Q: Will SJP II require student immunizations and vaccinations?
A: State law requires all students to be immunized against certain diseases. Immunization records are kept in the school offices and must be updated annually. These requirements may be waived for religious, personal, or medical reasons with a proper signature on a waiver form. The waiver form will be available in the SJP II office and on our school website over the summer months along with other registration forms.
Q: What grade levels will be offered? To what grade level will SJP II extend?
A: St. John Paul II Classical School currently serves students in grades preschool-8th grade.
Thus, in classical terminology, SJPII serves students in the Grammar and Logic stages. At this time, the offering of 9-12th grade, also called the Rhetoric Stage, is anticipated to be offered at our Chesterton Academy high school in Fall 2021.
Q: Will my child learn Latin? If so, how will my child be taught?
A: Children at St. John Paul II Classical School will indeed be taught Latin. Latin is an essential component of a classical curriculum because it will eventually allow students to read the greatest works of Church history and Western Civilization in their original language. Additionally, Latin offers a firm foundation in grammar and critical thinking.
In Kindergarten and 1st grade, Latin will be taught using a program called Song School Latin. With the help of this program, students will become familiar with Latin vocabulary and some crucial endings using songs, fables, rhymes, jingles, and fun visuals. In these early grades, Latin will be taught in much the same way that modern languages are taught in the early stages. In Kindergarten and 1st grade, students will be prepared to dive further into the study of the Latin language.
From 2nd to 8th grade, Latin will be taught using the Memoria Press series: Prima Latina, Latin Christiana, and the Latin Form series 1-4. In these years, Latin will be taught in a systematic, clear, and concise manner, emphasizing the understanding of Latin grammar and the accumulation of Latin vocabulary. Another component of this curriculum is the inclusion of Roman history and culture. As part of this, students will begin to develop an understanding of the Incarnation’s influence on Western civilization.
The goal of our Latin program is to prepare students to read works such as Caesar’s Gallic Wars, Cicero’s orations and letters, Virgil’s The Aeneid, St. Augustine’s Confessions, and, most importantly, Holy Scripture. Students will also gain knowledge of the history and culture of our Christian heritage.
Q: How will technology be utilized at St. John Paul II?
A: The curriculum at St. John Paul II will emphasize the integrated study of Western Civilization, placing a high priority on the academic disciplines and the fine arts. This means that a technology component is not emphasized in our curriculum.
Technology will certainly be utilized by faculty and staff to enhance lessons, communicate with parents, and promotion of the school. However, technological skills will not be taught by St. John Paul II faculty.
Q: Is a classical education for everyone? What if my student struggles with traditional learning?
A: The mission of St. John Paul II Classical School is to inculcate in students a love of the three transcendentals: Goodness, Truth, and Beauty. These higher things are not exclusive to one type of student!
In the manner of our patron, St. John Paul II Classical School believes in the inherent dignity of all people. Thus, SJPII believes wholeheartedly that a classical education is for all types of students, regardless of sex, race, or cognitive ability. This is because a classical, Catholic education fills every human need.
In fact, students engrossed in a classical curriculum and nurtured in a loving environment tend to behave better, perform better, and truly enjoy learning.
It is our duty as teachers to serve all students, no matter their challenges, fears, or apprehensions. SJPII teachers strive to live the “new evangelization,” meeting students where they are in their spiritual, moral, and academic life.
How do we aim to achieve this?
First of all, small class sizes allow teachers to focus on each individual student, recognizing both strengths and weaknesses and incorporating them into each lesson. More importantly, small class sizes allow teachers to form abiding, trusting relationships with their students. Without this relationship, no learning can be accomplished!
Secondly, all GRACE schools enjoy a wonderful resource called Student Services, directed by Mr. James Cullen. This resources helps parents and teachers come together to decide on concrete expectations, goals, and a plan of action for each student.
Finally, teachers at SJPII will learn and utilize a proven method of teaching reading to students with dyslexia, the Barton Method. Learn more here. A few parents whose children also struggle with dyslexia will be acting as reading tutors as often as time allows.