Educational Best Practices - A St. John Tradition
The staff of St. John Lutheran regularly research the latest educational best practices and believe wholeheartedly in a philosophy of continuous improvement.
Our extensive educational foundation coupled with proven instructional techniques have led us to establish the following guiding principles as the foundation of our academic approach:
- A Christ-Centered Focus: Since the Word of God is relevant in all aspects of life, our teachers are trained to integrate God's Word in the various disciplines of the curriculum. St. John instructors have extensive training in bringing God's Word into secular subjects regardless of the textbook used.
- Multi-Aged Classrooms: Children of two to three year age spans are grouped together heterogeneously in one classroom and remain with that teacher for more than one year.
Classes are organized as follows: Kindergarten, Primary (1st & 2nd grades), Intermediate (3rd, 4th, & 5th), and Upper (6th, 7th, & 8th) school classes.
- Theme-Integrated Curriculum: Research demonstrates that children learn best when subjects and skills are learned in-context versus rote memorization. The St. John curriculum is based in this approach.
- Multiple Intelligences: Lesson planning, instruction,and assessment attend to the "seven ways of being smart" which include: verbal linguistic, musical rhythmic, logical mathematical, visual spatial, bodily kinesthetic, inter-personal, and intra-personal.
- Problem-Based Learning: The academic curriculum is organized around real life problems and provides practical ways for students to apply academic content to common tasks.
Teachers carefully devise problems which call upon a variety of pre- determined academic and inter-personal skills. Students work in collaborative groups and utilize primary resources and technology to enhance a highly-engaged learning process.
- Life-Long Learning: Throughout the course of study at St. John, children are not just taught facts, they are motivated to use those facts to construct meaning in evey day situations.
Students are taught life study skills and habits to prepare them for success in high school and throughout their lives. They are taught to discern information and to careful pick out usable data based on the need at hand.
- Performance-Based Assessment: Students are able to demonstrate their abilities through a variety of assessments other than just paper and pencil test.
Examples include student demonstrations, writing projects, drawing, building, developing portfolios, and delivering presentations to classmates.
- Technology: In today's world, technology is an essential tool for learning on par with paper, pencils, and textbooks. An interactive network of classroom-based computers with Internet access is an integral part of the learning experience.
- Parental Involvement: Parents are the most influential persons in a child's life. At St. John, parents are given a variety of opportunities and roles to be involved in the school.
Parents volunteer in classrooms on a regular basis, assisting with numerous activities. When a school, student, or staff need is identified, parents are organized into Action Teams to devleop and carry out plans to meet the prevailing need.
- Family Orientation: Children learn best when they are loved. We encourage and sponsor family activities throughout the year to enforce this child-parent bond which is to critical to confidence and growth at every step of development.
For additional information regarding the St. John Lutheran approach to education or to schedule a visit, please call us at 847.367.1441.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss the many advantages of a Christ-based education at St. John.