Episcopal School of Jacksonville (ESJ) and Beaches Episcopal School (BES) announced December 14 that the two schools will become one on July 1, 2020. After thorough discussion and an in-depth review, the governing boards of ESJ and BES, the Diocese of Florida, and St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church voted unanimously to merge BES into ESJ to continue their mutual mission of Episcopal Christian education. A legal agreement was signed on December 13. Both schools believe this combination advances the passion and commitment each school has to quality education, which benefits our students and families, as well as the faculty and staff, and the greater Jacksonville community. Episcopal and BES appreciate the guidance, leadership, and care during this process of The Right Reverend Samuel Johnson Howard, Bishop of the Diocese of Florida, and the Rector and Vestry of St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church. The two schools will spend the 2019-2020 school year working on the operational implications of the merger. BES will continue to operate as an independent school through June 30, 2020, after which time it will be fully merged into ESJ. Following in the spirit of their Founders and in the pursuit of fulfilling their missions, both Episcopal and BES remain committed to serving students and helping them to reach their full potential while pursuing a life of leadership and purpose. Together, as one school, we know that this mission will only be further strengthened as we build on more than one hundred combined years of academic excellence.