP goals to the child’s teacher(s) and discuss strategies for meeting the goals
• Ensure all teachers are trained on how to implement an IEP/IFSP. Training will be documented in each teacher’s professional development record
• Contact early intervention staff/consultants to schedule periodic meetings with child’s family and teacher(s) to discuss the child’s progress and to increase strategies in adapting IEP/IFSP goals in classroom activities and routines
• Request permission from families to attend any meetings with the early intervention team related to changes to the IEP/IFSP
• Monitor teachers’ work towards supporting the child in meeting IEP/IFSP goals
• Request additional help from early intervention team if needed

Teaching Team will:
• Observe and document the child’s progress towards goals weekly and use their notes to individualize lesson plans
• Prepare for and conduct family conferences at least 2 times a year to share progress on IEP/IFSP goals, the child’s development, and participation in the classroom
• Meet with the family to plan for and discuss transitioning to new classrooms or programs


PLaying at St.PaulsSt. Paul’s Episcopal Nursery School was founded in 1957 by The Reverend Dale Doren, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, along with a group of parishioners interested in starting a progressive nursery school based on sound knowledge and understanding of child development and early childhood education. As a result of our founder's strong belief and advocacy of the importance of a high quality early childhood education, St. Paul’s was one of the first nursery schools in Pennsylvania to be licensed by the state in 1957. We were also one of the first nursery schools to be accredited by NAEYC in the Pittsburgh area and have successfully maintained our national accreditation since 1988.



NAEYCNAEYC Accreditation: St. Paul’s was the first preschool to be accredited in the south hills area of Pittsburgh (1988), and one of the first in the nation. We were once again, nationally in 2007, one of the first preschools to maintain our reaccreditation under the new, more demanding NAEYC standards. In May 2012, we received our reaccreditation through 2017.

NAEYC has established 10 program standards that research has consistently shown lead to positive child outcomes. Each of the 10 program standards must be supported by meeting hundreds of separate criteria. The standards include:

  • • Standard 1: Relationships
  • • Standard 2: Curriculum
  • • Standard 3: Teaching
  • • Standard 4: Assessment of Child Progress
  • • Standard 5: Health
  • • Standard 6: Teachers
  • • Standard 7: Families
  • • Standard 8: Community Relationships
  • • Standard 9: Physical Environment
  • • Standard 10: Leadership and Management

St. Paul’s is proud to have consistently met all standards through validating evidence of objective criteria that have been observed and documented during our site visits from NAEYC assessors.


Food Allergy Guidelines

playingFood allergies can be life threatening. St. Paul’s is a nut free school and we do not serve or allow any nut products into the nursery school area. The risk of accidental exposure to foods can be reduced in the school setting if students, parents, and the school administration work together to minimize risks and provide a safe, educational environment for food-allergic students. All food allergies are posted in three places: the child’s classroom, the Director’s office, and the kitchen. All staff members are trained in the use of Epi-pens. We ultimately strive to educate the individual child, within a safe environment at St. Paul’s, to learn to be aware of their own food allergies and to understand and be responsible for their own safety as they move out into the larger world.


Staff Profiles

Staff Background

The staff is one of the most important and valued aspects of St. Paul's. The Director oversees a staff that includes classroom teachers and assistants, a music teacher, an art teacher, and an accountant/office manager.

St. Paul’s teachers are required to have a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education or Child Development and some of them hold Master's degrees. Over 50% of the staff has taught at St. Paul’s for ten years or more, and 40% have taught for over fifteen years.

All staff members belong to the Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children. They have been trained in infant/child CPR and other first aid techniques and have obtained their Act 33 Clearance to work with children.

One of the most significant determinants of quality in a school is the staff-to-child ratio. The lower the number of children assigned to one teacher, the higher the quality of education. St. Paul’s historically has one of the lowest staff-to-child ratios in the area.