St. Johns Country Day School

Advising & Character Development

At St. Johns, we are character driven. Driven to treat each other with compassion and respect. To conduct ourselves with integrity, courtesy, and sportsmanship. To welcome everyone into our community and then to look out for, and encourage, one another. As educators, we are driven to teach, model, and inspire character development in our students and to make it as important a goal as academic, athletic, and artistic development. Character is exhibited everywhere on campus, and it is taught everywhere—and at all ages—too.

How exactly do we teach it? Lower Schoolers are introduced to concepts such as honesty, etiquette, caring, fairness, tolerance, and responsibility through the character trait of the month, which is discussed in homerooms and division assemblies. As students mature, our character education curriculum grows with them. It is a focus of the Middle and Upper School advising programs, which bring students together in large and small groups to address issues in age-appropriate ways. A student Honor Board supports an Honor Code by having students support and educate each other. Character is taught intentionally in courses from Grade 6's Personal Development to Upper School Ethics. It is talked about by visiting speakers and among peers. And it is simply, but significantly, reinforced by faculty, who offer support, feedback, and examples of good character on a daily basis.

Will you know "character" when you see—or hear—it? Absolutely. It's as obvious as an open door, held for friends, teachers, or strangers. It's as quiet as support for a community member in need and as loud as morning flag raising. It's invisibly but indelibly written with the honor pledge on assignments.

St. Johns students live up to our community's high expectations for character. They take pride in the character they develop and then take it with them as they become successful college students and citizens of the world.

Advisor Program

The promise that your child will be known and loved is one that we are serious about at St. Johns, and our advisor program is one way we honor that promise. As is common to all advisor programs, our aim is to create a one-on-one relationship between students and caring teachers. Advisors extend themselves to the students, not as buddies, but as adults willing to go the extra step -- to be available to students when they need an advocate, a sympathetic ear or an accurate sounding board.

Middle School advisor groups meet every Monday of the month unless an interfaith assembly is being held. Additionally, students meet with advisors on Friday mornings following full Middle School meetings at the Chapel Oak. Students are assigned an advisor who is either part of the grade level teaching team or a resource teacher to the grade. Topics chosen for discussion address the unique needs of a middle school student. Lessons run the gamut from personal/social to academic, and always include a discussion about citizenship and strong character. Activities and games that create interaction among the advisees often are planned for fun and to help build stronger relationships among group members.

Middle School advisors are involved directly in the academic program of their grade level advisees, and therefore are strategically able to address student progress throughout the quarter. This is especially important as the students learn to practice greater independence in the middle school years. The advisor attends parent conferences and welcomes a partnership with the parents to foster the student’s optimum academic and social experiences in Middle School.

Upper School advisors are trained in the specific activities and expectations unique to the grade level they advise. Advisor groups meet formally once per month. Each meeting includes lessons designed to encourage peer interaction and critical thinking about topics relevant to teens. Additionally, advisors meet one-on-one regularly with their advisees, and have informal contact throughout the month. Since advisors receive and review student grades regularly, academic concerns are discussed and addressed in a timely fashion. Advisors encourage a strong partnership with parents, hoping that parents will contact them with questions and concerns.

Honor Code

St. Johns students are required to maintain the highest standard of integrity, one of personal honesty and independence. By acceptable self-conduct, a student assists fellow students to abide by a proper set of values which is expected in a school environment and by society at large.

Students shall not engage in any of the following: giving or receiving information on tests, quizzes or any other graded assignment unless otherwise allowed by the teacher; plagiarism; theft or vandalism of school property or of another individual’s private property; harassment of others; lying, or dishonorable actions of any kind.

Recognizing that the existence of an honorable community requires the participation and support of all its members, it is expected that a student will report a violation when witnessed. This may be done confidentially to a teacher, an advisor, a guidance counselor, or an administrator.

Students will receive a written policy and procedures statement from each subject matter teacher. The statement will outline academic honesty policies specific to the teacher’s class.

HONOR PLEDGE

“I pledge that I have neither given nor received unauthorized help on this assignment.”

Honor Council

The purpose of the Honor Council will be to recommend to the Headmaster the retention, dismissal or expulsion of those students found by the Dean to be in violation of the school’s Standards of Conduct.

COMPOSITION OF
THE COUNCIL

3 Seniors
2 Juniors
1 Sophomore
1 Freshman
1 Eighth grader
(non-voting member unless case involves a middle school student)

1 Faculty Chairperson
2 Faculty Members
(MS or US, as appropriate)

Portrait of a Graduate


HOW CAN YOU RECOGNIZE GRADUATES
OF ST. JOHNS COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL?

St. Johns graduates have the drive to thrive . They meet the social and academic challenges of the 21st century at a level that sets them apart from their contemporaries. St. Johns sets the bar high, and students are eager to sail over it. While they soak up varied subjects at varied levels in a superior college-prep curriculum, students also collaborate and make connections, think critically and speak publicly—developing skills for the long term, not just “the test.”Hard-working and goal-oriented, they take their motivation from the classroom and lab to the playingfield, studio, and stage. Inquisitive and independent, St. Johns students view challenges as opportunities and failures as learning experiences. They go on to fulfilling futures as collegians and citizens of the world.

Well-rounded, comfortable in diverse situations, and versatile in talent, St. Johns graduates can do everything and become anything. The St. Johns version of “straight A’s” goes beyond the usual academics, athletics, and arts straight through to “anything.” At St. Johns, students can do all the things that interest them and discover new interests and talents they didn’t know they had. Safely and joyfully busy, they learn to manage their time effectively in order to achieve their goals. They have become not only well-rounded individuals but also engaged and engaging people eager to participate in and make contributions to all that life offers.

St. Johns graduates are character driven. At St. Johns, who students become is just as remarkable as what they become. In a school setting where courtesy, sportsmanship, integrity, compassion, and acceptance are taught, modeled, and expected, students become polite and poised, down-to-earth and downright friendly, looking out for one another. Self-assured with one another and with adults, with being leaders, and with advocating on their own behalf, they follow through, even in the face of challenges, and do not give up on themselves or others. St. Johns graduates are confident individuals who are self-reliant enough to greet the future as self-assured, poised young adults.

St. Johns graduates recognize the value of their investment. The best investment money can buy isn’t about money. At St. Johns Country Day School it’s about good people and a great education opening doors for students and instilling the character and confidence to walk through them. Having benefitted from a challenging academic program, plentiful and accessible sports, arts, and other enriching activities, the encouragement to find and develop all their talents, a peaceful and safe campus, and a caring community, St. Johns graduates appreciate the reward of their St. Johns education. And they reinvest it in their future.

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