Around F.C.

Saint James School Wins Blue Ribbon Award

Saint James Catholic School (830 W. Broad St., Falls Church) has been recognized as a high-performing National Blue Ribbon School for 2020.

The award highlights the exemplary achievements of students, educators, families and the larger community at St. James.

Only 50 non-public schools are recognized annually. This is the third time, the second in the last eight years, that St. James has received this distinguished recognition.

“This recognition is an incredible honor and speaks to the steadfast dedication of our administration, teachers and entire school community. Ultimately, everything we do is focused on offering the highest standard of individualized and holistic instruction to each and every student under our care,” said Sister Mary Sue Carwile, principal of St. James. “We know the pressures on young people, particularly today, are unprecedented. Our goal is to equip students not only to meet the challenges presented to them today but to excel and bring the hope of Christ to our communities as they grow.”

St. James has an enrollment of 421 students for the 2020-21 academic year.
This year, the school reopened for full-time in-person instruction. Students were phased in for the new year two to three grades per day to allow them the opportunity to learn new protocols.

The school implemented a host of mitigation efforts to welcome students back safely and consistent with social distancing guidelines. Students and teachers are required to wear two-ply face masks. Hand sanitizer is outside every classroom, and touchless water filling stations are throughout the halls. The windows in each classroom have exhaust fans for added ventilation, and the school is using MERV 13 filtration in the HVAC.

Classrooms have see-through plastic shields on each desk for added safety.
“We were thrilled to learn that St. James was selected as a national Blue Ribbon school yet again. This distinctive recognition is an acknowledgment of the mission-focused commitment to every student that is a hallmark of this remarkable school community,” added Dr. Joseph Vorbach III, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Diocese of Arlington.

The 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony will be held virtually on Nov. 12 and 13, 2020. Schools will each receive their plaques and flags via U.S. mail.

For more information on Saint James Catholic School, visit