Welcome to Snapshots, where each week we take a quick look at a unique aspect of St. Johns Country Day School and the St. Johns Experience.

     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. 

College Decision Day, May 1, is when high school seniors make a decision about which college they will attend.

Welcome to Snapshots, where each week we take a quick look at a unique aspect of St. Johns Country Day School and the St. Johns Experience. 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 commitment to helping every student succeed is strengthened by our cutting-edge Student Services team.

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.
 

St. Johns' Fellowships allow Upper School students to dive into exciting opportunities targeted to their specific interests.

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.

St. Johns' Senior-Grade 1 Buddy program matches first graders with a senior buddy of their own for a year of fun and togetherness.

Welcome to Snapshots, where each week we take a quick look at a unique aspect of the St. Johns Experience. Yesterday, our Seniors and their first grade buddies went on their annual trip to the Jacksonville Zoo together, so naturally we’re thinking about our Senior-Grade 1 Buddy program.
     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.