This week, St. Johns is celebrating our Varsity Baseball team, which finished out its 2021 season as Regional Champions and State Runners-Up in the FHSAA 2A finals last week in Ft. Myers.

Under the direction of Head Coach Tom Lucas, the team finished its season 24-7, the highest win total in program history, and with the first regional championship and first state title game appearance in school history. We know more great things are still to come from this impressive group of hardworking athletes.

This year alone, Spartan athletic teams in 20 sports have earned 10 district championships, 11 regional appearances, six state appearances, two state runners up, and one state championship.

And for our younger Spartans who aren't quite ready for Middle School, Junior Varsity, or Varsity athletics, St. Johns is pleased to offer Sparty Sports, athletic development, sports training, and good plain fun for students in Grades K-5.

We hope to see you on campus very soon for your personal tour of our beautiful campus, and to talk about what the St. Johns Experience can do for your child. And do be sure to follow us on InstagramFacebookTwitter, or Vimeo to keep up on all the latest.

 

Scholastic National Silver Medal winner Natalie Higingbotham '21 with her AP Portfolio.

    Scholastic National Silver Medal   
    winner Natalie Higingbotham '21
              with her AP Portfolio.

     This spring, St. Johns was thrilled to celebrate our 29 students who were recognized in the 2021 Scholastic Art Awards. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens and its alumni include beloved author and illustrator Robert McCloskey, pop icon Andy Warhol, and director and producer Ken Burns.

     Each year, St. Johns art students in Grades 7-12 spend months preparing pieces and portfolios for submission in the fall. From ceramics and printmaking to film and industrial design, there’s a category for everything and St. Johns students enter and excel in many of them. Work is blindly adjudicated locally and nationally by panels of judges comprised of renowned artists, authors, educators and industry experts and judged on originality, technical skill, and emergence of personal vision or voice.

     This year, nearly 230,000 works were entered into the 28 award categories by students from every state in the nation, and our 29 Spartans garnered 39 awards, including 12 Silver Key, 3 Gold Keys, and a National Silver Key.

     To learn more about how St. Johns celebrates the arts, visit our campus for a personal tour. Reserve your spot today at sjcds.net/visit, or email admissions@sjcds.net. And you can read more about the Scholastic Art Awards at sjcds.net/news.

     Next to a personal tour, one of the best ways to get to know St. Johns is to follow us on social media. Take a moment to follow us FacebookInstagramTwitter, or Vimeo to keep up on all the latest. 

 

     As we move through the final month of what has been a very unique year, everyone at St. Johns is turning their focus to a topic of national concern—student mental health. May is Mental Health Month, when we shine a spotlight on things we can do as parents and educators to support young people during times of crisis and to arm our students with the tools they need to navigate challenging situations.

     At St. Johns, we define wellness as focusing on the whole person—mind and body. Over the past year, we have restructured our Student Services department to include multiple counseling and academic support disciplines. Many institutions are attempting to educate students with a “one and done” solution—by providing a one-time conference, assembly, or scripted curriculum. But developmentally, students need consistent messaging and ongoing education to elicit behavior change. By beginning in the Lower School with our Caring School Community program, our teachers introduce age-appropriate topics including kindness, compassion, and differences. That’s followed by the Middle School wellness classes which elaborate on this basic foundation by providing a clear, consistent message about what it means to be a compassionate, kind, confident individual who can accept differences without compromising their values. All of these lessons are reinforced and repeated throughout the Upper School years, with elaboration and reiteration, for example, about simple mindfulness strategies that can reduce stress and anxiety. We hope that, upon graduation from St. Johns, our students are knowledgeable about who they are, educated on what the world will present, and confident to make life decisions.

     Learn more about Caring School Community, our Student Services department, and the rest of the St. Johns Experience by visiting campus for a personal tour. Reserve your spot today at sjcds.net/visit, or email admissions@sjcds.net. And you can read more about our cutting edge Student Services team at sjcds.net/snapshots

     Next to a personal tour, one of the best ways to get to know St. Johns is to follow us on social media. Take a moment to follow us Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Vimeo to keep up on all the latest. 

This week, we’re talking about this Saturday, May 1st—National College Decision Day. College Decision Day is the deadline high school seniors across the country generally have to make a decision about their future and decide which college they will attend.

     We love College Decision Day because it really shines a spotlight on the amazing college counseling experience we provide here at St. Johns, working with each student from Grade 8 onwards to help them home in on the school that’s just right for them. And we know our program works based on the great results they get. Whether it’s a small liberal arts school in the midwest or a big public research university on the coast, St. Johns seniors apply and get accepted to all kinds of schools across the country and around the world.

     This year, our 62 seniors applied to 141 colleges & universities and were accepted to schools ranging from the University of California Berkeley and the University of Michigan to Northwestern and Davidson College. Just looking at two schools many of our seniors apply to—Florida State University and the University of Florida—75% of St. Johns’ applicants to these schools were accepted this year compared with published rates of 37% for both. And our students received all kinds of scholarships, ranging from Army ROTC to athletics, with just about everything in between.

     I hope you’ll join us in celebrating our seniors—and the rest of our amazing students--as this most unusual school year winds down.

     We look forward to working with you to help your child succeed at St. Johns, too. Come take a personal tour and let us show you what the St. Johns Experience is all about. Reserve your spot today at sjcds.net/visit, or email admissions@sjcds.net

     Next to a personal tour, one of the best ways to get to know St. Johns is to follow us on social media. Take a moment to follow us Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Vimeo to keep up on all the latest.

St. Johns is built upon a foundation of helping students reach their full potential in a supportive and rigorous learning environment. Our commitment to helping every student succeed is further strengthened by our cutting-edge Student Services team. Led by dedicated and experienced learning specialists and counselors, the team recognizes the needs of the whole child by offering social-emotional support as well as academic enrichment and remediation. 

Counselors

St. Johns’ counselors assist students with personal issues and social concerns in a safe, confidential environment where students experience growth and healing by learning and practicing healthy and appropriate problem-solving skills. Counselors work closely with teachers to ensure students who have identified learning differences receive classroom accommodations as needed. 

Learning Specialists

Learning Specialists empower students, teachers, and parents to access resources and strategies that will assist them in achieving their full potential in the classroom and beyond. Individualized and small group math and literacy instruction are customized using technology resources and research-based programs such as Orton-Gillingham, Read Naturally, and Text Help. Organizational, time management, and study skills are also services offered. Learning Specialists coordinate faculty and peer tutoring services to foster student success.  

Curriculum Support

In collaboration with the School’s Wellness department, the Student Services team facilitates programs that address topics including physical and mental health, equity and inclusion, relationship-building, and values statements. St. Johns believes that teaching our students age-appropriate interpersonal skills will serve them well while they are here with us on campus, in college, and beyond.

Parent Education

The partnership between home and school is imperative to the success of any educational program. St. Johns’ Student Services team provides informational workshops for parents, communicates the monthly focus of the Character Foundations program and offers suggestions for parents to partner with the school in promoting character development, and routinely meets with parents and teachers to discuss student progress and plan for student success.
 

This week, we’re looking at an amazing Upper School program, our Fellowships. Open to any Upper School (Grades 9-12) student, Fellowships are an exciting opportunity for students to explore opportunities specific to their areas of interest. Fellowship programs allow students to pursue their passion for a particular topic and explore deeply into targeted areas. 

For each Fellowship, dedicated mentors help St. Johns Fellows access distinctive learning opportunities, envision research-based projects, and pursue off-campus networking, internship, or service opportunities. Diverse online study opportunities enhance the experience, acclimate students to the increasingly common online learning environment, and give the access to unique course offerings related to the Fellowship program. Becoming Fellows allows students to become more nimble architects of their own academic lives. 

Embarking on this customized course of study, involving both academic and practical experience, provides St. Johns Fellowship students with valuable distinction in the increasingly competitive collegiate and career worlds, as well as in-depth knowledge to help guide their future studies and pursuits. 

In 2021, available Fellowships include Arts & Humanities Community Engagement, Computer Science, Conservation, Health Sciences, International Studies, Journalism, U.S. Government & Politics, and Visual Arts. 

Learn more about our Fellowships and the rest of the St. Johns Experience by visiting campus for a personal tour. Reserve your spot today at sjcds.net/visit, or email admissions@sjcds.net.

     Each year, St. Johns' first graders are paired with one or more Senior Buddies. The buddies are matched and have a meet & greet at the beginning of the School year, and then they start hanging out. They stand together at flag raising each morning, have regular lunches together, play on the playground, have joint holiday parties, celebrate the senior’s college acceptances, go to the zoo together, and much more.
     The Senior-Grade 1 Buddy program is one of our alums’ most treasured memories of St. Johns. The buddies get together outside of school, with first graders showing up at club soccer matches, and they often stay in touch for years to come. In recent years our students have gone to watch the former senior buddy play volleyball in college and attended their senior's Naval Academy graduation. The seniors come back to surprise their former first graders at lunch or to join them in celebrating their own St. Johns graduation.
     It's all part of a calendar of fun and togetherness that gives our youngest Spartans role models to look up to, and shows our seniors what it's like to be that "admired" person. Being a role model to a special Spartan buddy gives seniors a sense of responsibility before they go off to college to be responsible for themselves. Even during the final weeks of the school year when seniors are required to be on campus only for classes, many choose to arrive for 8:00 flag raising just to be with their buddies.
    We are excited for your child to be a part of this very special tradition, either as a first grader or as a senior (or both!). We know it will mean as much to you as it does to us every day. Come take a personal tour and let us show you what the St. Johns Experience is all about. Reserve your spot today right here.

 

This week, we’re talking about our daily flag raising ceremony and morning announcements.
     At St. Johns, we think community is very important and we’re always looking for ways to connect our students, not just within their grades, but across grades, too. One way we build a sense of community is through our daily flag raising and morning announcements, when the whole school comes together each day to applaud achievements, congratulate victories, and hear announcements. During non-COVID years, we love having many parents and grandparents join us as well. While it’s been a little different this year, for many of us it remains a favorite part of the day—a daily celebration of why it’s great to be a Spartan. 
     Whether it’s a second grader making an announcement about Women’s History Month, or details of last night’s baseball win, flag raising is a time for us to come together as a school community and cheer each other’s accomplishments. We cherish that, and we think you will, too. Come experience it for yourself— Make a reservation today for your personal campus tour. Reserve your spot today or email admissions@sjcds.net. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Over the past several months we’ve been celebrating our seniors’ college acceptances, announcing them on Fridays at flag raising and celebrating each senior for their accomplishments. Earlier this month, we announced our seniors’ acceptances to both Florida State University and the University of Florida and were proud not only of each acceptance, but also that the percentage of our applicants who were accepted at each school was well above published acceptance rates. Nearly 80% of St. Johns’ students who applied to FSU were accepted, and at the University of Florida, our acceptance rate was over 70% (compared to a published acceptance rate of about 36%).
     Starting in Middle School, St. Johns’ College Counseling Office works with each student and their family to help map their own personal course to college success. Using innovative technology to get to know your child, we work to help guide their Middle and Upper School experience and, ultimately, to find the school that’s the right fit for each student and their hopes and dreams. 
     It’s all part of the St. Johns Experience-- the difference that makes St. Johns—and the St. Johns education—so amazing. And this effort bears fruit. Over the past few years, St. Johns seniors have been accepted to some of the top schools across the country and around the globe, from Brown, Penn, and Princeton to Canada, Ireland, and Italy. This year’s class is attending college everywhere from California to upstate New York and everywhere in between.
     We know all students are not the same, and our experienced college counselors help each student find the just-right fit that’s best for them. Come learn more about it— Make a reservation today for your personal campus tour. Reserve your spot today at sjcds.net/visit, or email admissions@sjcds.net.
     We look forward to seeing you soon!​

This week, we're talking about our senior athletes who go on to play sports in college and beyond.
     Last week, the 14th member of the Class of 2021 signed a National Letter of Intent to play a sport in college, and over the past few years seniors have gone on to play softball at Florida State University, baseball at Flagler College, soccer at Princeton, and many, many more.
     These are student-athletes who have devoted themselves not just to their studies, but to their sport as well, putting in long hours of practice in the gym or on the field, always working, continually improving. We love that at St. Johns, a student can become anything they want to be. From the art studios to the stage, the classroom to the ball field, the St. Johns Experience allows students to pursue their passions and become champions both on and off the field.
     Schedule your personal campus tour today at sjcds.net/visit, or email admissions@sjcds.net.  We look forward to seeing you soon!​