The White House announced today that President Trump’s youngest son, 11-year-old Barron, will attend the private St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, Md., this fall.
Barron and his mother, Melania Trump, have been living at Trump Tower in New York throughout Trump’s presidency. The announcement ends speculation that they would remain in New York during the entire presidency; Barron will be the first presidential son to live at the White House since John F. Kennedy, Jr.
St. Andrew’s is a coed, college-preparatory Episcopal school founded in 1978. The school enrolls 580 students from preschool through 12th grade, with all but the youngest grades on a 19-acre campus about 15 miles northwest of the White House.
“We are very excited for our son to attend St. Andrew’s Episcopal School,” the first lady said in a statement. “It is known for its diverse community and commitment to academic excellence. The mission of St. Andrew’s is ‘to know and inspire each child in an inclusive community dedicated to exceptional teaching, learning, and service,’ all of which appealed to our family. We look forward to the coming school years at St. Andrew’s.”
The Washington Post reports that Barron will start at the school as a sixth grader; middle-school tuition for the coming year is $38,590.
The move to D.C. for the president’s family could reduce costs and burdens on law enforcement agencies. The New York Times reports that New York City police have spent “an estimated $127,000 to $145,000 a day” protecting Melania and Barron since Trump took office. Having the Trumps reunited at the White House will also simplify demands on the Secret Service; the Times reports “the unusually high number of New York-based Trumps in need of protection has required agents from across the country to set aside criminal investigations to fly to the city for two-week protection stints.”
In a letter sent to St. Andrew’s families today and published by the Post, the school’s administrators emphasized the school’s “inclusive” mission and values. “As we came to know Barron through the admission process, it became clear that he, like all of our newly enrolled students, will be a great addition to St. Andrew’s,” the letter said.
The school a president’s children will attend — especially the question of whether it is public or private — is a choice often scrutinized.
Many presidential kids have gone to the private Sidwell Friends, a Quaker school in Northwest Washington, D.C., and Bethesda, Md. In addition to Chelsea Clinton and Malia and Sasha Obama, President Nixon’s daughter Tricia and Vice President Al Gore’s son Albert Gore III went there. Three of former Vice President Joe Biden’s granddaughters were classmates of the Obama girls.
When President Jimmy Carter moved to the White House in 1977, he and his wife Rosalynn did something rare: They sent nine-year-old Amy to a predominantly black D.C. public school. Amy was the first child of a president to attend a public school since 1906, when one of President Teddy Roosevelt’s sons went to a school in the district.
Sending Amy to public school was “a statement of principle,” according to Carter’s press director.
In his speech accepting the Democratic nomination the previous year, Carter had criticized “a political economic elite who have shaped decisions and never had to account for mistakes or to suffer from injustice.”
“When the public schools are inferior or torn by strife,” said Carter, “their children go to exclusive private schools.”