Five Things That Make SJA Different
Choosing a school for your young student can be an overwhelming process. We are fortunate to live in an area with so many strong schools and educational opportunities for our children. Every school is different, however, and it is important to look at the overall school culture to better understand what creates that difference and to find the best fit for your student and your family.
This list of five things that makes Saint John Academy different from other schools is meant to give you a quick at-a-glance understanding of the things that are important to us and reflect our school culture.
1. Prayer is at the heart of our day
Every morning, students gather in the cafeteria for morning prayer. The Headmaster usually has some encouraging words for the students about integrating faith into their school day. Often a student or class will share something about the virtue of the month. The whole gathering takes about 5 to 10 minutes and then students are dismissed back to the classrooms to begin the day. Every class begins with a prayer and every day ends with an Act of Contrition to help us to remember to keep trying.
2. Instruction is directed to meet the needs of the learner
We believe in differentiated instruction to meet the needs of all our learners. Among the items we offer are:
- Daily Five: a K-5 reading, writing, and vocabulary building program
- Lab Learner: a 1-8 hands-on system of science education that includes a fully equipped lab
- Honors Literature: offered to 7th and 8th grade students
- Algebra 1: offered to students in Advanced Math
- Resource Teacher: a full-time resource teacher as well as full and part-time aides throughout the school
3. The Arts
Saint John Academy believes that a student’s spiritual, academic and artistic development go hand-in-hand to form a well-rounded child. Our art curriculum is designed to develop a young artist’s technical abilities and vision, through the study of a variety of traditional and contemporary media.
Every year our students put on three productions. A middle school musical is the highlight of the year. This year, our talented crew will be performing Singing in the Rain. Our 8th graders participate in the Diocese of Arlington’s Annual Shakespeare Festival and our 7th graders perform a mystery play, usually based on an Agatha Christie novel.
Music is also a focus, both vocal and instrumental. Students in grades 3-8 participate in the treble choir and sing at the school Masses on Friday. Students in grades 4-8 participate in a concert band: beginner for 4th grade and advanced for 5-8. Advanced band members participate in the Diocese of Arlington Band Festival each spring.
Saint John Academy’s athletic program offers competitive basketball and soccer to middle school students. Teams include girls soccer, boys soccer, girls basketball and boys basketball. These teams compete against private schools in the Washington D.C. metro area. Practices are held after school, as are the games. Transportation is provided to away games.
5. Our Library
Saint John Academy’s library offers 15,000 volumes and a variety of reading programs including Battle of the Books, Bookworm Club, Junior Great Books and monthly research questions. An easy-to-use catalog search engine is installed on the computers in the library. Screened internet access is also available as well as a study hall time during recess and after-school.
This is just a small sample of the things that make us different. We hope you will come and see for your self – so much of the culture of a school is transmitted in the smiles and relationships that form when we meet in person. Take a tour of the school, listen to the presentation by our kindergarten teacher and I am sure you will agree that SJA is a special place.