A healthy transition to full-day First Grade. We believe that many young children of Kindergarten age still need part of their day unstructured, and know that many parents believe this also. Our schedule is structured so that children make a gradual transition from half-day school (8:30 a.m. to 12:30), to three half-days and two full days (8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) per week.
A small student-to-teacher ratio, and small class size. The student-to-teacher ratio is 10 to 1. Not only is it a small class, but it is also a small school where every teacher knows every student and a wholesome family atmosphere pervades every aspect of school life.
A developmentally appropriate program, with many hands-on activities and opportunities for children to move around and make choices. The National Association for the Education of Young Children recommends that this kind of program is best for children’s early learning. We focus on learning through real and meaningful experiences using all five senses. There are many opportunities to stretch social muscles during play indoors and daily recess.
A teacher with a master’s degree in reading development. Who could be better for your child in this crucial year – when all those letters and sounds become reading? The reading curriculum uses the Explode the Code Series from Educators Publishing Service and emphasizes phonics as well as whole language. The Virginia Standards of Learning are incorporated into a challenging curriculum that because of the lower class size allows your child to have one on one attention from the teacher. In some cases, it is like having a private tutor.
Opportunities to learn from and work with older children on a regular basis. Our Kindergarten class is in combination with our First and Second Grade classes. Although the classes have separate assignments, the students share the same room and a variety of group projects. Multi-age grouping (which may include some Pre-K students) fosters cooperative learning and the opportunity for teacher-guided inclusive learning activities. Most importantly, Kindergartners, First Graders, and Second Graders are given assignments according to their own individual levels.
A religious curriculum that cultivates a love for God and a willingness to live a Christian life. We firmly believe that children should be nurtured in the Faith from their earliest years to develop into moral and responsible citizens. They need to know there is a God that knows them, loves them, and forgives them. Kindergarten children are assigned Bible memory verses and have many opportunities to help lead as well as participate in weekly Chapel.
Computers are available to the students for assignments or use during students’ free time. Volunteers may supervise the children’s use of the computers.
Opportunities for parents to become involved in their children’s educational experiences in an appropriate way. We love it when parents want to come in and be involved in special activities their children are doing! Your involvement is an important lesson to him or her – that you value what they do at school!
Build self-esteem by giving children the opportunity to be the “big kids” in a school that focuses on young children. Former students of St. John have proven to be very well-adjusted in any First Grade they attend, and very often are at the top of their class!
Opportunities to serve others in Christian love. Our school as a whole participates in several meaningful service projects throughout the year. At Christmas, we participate in the Operation Christmas Child project of Samaritan’s Purse. We also participate in projects closer to home by making greeting cards for congregational shut-ins, participating in collecting donations for the local S.P.C.A., and collecting donations for area church food pantries and F.O.R. Kids, Inc., a local shelter for families.