Federal

Trump’s Youngest Son Joins Back-to-School Crowd

By Alyson Klein — September 05, 2017 4 min read
President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and their son Barron Trump, 11, walk across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, on Aug. 27, following their return from the Presidential retreat at Camp David, Md.

As millions of students start the 2017-18 school year, their ranks will include Barron Trump, the president’s youngest son, who heads off to a private school in the Washington suburbs.

Barron, 11, remained in New York City even after his father became president to finish out the school year at the Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in Manhattan. But this fall, he’ll start classes at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, Md. In fact, Sept. 5 was the scheduled first full day of the school year, according to St. Andrew’s website.

Historically, schools that have taken on the task of educating presidential children have had to consider things like student privacy and security. So how well will Barron—and the school—adjust to the new arrangement?

Richard Jung, the executive director of the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington, expects the school will do everything to ensure that Barron’s experience is as normal as possible.

That seems to be what happened when the Clinton and Obama families sent their daughters to Sidwell Friends School, a Quaker school with campuses in the District of Columbia and suburban Maryland. (The Obamas are sticking around the nation’s capital so that Sasha Obama, their younger daughter, can finish her education there.)

There may have been an “extra charge” in the air at Sidwell when Chelsea Clinton and the Obama children enrolled, Jung said. But ultimately, “the kids did very well,” he said.

Personalized Experience

A spokesman for St. Andrews’ declined to comment. Sidwell Friends also declined to comment.

St. Andrew’s likely will be looking for a way to personalize Barron’s experience—because that’s what the school does for all its students, Jung said.

St. Andrew’s website highlights its connection with Research Schools International, which is led by faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

The school also partners with the brain-research team at Johns Hopkins University. St. Andrew’s is known for its Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning, which helps tailor instruction to students’ individual learning needs, whether they are high achievers or in need of more academic support. St. Andrew’s graduates often go on to Ivy League colleges, according to its website.

“St. Andrew’s is set up to make adjustments for individual kids. It wouldn’t be unique to Barron” and his status as the son of a president, Jung said. “It’s a hallmark of the school.”

St. Andrew’s is particularly interested in training its teachers on brain science and how it can be applied in the classroom, he said. “They really walk the walk on this.”

And he thinks the school is just far enough removed from Washington to allow Barron to get a break from the pressures of being the first kid. “I’m very, very happy for the boy,” he said.

St. Andrew’s has about 580 students, according to its website, making it a medium- to large-sized private school for the Washington area. The student-teacher ratio is 6-to-1, a lot lower than the national average of 16.1-to-1 in 2013, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. And tuition at St. Andrew’s runs from $23,490 for prekindergarten to $40,650 for high school.

Historical Perspective

So far, the Trump family seems to have put a premium on Barron’s privacy, which is not so different from how the two most recent presidents with minor children—Bill Clinton and Barack Obama—handled the challenge of raising a child in the White House.

“Presidential parents such as the Clintons and Obamas have worked to ensure that their children are given secure, private space within the [White House] as well as opportunities to interact openly but privately with peers inside and outside the building and (where possible) in school,” said Edward G. Lengel, the chief historian for the White House Historical Association, a nonprofit.

In recent years, presidential children have attended area private schools. But that wasn’t always the case, Lengel said. Quentin Roosevelt, Charlie Taft, and Amy Carter all attended District of Columbia public schools. And President John F. Kennedy’s family turned the White House solarium into a classroom. Their own children attended school there alongside the children of other government officials.

The Kennedys “were the only first family to use this as an actual schoolroom adhering to the regulations and academic requirements of D.C. public schools,” Lengel said.

The need for privacy was part of the reason the Kennedys choose to home-school their children in the White House, Lengel said. But that, too, wasn’t necessary until relatively recently.

“Until the 20th century, presidential children lived very much in the public eye and without much attention to security,” Lengel said. “By the mid-20th century and beyond, however, security for presidential families became a round-the-clock affair, and as media scrutiny increased, privacy became nearly impossible outside the actual confines of the White House.”

St. Andrew’s won’t be working alone in protecting Barron’s privacy and security, said Lengel’s colleague, Evan Phifer, a research historian.

“Balancing privacy, education, and security is an effort that incorporates cooperation between schools, first families, and Secret Service,” he said.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the September 06, 2017 edition of Education Week as President’s Youngest Son Joins Back-to-School Crowd

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Culturally Relevant Pedagogy to Advance Educational Equity
Schools are welcoming students back into buildings for full-time in-person instruction in a few short weeks and now is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and systems to build
Content provided by PowerMyLearning
Classroom Technology Webinar Making Big Technology Decisions: Advice for District Leaders, Principals, and Teachers
Educators at all levels make decisions that can have a huge impact on students. That’s especially true when it comes to the use of technology, which was activated like never before to help students learn
Professional Development Webinar Expand Digital Learning by Expanding Teacher Training
This discussion will examine how things have changed and offer guidance on smart, cost-effective ways to expand digital learning efforts and train teachers to maximize the use of new technologies for learning.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal How Political Backlash to Critical Race Theory Reached School Reopening Guidance
A lawmaker wants Miguel Cardona to repudiate the Abolitionist Teaching Network after federal COVID-19 documents referenced the group's work.
6 min read
Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., is seen at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on March 9, 2021 in Washington.
Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., is seen at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on March 9, 2021 in Washington.<br/>
Graeme Sloan/SIPA USA via AP
Federal Biden Team: Schools Can Go Beyond Trump Rules in Response to Alleged Sexual Misconduct
The Education Department's guidance, released July 20, states that Title IX rules from 2020 lay out "minimum steps" for educators.
3 min read
Symbols of gender.
iStock/Getty
Federal Fact Check: After Furor Over 1619 Project, Feds Adjust History and Civics Grant Plans
A previously obscure history and civics program has weathered a political storm, but what exactly has changed?
4 min read
Education secretary nominee Miguel Cardona speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on his nomination on Feb. 3, 2021, in Washington.
Education secretary nominee Miguel Cardona speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on his nomination on Feb. 3, 2021, in Washington.
Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times via AP
Federal 'Stop CRT' Bill, Votes in Congress Add to Political Drama Over Critical Race Theory
Sen. Tom Cotton's legislation and votes about critical race theory in the House underscore the issue's potency in Washington.
5 min read
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., speaks during a hearing to examine United States Special Operations Command and United States Cyber Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for fiscal year 2022 and the Future Years Defense Program, on Capitol Hill, Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Washington.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill March 25 in Washington.
Andrew Harnik/AP