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Why Choose St. John School?
At St. John, our staff believes in teaching each student how to think, how to question and how to become curious lifelong learners—all within a nurturing, faith-filled environment. St. John graduates are annually admitted to the top private and public high schools in Connecticut, all being challenged to do their best in academics, in athletics, in the arts and in service to others.
What sets St. John apart?
St. John School offers convenient before and after-school programs that are available to all students.
St. John School’s teaching standards exceed the Common Core State Standards.
Our students can choose from robust athletic programs to build strong physical and mental skills.
Our diverse arts program challenges each student to engage in a process of self-discovery.
St. John Outdoor Classroom
In 2018, St. John School proposed the idea of adding a comprehensive sustainability and agriscience curriculum that included the design and construction of an Outdoor Classroom. Inspired by Pope Francis and his second encyclical "Laudato Si", a team of St. John School volunteers, faculty, and administrators developed a plan to create an active, hands-on learning space adjacent to the school building. The encyclical has the subtitle "care for our common home" and the first step in the plan involved reclaiming unproductive land and developing it into a useful and beautiful space for students.
During the first summer, volunteers worked with young students to teach them basic carpentry and drainage as students and volunteers worked to level areas of land and build planting boxes. Six planting boxes were part of the first installation. Clean fill was added. A compost area was constructed and students worked during the 18-19 school-year to grow food, compost waste from the school kitchen and learn about the cycle of sustainability. Each grade has a focus: bees, butterflies, composting, vermiculture, worms, irrigation, succession planting, and microclimates. Food from the outdoor classroom was used in the school kitchen and 'tastings' were held for students to experience fresh produce. Connecticut heirloom pumpkins sprouted from the hillside in the fall and that led to a contest to guess the weights. Pumpkin seeds from the first planting were harvested and dried and replanted for the following year.
In 2019, the school received the support of The Woodward Foundation to expand the Outdoor Classroom to include an additional 8 planting beds, a shed that acts as both a "lab" and a storage area, sets of tools for children and additional irrigation access from the building. With The Watertown Foundation's grant, we were also able to purchase a 3D printer/engraver and other equipment that allows students to design and build tools, bird houses and other items for the Outdoor Classroom.
By the summer of 2021, we know that we can reach our goal of successfully growing and donating a few hundred pounds of food to local shelters annually. Caring for our common home is the lesson woven through the St. John Outdoor Classroom. Reclaiming unproductive land and making it useful, recycling food waste to create soil, respecting and supporting the natural habitats of organisms necessary to sustain plant life, developing solutions to increase food production, and providing healthy food to vulnerable populations are hallmarks of the St. John School agriscience program. The Outdoor Classroom has also become a beautiful space that is used for art classes, reading groups and music classes. "Laudato Si" and The St. John School Outdoor Classroom - Developing the Whole Child to Care for Our Common Home.
In The Spotlight: Cross Country
The Saint John School Cross Country team has a history of winning! Many course records and personal bests have been set throughout the years. Cross Country is offered in the fall and it is open to all students in Grades 2-8. It is a great way to get in shape, meet new friends and enjoy the spirit of being on a spirited team!