The Episcopal School of Acadiana was established in 1979, with Middle and Upper Schools for grades 6 through 12. ESA’s founders emphasized three main pillars: the best academic program in our geographic area; an institution drawing on the history and traditions of the Christian church; and a solid athletic program with intramural and varsity teams. In August of 1979, eleven teachers and 87 students met in the basement of the First Baptist Church in Lafayette, Louisiana.
In 1980, ESA moved to a new campus in Cade, Louisiana. The seventy-five acre (now one hundred acre) site donated by Mrs. Betty Smedes Jardine had once housed the Smedes Brothers Sugar Mill.
As the campus was formed, small classroom buildings were placed amid beautiful live oak trees. Instead of hallways, students walk outdoors from class to class, and eat their lunches at shaded picnic tables. The summer camp feel is one of the things students and teachers love best about the Cade campus.
In 2004, ESA opened a Lower School in Lafayette to serve grades PK3 through 5. Its program is founded on the Schoolwide Enrichment Model, a model developed by Joseph Renzulli of the University of Connecticut, a leader in the field of gifted education, and emphasizes independence, problem-solving, creative thinking and continued progress for every child in the program - priorities that are mirrored in the Middle and Upper Schools.
The Lafayette Campus is on the site of the former home of the LAFCO Boats Company. Clasrooms occupy the building closest to the Vermilion River, while the Enrichment Center at the front of campus houses the library, chapel space, music, art, science, technology, drama, the Learning Center, the Admissions Office and administrative offices.
ESA celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2019. As the school has grown, so have its standards and reputation for academic excellence. It has steadfastly maintained its strong record of college placement, sense of Christian community, Honor Code, and trusting relationship between teachers and students.