The future of education is a very important topic that should be paid much attention to. Future students will count on the steps that are taken now to make the educational process better then what it is currently. This does not mean that the current state of education is not ok, it just means that making it better in the future is better. St. John’s School located in Old Saybrook Connecticut, is a perfect example of successful education for the future. The preparation they give to students in an ever changing world will lead students to a successful future.
Saint John’s School is a private, Roman Catholic educational facility that will be used for this Educational context series. Saint Bridget’s School is a Roman Catholic facility that is in the heart of a community that is rated one of the top 100 places in Connecticut for young people. The facility is in a safe and nurturing environment which includes grades Pre K to grades 8. The curriculum includes spiritual and emotional support. Religion classes are taught daily along with lessons based around the common core standards have been in place since 2012. The facility also has sports, arts and other activities for the students. “The facility is a member of the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC) and a teaching apostolate of the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady Mother of the Church (SCMC).” (St. Johns University, 2015)
The population of St. John’s educational facility is 182 students. The number of students has declined from 2005 until 2011. The ratio to male to female students is almost 50/50. Majority of students are of white ethnicity (142 students) two or more (4), Asian (3) Black (1). 92.5% of people living in Old Saybrook are above the poverty line while a small percentage 7.5% of people fall below the poverty line.
St. John’s School was originally founded in the 1960’s. “The first parish school for grades 1 to 8 was open from 1964 to 1972, but closed due to staffing and financial difficulties.” (St. John’s
School, 2015) in 1994 the school was able to re-open with the help of the St. John’s parish which the school is associated with. Starting in 1999 the first upgrade projects began and continued through the years. The school has since celebrated its 20th year anniversary in 2014.
In 1972 when the school closed its doors, it was due to low staffing and not enough funds to keep the school open. When the church stepped in along with the church community, there was enough funds to be able to re-open the school. With the backing of the church and community there were many new things added to the school such as a new wing, updated science lab, the gym, auditorium and cafeteria and the roof, heating and cooling system were also updated. The upgrades have taken place between the years of 1999 and 2013. (St. John’s School, 2015)
St. John’s School has many great teaching practices along with a strong vision for its students. The school follows the common core guidelines and uses standardized tests which have shown student growth with the results. A few of the ways they prepare their students to be successful are teaching values within their religion practicing it every day, being active in the church and community events, “Core curriculum of Reading, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Geography.” (St. Johns School, 2015) Foreign language, home work, reading buddies, time management skills, science and math groups are only a handful of support and programs that are offered to students at St. John’s.
The vision of St. John’s School is “Educating the whole child – spiritual, academic, social and physical – builds a strong foundation for their lives, their school and their community.” (St. John’s School, 2015)
The two technologies listed in the Horizon Report that best fit with St. John’s School would be Measuring Learning and Improving Digital Literacy. Both of these items are important because they better serve the students. By measuring learning St. John’ s is able to see where there may be weaknesses and they will be able to also see the strengths and fix any problem areas they see. The use of technology in the classroom is a better way to expand the abilities of the students. They are able to do research and develop ideas about things they are learning. “The report, IT Opportunities in the Education Market, revealed that 78 percent of K-12 teachers and administrators believe technology has positively impacted the classroom and the productivity of students. Roughly 65 percent of educators surveyed also believe that students are more productive today than they were three years ago due to the increased reliance on technology in the classroom.” (Lytle, R. 2011)
With the switch to the common core learning style in 2012. St. John’s School’s goal is to make sure that they are taking the proper steps to making sure they do what they can to help their students reach their goals in their educational career. Measuring the schools learning has proved to be positive for this school. With both the common core and the standardized tests that have come along with it the school is seeing positive results. “Curriculum meets or exceeds all State of Connecticut regulations and guidelines. Iowa standardized tests are used for diagnostic purposes & consistently show individual student growth.” (St. John’s School, 2015)
The school offers an updated library with computers and resources for the students. There is also computer technology in each classroom that the students have access to in order to help them with their daily class activities and homework.
St. Johns school proves to be a great place for learning to take place. With a facility that cares about their students and teachers and does everything they can to give the tools and resources to both should be recognized positively. It shows through the results of the standardize testing that the school is moving in the right direction for the future.
St. Johns School (2015) Saint John School, a Sisters of Charity Roman Catholic School, Educating the Whole Child from Pre-K to Grade 8. Retrieved on October 30, 2015 from http://www.saintjohnschoolos.com/
Elementary Schools.org, (2015) St. Johns School, Retrieved on October 30, 2015 from http://elementaryschools.org/directory/ct/cities/old-saybrook/st-john-school/a9501032/
City Data (2015) Old Saybrook, Connecticut (CT) Poverty Rate Data, Retrieved on October 30, 2015 from http://www.city-data.com/poverty/poverty-Old-Saybrook-Connecticut.html
Lytle, R. (2011) Study: Emerging Technology Has Positive Impact in Classroom, Retrieved on October 31, 2015 from, http://www.usnews.com/education/high-schools/articles/2011/07/14/study-emerging-technology-has-positive-impact-in-classroom?int=96e908
Breslow, L. (2007) Methods of Measuring Learning Outcomes and Value Added, Retrieved on October 31, 2015 from, http://tll.mit.edu/sites/default/files/guidelines/a-e-tools-methods-of-measuring-learning-outcomes-grid-2.pdf