St. John’s small classes benefit those in need

The junior team participates in the Lowcountry LEGO® League Qualifying
Tournament held at Trident Technical Community College in September.  
NORTH CHARLESTON — The following information about St. John School was provided by Carole Anne White, principal.

History: St. John School opened its doors to students in September 1949 at the edge of what was then the U.S.   Navy Base. The school has served varied populations since then, meeting the needs of an ever-changing economic and cultural community. In the early years, the school’s attendance was as high as 300 students, but the neighborhood has seen a drastic change since the closing of the Navy base in 1997.

Principal: Carole Anne White.

Number of students: We have 65 with a capacity of 125.

Faculty: The school has six full-time and four part-time faculty members.

School motto: Learning to Reach for the Stars.

Grades: K-4 through eighth-grade.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

After-school program: Our Extended School Program runs from 6:30-7:30 a.m. and from 3-6 p.m. We offer snack time, study hall, creative play, computers and movies.

School meals: Children bring their lunches and have an option to buy hotdog meals on Mondays and pizza on Fridays.

School colors: Navy blue and white.

Mascot: “Happy,” a bischon frise.

Let us brag: St. John’s small classes and dedicated teachers promote individualized instruction for our students.

Advanced classes: Algebra.

Academic teams: LEGOs®. We have placed every year in the state competition for robot design, performing and research.

Special project: St. John adopted Hector Rolando Guerra, who lives in Honduras. The children have exchanged letters, cards and Christmas gifts. We sent him a T-shirt from the Christmas program with his name listed on the back along with everyone else’s name, and we received a beautiful handmade card from him.

Facilities: Our school is next door to the church and rectory. Recently, all the buildings were painted and our playground received sod, an irrigation system and more play equipment.

Biggest change over the years: In the early days of St. John’s School, our student body was composed primarily of military families. That changed when the Navy base closed.

What sets us apart: St. John is a pioneer in creating a framework for inclusive and progressive learning. In 1999, with the change in administration, we decided to capitalize on decreased enrollment and limit our class size. This enabled us to include all children who might benefit from a small learning environment. It is our mission to move children forward at their own pace.

Community projects: Students enjoy being prayer partners to our homebound parishioners, help support the Food Pantry and Adopt-A-Highway program, participate in Jump Rope for Hearts, and provide outreach to families in need.

Our parish: St. John encompasses the church parish and the surrounding community with the support of Brother Ed Bergeron of the Congregation of Christian Brothers. We also have a weekend priest, Father Ernest E. Kennedy.

Wishes for our school: We would love to see an increase in enrollment and have enough financing to purchase Smart Boards and hire a Spanish teacher, computer and media personnel, and a student counselor.

How we demonstrate the Catholic faith: Each day, we gather as a school community for prayer, scripture, reflection and sharing. Our Peace Pledge, which is recited every day, challenges us to live in a community where we respect one another, peaceful resolution to conflicts, respect for nature, creativity and fairness, and the commitment to becoming a better person each day.

Our top awards or honors are: Our school stresses a non-competitive environment. Our teachers’ dedication and the cooperation of our students are awards in themselves.

Music/art programs: Students participate in two musical programs each year and two different bands.

Do you have programs for students with disabilities? Yes, we are an all-inclusive school. We provide remedial help and enrichment with the assistance of a part-time reading specialist and an accelerated math and reading program.

Average scores on the IOWA test: We judge our students’ test scores by the amount of progress each person makes from year to year.

What percentage of students are Catholic? 77 percent.