Sunday, August 28, 2011

Myths vs. truths about Catholic grade schools

Bonita Jungels: As we look forward to a new school year, the St. John’s School Advisory Board recently discussed how to share the great news happening at our school.

We talked about the rumors that swirl around the community regarding Catholic schools and decided that we should dispel any myths that exist about St. John the Baptist Catholic School.

Myth: Teachers can be anyone plucked off the street.

Truth: All St. John’s school classroom teachers have teaching licenses. Three of our teachers have master’s degrees as well.

Myth: We can teach any curriculum we want.

Truth: St. John’s school follows the Minnesota state standards. We follow all of the same government regulations including testing that the public schools do. We use Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) testing to monitor student growth but do not give the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) or any other tests that do not benefit the students.

Myth: We are not accountable to anyone.

Truth: In addition to being accountable to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ Office of Schools, we are accredited by the Minnesota Nonpublic School Accrediting Association and participate in a review every year as well as a thorough review every seven years.

Myth: Catholic schools are still using chalkboards and clapping erasers; additionally, they do not even know that the Internet was invented.

Truth: We have new iMac computers in our lab and integrate technology throughout our curriculum.

Myth: Catholic schools are only for Catholic students.

Truth: About 10 percent of our school population is non-Catholic.

Myth: Catholic schools have big, combined, multi-age classes.

Truth: Our class sizes are small – typically between 14 and 20 students each.

Myth: We teach willy-nilly academics.

Truth: St. John’s school graduates have been Jordan High School valedictorians in the following recent years: 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010.

Most (and sometimes all!) of our 6th grade graduates find themselves on the honor roll in the middle school.

Myth: We are still in the old school across the street.

Truth: We have a wonderful new facility built in 2005!

Myth: Students bring bag lunches every day.

Truth: We have an awesome hot lunch program serving homemade lunches as well as soup and salads.

Myth: We are a separate entity with no support from the public school system.

Truth: The public school system shares resources with us (thank you!) such as special education, title and band.

Myth: Catholic schools have a top down model with no input from parents.

Truth: Parents are involved at St. John’s school in many ways including daily volunteering, the Family Association and the School Advisory Board.

Myth: We do not offer any sports opportunities.

Truth: In fact, we have travelling basketball for boys and girls, and a girls volleyball program.

Myth: We are too small to offer much enrichment.

Truth: We are fortunate to have many resources that allow for field trips to cool places from Wagner’s Apple Orchard all the way to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Orchestra Hall.

Myth: Wearing uniforms is a bad thing.

Truth: Parents and students alike love uniforms. They love the simplicity of getting ready in the morning and the beauty of minimized competition in the wardrobe arena.

We hope that if you have any other questions about St. John’s school that you will contact our school office for more information. Have a great school year!

Bonita Jungels is the principal of St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Jordan, MN
Church Website

Jordan News

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