Students entering Junior High look forward to a slight change of uniform as they graduate from blue sweatshirts to black sweatshirts and from blue trousers to khaki trousers. They also look forward to learning from a variety of teachers who have diverse teaching styles.
Our goal, in the Junior High, is to help our students grow and develop their gifts and talents. We also endeavor to develop leadership skills by asking our 7th and 8th grade students to work in the office at recess and lunch; to lead our Morning Prayer Assemblies; to watch over Kindergartners as they eat and play; to act as “buddies” to our Kindergartners and 1st graders; and to step up and volunteer for a myriad of activities.
In addition to leadership opportunities, our Junior High students are asked to complete 20 service hours before graduation. Our 7th and 8th grade students tutor other students after school and they volunteer to work in Extended Care. It has been rewarding to witness students always stepping up, and giving of themselves when asked to volunteer to serve others.
Overnight trips, included in our Junior High Program, start as our sixth grade students go to Walker Creek Ranch. Our 7th grade goes to Marin Headlands, and also participate in a “Ropes” challenge course. Our 8th grade students go to Yosemite Institute for a week. We sponsor these outdoor educational trips to encourage our children to focus on strengthening their community, as well as to immerse them into outdoor education and stewardship.
Physical Education is a comprehensive program that challenges students to participate in athletics, identify their strengths, value sportsmanship, and work as part of a team.
During the second semester, our Junior High Students participate in a program called “Extreme Wednesdays” which fosters cross-grade student interaction and provides challenging, cooperative team-building experiences for students in grades 6-8.
Our Junior High provides a small school setting where students can connect with their classmates and teachers alike. Smaller classes enable teachers to personally connect with their students and to keep track of each student’s progress. Teachers really get to know every student. This personal attention is beneficial for each child’s growth and development. In addition, because of small class size, teachers and our Learning Specialist can give more focused attention to students who need additional help and or guidance. Falling between the cracks is not possible in our Junior High.
By the time our students complete our Junior High Program and graduate from St. Patrick School, they are well prepared with “life skills” that will serve them well in high school and beyond. They have gained many strong study skills: They can take excellent notes, write proficient essays, format research papers, study for exams, and plan and manage their time. They possess a solid academic foundation. They are in the “habit” of exhibiting good manners and they appreciate the value of service to others as they have been immersed in a faith-based and values-based environment that has nurtured the Golden Rule and living their faith. We are confident in the character and the abilities of our students as they move into high school.