A Higher Devotion To Excellence Since 1952.

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Welcome To St. James Academy Preschool Program

Our goal is to ensure that your children's first school experiences are filled with love, laughter, and learning. Just as we strive to build a close relationship with each of our students, we will seek to form a close relationship with the parents or guardians of each child. We believe that parents, as primary caregivers, are most familiar with the unique needs of their children and that we can best serve your child by obtaining your insight into your children's needs.  

Program Overview & Resources

Class Structure & Curriculum

ReadingA Class With Purpose...

We believe in a balanced program of child-centered and teacher-directed learning activities. We aspire to create a developmentally appropriate classroom that builds on your child's natural curiosity. Our program provides a solid foundation for our children's cognitive, social, emotional, physical, creative, and spiritual growth. Our teachers are committed to nurturing individual growth and to developing a life-long love for learning in each child.

In the Preschool classroom, you will find numerous learning centers carefully created to meet the individual interests and needs of our children.

Our Teachers

Mrs. Christine Leo - Preschool Director, Preschool Teacher (Wednesday, Friday)

I'm so happy to have found a home with St. James Academy. My family and I relocated from NYC and feel blessed to have found such a wonderful community. My three children attend St. James. I have always wanted them to have the same positive experience I had attending catholic school. I'm a graduate of St. Francis College and hold a BA in Psychology. I have seven years of teaching experience ranging from K – 2nd grade. I look forward to growing with our community.

You can get in touch with me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mrs. Laurie Saunders - Preschool Teacher (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday)

 I have been teaching preschool for 13 years in Solana Beach. This is my 3rd year at St. James. I have been a parishioner here for 25 years and am thrilled to be a teacher in the preschool. I graduated from USC with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration and completed my early childhood education at Mira Costa College. I have been married to my husband for 29 years and we are blessed with 3 wonderful children, Andrew 26, Jessica 24, and Timmy 20. I'm looking forward to a wonderful year with the adorable preschool children!

 You can get in touch with me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mrs. Cindy Velasco-Preschool Teacher (Tuesday, Thursday)

I am so pleased to be returning to SJA Preschool this year. My teaching history began some years ago and included the following experiences and job assignments: Here at SJA, I taught 6th grade for 6 years; 4 solo and 2 with our Co/Principal, Christine Lang. I can now add 1 year of Preschool under my belt as well.  Before coming to SJA, I taught 2 years of third grade and 9 years of middle school at Saint John in Encinitas. I began my teaching career 20 plus years ago in the San Bernardino area. I was a teacher in 3rd, 6th and 7th grade over a five year period. As for my credentials, I received a liberal arts degree from Cal Poly Pomona and a California Teaching Credential from Cal State San Bernardino. I absolutely love teaching and especially appreciate teaching in places where combining classroom instruction and my Christian/Catholic faith is accepted and welcomed. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your child's preschool experience this year. I promise to do my utmost in making this year enjoyable and welcoming for both you and your children.

You can get in touch with me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Coach Bohman- Physical Education Teacher (Monday-Friday mornings 9:15-9:30am)

I love being a part of our SJA family!! This is my 6th year as Athletic Director and PE teacher at St James, and I love my job!! One of the most enjoyable parts is being able to teach preschool PE each day! Enjoying - Empowering - Enduring... A lifestyle of healthiness in heart, body, mind, emotions and relationships... That's our goal in PE! We call it being "Fit to Lead!" I attended the University of Colorado and played basketball there, earning a degree in Sociology. I then attended Baylor University earning a Master's degree in Sport Pedagogy. Finally earning my teaching credential in both Physical Education and Social Science through the University of San Diego. Prior to coming to St James, I was a youth pastor for 3 years and taught "Fitness Fun" classes each week to our preschool children.

You can get in touch with me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Preschool Admission & Important Forms

Join The St. James Academy Preschool Community

We look forward to sharing our commitment to nurturing individual growth and to developing a life-long love for learning with your child and family. St. James Academy Preschool offers competitive tuition rates. Contact us to schedule a tour or discuss any questions at (858) 755-1777. Our Facility License Number is 376700822.

Preschool Application Process

The child must be three years of age by September 1, 2018 to enroll in our preschool.  Children must also be potty trained and a copy of the child's Birth Certificate or Baptismal Certificate must accompany the original. Preschool Application 2018-2019

Once applications (accompanied by birth certificate or baptismal certificate) are turned in, if there is a spot for that student in the class available, I (Preschool Director Christine Leo) will contact that family and request a Registration Fee and completed Preschool Registration, Commitment, Tuition, and Payment Agreement form to hold that student's spot. Students who have siblings in the school and are parishioners will have priority.

After the student's spot is secured, I will get in touch with your family requesting multiple forms to complete their child's file before Orientation (which happens before school year begins at end of summer).  The student must have a complete file before beginning school.  In addition to the forms for their files, (see below) we will need a copy of your child's Immunization Record (yellow card).

Docs/Forms to complete an entire preschool file:


Payments & Daycare Information

Monthly payments are handled through FACTS. If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Cooper at 858-755-1777 ext. 12.

There is no morning daycare available for preschool students.

If you would like your child to partake in the academy's after school program starting at 3pm, please add your child's teacher to your LIC 700 form so that they may escort them to after school daycare.

Daily Schedules

Building BlocksDaily Activities & Checkpoints

Each week your child will also engage in small group teacher directed learning activities that are focused on specific academic skills in art, math, language arts, and the development of fine and gross motor skills. With our facilities, experience, and dedication, you can expect the best education for your child.

We believe in a balanced program of child-centered and teacher-directed learning activities. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with us to check out our fun-filled classroom!

Required Supply List & Wish List

Some of our favorite things...


Together we can make sure St. James Academy's Preschool class has a great year! Please see below for our required supply list. Please bring these items on orientation. We've also provided a "Wish List" of items our class could really benefit from.

Required Supply List

In order to purchase in bulk and save money, all preschool and pre-kindergarten students are asked to pay $50 for their supplies for the 2016-2017 school year. This payment will cover the cost of glue, glue sticks, pencils, pencil sharpeners, crayons, babywipes, disinfectant cleaner, tissues, watercolors, scissors, markers, dry erase markers, erasers, large and small ziplock bags, and individual binders. Please turn in your payment by orientation.

  • Each student should have (1) Change of clothes including shoes (seasonally appropriate AND with your child’s name on each item placed in a large ziplock bag ALSO labeled with your child's name)
  • Please provide your child with a healthy snack on all school days and lunch if your childs attends the full day program.  All students should  have labeled nalgenes/waterbottles in addition to their food. Candy and Soda is not permitted.

*If your child is in school 12-2:45pm: Please provide a fitted crib sheet and small blanket also labeled with your child's name on the items.

The preschool would appreciate any of the following items:

Baby doll clothes

Listening center children's story and cd

Kind Words About Us...

"One of the greatest benefits of a St. James Academy education is the commitment of faculty to continued personal growth."

"St. James Academy promotes a spirit of enthusiasm that fosters a sense of community thereby maintaining a strong Catholic mission."

"St. James Academy did an excellent job at incorporating a variety of supplemental texts, materials and methods to meet the needs of the students and their various learning styles!"

"They integrate Christian values into the curriculum, with an emphasis on spiritual development, positive approach to discipline and community building activities."

Schedule Tour

St. James Academy is a private Catholic school in North County, San Diego. If you are searching for the premier preschool, elementary school or junior high school in proximity to Encinitas, Del Mar, and Solana Beach, contact us today!