The primary goal of St. John’s is to provide a quality Christian education in a safe environment. Providing the quality Christian education is not difficult due to St. John’s amazing teachers and improved curriculum. Because of the current Covid – 19 transmission rate it is becoming more difficult to prevent transmission of the virus at St. John’s.
St. John’s is battling viral transmission by 1) Enhanced cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting protocols, 2) Mandatory mask wearing by anyone who is in the building, 3) Social distancing as much as possible, 4) Using student desk shields, and 5) Restricting any building or room rentals. St. John’s will continue these protocols until we get to the end of this pandemic.
REMOTE LEARNING OPTION
I cannot guarantee that the above protocols will eliminate any viral transmission at school. Therefore, while research has proven that in-person instruction is best for students’ academic progress and social emotional development, I want to give you the option of choosing remote learning for your student for the remainder of January. Please consider the following if you choose the remote learning option.
St. John’s will begin in-person instruction on January 10 for those families who choose this option. As noted above, all cleaning protocols and mitigations put in place at the beginning of the school year will continue. If a student is attending in-person instruction and becomes infected with Covid – 19, the student will be eligible for remote learning during the quarantine period. Parents will need to provide Mr. Green with a negative Covid – 19 test result prior to returning from Covid isolation. Students who stay home for non-covid reasons are not eligible for remote learning. If an outbreak of Covid occurs in a classroom, that classroom will be required to quarantine according to Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education guidelines.
RETURN TO FULL IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION
All students will return to in-person instruction on Wednesday, February 1. St. John’s will continue with all school in-person instruction though the end of the school unless the governing authorities direct schools to close. As noted above, if a Covid outbreak occurs in a particular classroom, that classroom will return to remote learning during the required quarantine period.
Lastly, I thank you all for your diligence in keeping St. John’s students, faculty and staff safe. I continue to monitor the Covid metrics from all the reporting agencies and will make adjustments, as needed to St. John’s instructional plans.
God bless your New Year!
Jessa Scifo has always had a passion for the arts. As a student at St. John's, Jessa especially enjoyed the opportunity to take music classes and piano lessons. In the spring of 2020, Jessa was cast as Little Red Riding Hood in St. John's 5th through 8th grade production of Into the Woods. She was so excited to play such a fun character. Sadly, however, the show was never able to happen due to the COVID-19 shutdown in the spring of 2020.
Although COVID-19 drastically changed Jessa's 7th and 8th grade experience, she did not let this deter her from pursuing her passions. When it came time to choose a high school, Jessa decided to attend an online high school academy. Although the path she's chosen for high school is different from most of her peers, Jessa states that it has been a great experience for her. Going to high school online has enabled her to take intensive ballet classes 4-5 times a week, and has also given her more time for art. Both art and ballet are her main passions, and Jessa is grateful for the opportunity to spend more time doing what she loves.
Aside from participating in various art forms in high school, Jessa is also excited that she will graduate with a health certificate and could even obtain her Associates Degree through her high school program. She is able to take dual enrollment classes throughout high school, and is confident in achieving these goals because of the strong, Christian educational foundation she received at St. John's.
Jessa believes that St. John's has prepared her for high school in a variety of ways. She has the ability and motivation to work at her own pace, and is able to better understand the materials she's assigned because the teachers at St. John's always presented lessons in a way that she could understand. When reflecting about her education at St. John's, Jessa says "the teachers taught me to work hard and to work with integrity. Even when I did not understand certain things, they presented the material in a different way until I fully understood it. They did not give up on me." Jessa is now seeing how much this perseverance has paid off as she is more than halfway through her freshman year of high school and is performing well!
Although she's no longer a student at St. John's, Jessa still keeps in touch with the St. John's music teacher, Mrs. Jurica, and continues to take piano lessons from her. Jessa believes that piano has helped with her dancing since ballet is all about timing and counting. Taking weekly music lessons from Mrs. Jurica has given Jessa a solid foundation in music. When talking about her relationship with St. John's music teacher, Jessa states "Mrs. Jurica has been a mentor to me, and I love that we can continue our relationship even after graduating." With Mrs. Jurica's help, Jessa is starting to lead worship for her church youth group.
When asked about her future, Jessa says she would love to continue to pursue ballet. Her dream is to become a professional dancer, but she can also see herself teaching ballet or even becoming a physical therapist for a ballet company.
We are so proud of Jessa and her determination! We can't wait to see where God leads her!
During the month of October, St. John's PreK students learned all about different community workers! The students studied various professions and learned about their training, equipment, and tools. They were also visited by several guest experts!
During the first week, students studied firefighters and learned a 911 rap. They also learned about stopping, dropping and rolling. The students were most excited when a real firefighter visited the school to talk to them!
Week two focused on chefs and construction workers. Students created their own recipes in their journals, and ran a pretend sandwich shop in the classroom. When learning about construction workers, students created buildings using different materials in the classroom. They also studied pictures of real blue prints and created their own.
Week three was a huge hit as students focused on dentists and doctors! The children practiced their math skills while counting teeth, and got to use doctor tools in the classroom play area. They also enjoyed bringing their stuffed animals in for checkups. Mrs. Yerkes showed the class x-rays and demonstrated how to make x-rays out of Q-tips. The highlight of the week was when a pediatric nurse visited the school! She told students about her job and she even listened to their hearts and stomachs using her equipment!
For the final week, students studied police officers and post office workers. They had a special visit from St. John's parent and police expert, Officer Yates, and each student got their own police badge! To help students learn about post office workers, Mrs. Yerkes talked about how the mail system works and how the postal service transports mail. PreK also started a pen pal exchange with other Lutheran schools in various states. They were so excited to receive their first letters from Nebraska!
This was such a fun unit for our PreK students and Mrs. Yerkes did a wonderful job planning the lessons! Thank you to the experts who took the time to meet with our students and help teach them about various professions. PreK would like to thank you for all that you do!