Parent Resources

Frequently Heard Terms

Welcome to St. Albans School! We hope that this list of STA vocabulary will help make your transition to the School as smooth as possible.

List of 63 items.

  • Activities Building

    Located on Garfield Street, this building houses the older of St. Albans School’s two gyms. It is sometimes used for dances, practices, and events. The Trophy Room, Kellogg Room, and new weight room are located here.
  • Advisory

    In Forms I through VI, the small group of students from the same grade assigned to a form advisor or form master.
  • Back-to-School Nights

    Shortly after the beginning of each school year, the School invites parents to a reception. These are the School’s back-to-school meetings, held late in the afternoon. Parents follow an abbreviated version of their son’s daily schedule to gain an overview of his course work and to meet his teachers. Note: There are no formal parent-teacher conferences for students in the Upper School. Parents who wish to discuss their Upper School student’s progress should contact the student’s form advisor or individual teachers by email or telephone.
  • Bradley Commons

    The light-filled sitting area at the end of the top floor of Marriott Hall. Upper School students often study and relax in this open space, with views of Washington, D.C., the Little Field, and Washington National Cathedral. Bradley Commons is also used as a reception area during school events.
  • Bulldog Practice Field

    Located between the upper tennis courts and Steuart Field, the Bulldog Practice Field provides an additional half-size practice space for all teams. The field is a gift of the Parents' Association.
  • Cafritz Refectory

    The school’s dining room, located in the Lane-Johnston Building. Many dances, meeting, and events take place here.
  • Cathedral Close

    The area bounded by Wisconsin Avenue, 34th Street, Garfield Street, and Woodley Road. It includes the Washington National Cathedral, National Cathedral School, St. Albans, and Beauvoir. Together, these institutions form the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation (PECF). St. Alban’s Parish Church is also located on the Close, but it is an independent institution.
  • Cathedral Flower Mart

    A spring festival hosted by the Washington National Cathedral’s All Hallows Guild to benefit the Cathedral grounds and gardens. It is generally held on Friday and Saturday in the first weekend in May. This event highlights a different country each year with entertainment and displays. Plants, flowers, crafts, an antique merry-go-round, rides, games, and food make this a beloved spring event for the students of the Cathedral Schools. Traditionally, each of the Cathedral Schools hosts a booth.
  • Cathedral Pilgrim Gallery

    The seventh-floor observation gallery of the Washington National Cathedral.
  • Christmas House Tour

    This festive event, held on the first Friday and Saturday of December, combines a house tour, holiday luncheon, and sale of interesting holiday boutique gifts and crafts. The Christmas House Tour is open to the public and is always a great gathering place for genera - tions of Cathedral community members. Sponsored by the St. Albans Parents’ Association, the event raises funds to support faculty and staff.
  • Coordinate Program

    This partnership with the National Cathedral School for girls allows St. Albans students to benefit from coeducational opportunities in the arts, athletics, and academics.
  • Decker Terrace

    Located between the Steuart Building and the stage-area entrance to Trapier Theatre, students often use this outdoor space for socializing during free periods. Parent events are also held here periodically.
  • Field Day

    In mid-May, the Lower School hosts a Field Day; all boys belong to either the Blue Team or the White Team. Families who are able to attend this event will enjoy it.
  • Folger Games Deck

    The artificially turfed roof of the Lawrence Pool is used for recreation and team workouts.
  • Form

    St. Albans follows the English public school tradition of calling its grades forms. St. Albans offers classes for grades 4 through 12 and divides the program into Lower School (grades 4-8 = Forms C-II) and Upper School (grades 9-12 = Forms III-VI). (National Cathedral School offers classes for grades 4 through 12; their program is divided into Lower School [grades 4-6], Middle School [grades 7-8], and Upper School [grades 9-12].) Newcomers may find the list below helpful:

    Lower School

    Form C = Grade 4
    Form B = Grade 5
    Form A = Grade 6
    Form I = Grade 7
    Form II = Grade 8

    Upper School

    Form III = Grade 9
    Form IV = Grade 10
    Form V = Grade 11
    Form VI = Grade 12
  • Form Advisor

    A form advisor is a faculty member who serves as a student's academic advisor; students are assigned form advisors in Forms I and II.
  • Form Chair

    A parent volunteer who serves as the primary liaison between the school, the Parents’ Association, and fellow form parents. A complete description of the form chair’s duties and responsibilities appears in the Parents’ Association Handbook, available when logged into the website.
  • Form Dean

    The Form Dean is a faculty member with the primary responsibility for overseeing the life of the form on a variety of fronts, including academic work and discipline issues. In the Lower School, one dean works with Forms C, B, and A, and a second with Forms I and II. In the Upper School, one Form Dean is assigned to each grade.
  • Form Master

    In Lower School, the form master is the faculty member who serves as the lead form adviosr for the grade.
  • Frist Terrace

    The paved roof of Marriott Hall, opened to adults during special events, offering stunning views of Washington, D.C. and Washington National Cathedral.
  • Grant Meadow

    The grassy area on Garfield Street between the Activities Building and the baseball field.
  • Half-Sheet

    At the mid-point in a marking period, a Lower School teacher may send home a short report updating a boy's parents on that student's progress during the marking period. A half-sheet is sent when a teacher has concerns about a student's work or conduct in the class or when a teacher wishes to note particularly strong performance by the student.
  • Homecoming

    A homecoming for alumni and a general cel - ebration of the school’s families, this weekend features fall sport competitions, including a Saturday afternoon football game. Upper School students plan a formal, invitation-only dance.
  • Junior/Senior Prom and After-Prom

    A formal dance for students in Forms V and VI, normally held in late May or early June. Students invite dates. Form V and VI students, working with input from parents, plan the prom and, through fundraisers, finance the prom and after-prom event.
  • Kellogg Room

    Located on the first floor of the Activities Building, the Kellogg Room has long served as the meeting place of the Government Club.
  • Lane-Johnston Building

    The original school building, completed in 1907, houses the school’s administration, classrooms, meeting rooms, the dormitory, and the Cafritz Refectory.
  • Lessons and Carols

    The National Cathedral School and St. Albans Service of Lessons and Carols is a beautiful Christmas service for the students and families of both schools. The ser vice consists of nine readings interspersed with traditional carols and liturgical music performed by all of the National Cathedral School-St. Albans School performing arts groups. It is traditionally held on the Thursday evening just before winter break and is a not- to-miss occasion that celebrates the school community.
  • Little Field

    A small, outdoor practice field that is also used for events. It is bounded by Garfield Street, the Activities Building, and the south side of the True-Lucas Building.
  • Little Sanctuary

    St. Albans' chapel was built in 1902 to serve as a repository for furnishings for the future Cathedral. Today, the Upper School and Lower School each gather here for chapel services at least twice a week.
  • Manger Trophy Room

    Many parent events are held in this room, located on the second floor of the Activities Building.
  • Marriott Hall

    Completed in 2009, this Upper School academic building holds faculty offices, classrooms, Sam’s Bar, and the College Counseling and Upper School head’s offices.
  • Martin Gym

    Named in honor of Canon Charles Martin, Headmaster from 1949 to 1977, this is the newer and larger of St. Albans School’s two gyms. The facility hosts games for basketball, wrestling, and indoor soccer.
  • MORP

    A Form II dance held in late Ma y or early June; the name is “prom” backward
  • Music Room

    Students in the Performing Arts will frequently need access to this room located on the lower level of the True-Lucas Building.
  • NCS (National Cathedral School) Athletic Facility

    The Agnes Underwood Center contains state-of-the-art athletic facilities. It is located along Woodley Road down the hill from Beauvoir.
  • NCS Davis Conference Room

    The conference room adjacent to the dining room.
  • NCS Fall Festival/Homecoming

    NCS’s homecoming events include athletic contests for purple/gold, junior varsity, and varsity fall teams. Food, crafts, and games are available at the Fall Festival, run by NCS juniors and parents. All proceeds from food, craft, and game sales are traditionally used to finance the NCS Junior-Senior Prom. An informal Upper School homecoming dance is planned by students. St. Albans Upper School students are all invited.
  • NCS Hearst Auditorium

    The larger meeting space in the middle of the first floor of Hearst Hall.
  • NCS Hearst Hall

    The gray Beaux Arts building located at the northwest corner of the Close, near the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Woodley Road. Most NCS Upper School classes are held in this building. Many dances, performances, and meetings take place in this building. The Davis Room (located within the cafeteria on the lower level) and Hearst Parlor are located here.
  • NCS Hearst Parlor

    This meeting space, on the first floor of Hearst Hall, is located just to the right as you enter from the Cathedral side of the building
  • NCS Junior/Senior Prom

    A formal dance for NCS junior and senior students that is normally held in late May or early June. In the past, NCS junior students have planned and financed the prom as a gift for NCS seniors. Parents, with Parents Association support, separately plan and finance the after-prom activity.
  • NCS Whitby Hall

    The Lower School building at NCS, where NCS and St. Albans Middle School drama rehearsals and some NCS-St. Albans Lower School musical performances are held. Its entrance can be reached from Woodley Road between Wisconsin Avenue and 36th Street.
  • NCS Winter Formal

    A formal, invitation-only dance planned by, and for, all NCS Upper School students.
  • NCS Woodley North

    The red brick building located on the northeast corner of the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Woodley Road.
  • Parent Conferences

    The Lower School holds parent-teacher conferences in the fall at the conclusion of the First Quarter. Parents are invited to meet with their son’s homeroom teacher for Forms C, B, and A, or with their son’s advisor for Forms I and II. Note: There are no formal parent-teacher conferences for students in the Upper School. Parents who wish to discuss their Upper School student’s progress should contact the student’s master or individual teachers by e-mail or telephone.
  • Parent Dinner

    The school hosts an Upper and Lower School dinner for parents in late January or early February of each year. Parents have the chance to enjoy dinner with their son’s teachers, and the headmaster and the president of the St. Albans Parents’ Association speak to parents. The dinners begin in the library or Bradley Commons and continue in the Cafritz Refectory.
  • PECF

    The Protestant Episcopal Cathedral is the legal entity of which all institutions on the Close—including St. Albans School, National Cathedral School, Beauvoir School, and the Washington National Cathedral—are a part.
  • Pilgrim Road

    The one-way road entered from Massachusetts Avenue that fronts the Lower School entrance, passes by Senior Circle, and leads down to the playing fields and Garfield Street.
  • Pilgrim Steps

    The outdoor staircase leading from the Cathedral's south transept to Pilgrim Road and the George Washington statue.
  • Prefect

    A student-elected class officer.
  • Prison Yard

    The name given to the turfed area on Pilgrim Road directly across from the Lower School entrance.
  • Prize Day

    Prize Day occurs on the day before Commencement. It recognizes students for academic leadership as well as achievements in citizenship and other areas of school life. The Lower School holds its Prize Day early in the afternoon; the Upper School holds its later in the afternoon. All parents are invited to attend.
  • Refectory

    See Cafritz Refectory.
  • Saint Albans News

    The student newspaper issued six times per year.
  • Sam's Bar

    A gathering place for National Cathedral School and St. Albans students. Located on the ground floor of Marriott Hall, and run by St. Albans Food Services, food and beverages are available for purchase at stated times during and after the school day, Monday through Friday. Sam’s Bar operates on a cash basis only. This snack bar was founded by and eventually named after Sam Hoffman, who taught chemistry and coached the track and cross-country teams for twenty-three years.
  • Senior Circle

    The name of the circular drive by the Little Sanctuary, the Lane-Johnston Building, and Marriott Hall. The patio here is a frequent gathering place for students.
  • STA

    St. Albans School.
  • Steuart Field

    The upper level multisport field contains a regulation, synthetic grass field for football, soccer, and lacrosse. 
  • STRIVE Campaign

    The school is in the midst of this $50 million campaign to raise funds for Annual Giving, endowment, and the athletic fields. Learn more about the campaign at
  • Tennis Center

    Seven clay tennis courts are located on the middle and lower tiers, near the intersection of Garfield and 34th Street. A Tennis Center at the courts' Garfield Street entrance includes dressing rooms, equiptment shop, and the Tennis Club office.
  • Trapier Theater

    Trapier Theater serves as the stage for the com - bined National Cathedral School-St. Albans Performing Arts Program. Trapier is located beneath the St. Albans Ellison Library. Trapier may be reached from Senior Circle by entering Marriott Hall, traveling halfway down the hall to the first staircase, and going down two levels.
  • Trophy Room

    See Manger Trophy Room.
  • Vestry

    A group of student wardens who assist the chaplains and sometimes lead chapel services.
Located in Washington D.C.,  St. Albans School is a private, all boys day and boarding school. For more than a century, St. Albans has offered a distinctive educational experience for young men in grades 4 through 12. While our students reach exceptional academic goals and exhibit first-rate athletic and artistic achievements, as an Episcopal school we place equal emphasis upon moral and spiritual education.