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St. John's Prep announces new middle school program and campus initiatives

Posted by Terri Ogan  May 9, 2013 02:00 PM

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St. John's Prep has submitted the following press release

St. John’s Prep in Danvers has announced the launch of "Prep 20/20," a strategic plan that centers on academic excellence, student life and the school’s mission to encourage students in developing their spiritual, intellectual, moral, physical, and creative potential.

"Prep 20/20" entails three key initiatives: a middle school program for boys in grades six, seven and eight; a new high school science, mathematics, and technology classroom building; and a new wellness facility. The program also calls for a continued focus on endowment growth to support the school’s tuition assistance program.

“We live in dynamic times that call us to prepare students for lives of meaningful citizenship and faith in a rapidly changing world," said Bernard L. Caniff, Jr., chairman of the Board of Trustees, in a recent statement. "The vision expressed in the strategic plan reaffirms our mission and builds on the strength of our program. It is a natural extension of our mission to educate young men in an atmosphere animated by faith, brotherhood, and wisdom.”

The first phase of the plan will begin with the opening of the middle school and construction of the science, mathematics, and technology building. 

Scheduled to open in September 2015, the new middle school will offer the same rigorous academics, co-curricular opportunities, and leadership programs offered in the high school, but in a setting tailored to the needs of younger students. 

The middle school, which will have about 300 students, will be located in its own facility on the school campus. Brother Benjamin Hall, currently a high school classroom building, will be renovated for the middle school with classrooms, science labs, fine arts space, study areas, school counseling offices, a dining room, and administrative offices. Academic technology resources will support all aspects of the program.

"The middle school program will engage students at a formative moment in their development," said Headmaster Edward P. Hardiman. "It will be a student-centered environment, challenging yet supportive, where boys can learn and thrive."

The new high school building will encompass the science, mathematics and technology departments in a setting designed to promote collaboration across classes and activities in different disciplines, such as mathematics and robotics. It will provide space for students to explore the practical application of what they study in the classroom. 

"The rapid pace of change in every area of life today demands that students graduate with a strong academic foundation and the ability to think critically, work collaboratively, and communicate effectively," said Principal Keith A. Crowley. "The new high school building will be designed to foster the 21st century skills students need to understand and contribute to the world around them."  

The new 60,000 to 65,000 square foot academic building will contain classrooms, labs and departmental offices. It will be located adjacent to the Ryken Center for the Arts on the Prep campus. Construction will begin in April 2014, with the building scheduled to open in September 2015. 

The second phase of the strategic plan calls for building a wellness center with athletics facilities to support the 20 interscholastic sports offered at St. John's, in addition to wellness programs that promote lifelong habits of health and fitness. Construction is anticipated to begin within five years. 

“Our commitment to integrate the concept of wellness into daily life at St. John’s stems from our mission to educate the whole person," Crowley said. "A center that provides the space and facilities to bring students together for athletics, fitness, and health education will add an important dimension to the educational experience at St. John’s."

The focus on endowment growth called for in the strategic plan will secure a strong financial future for St. John’s, and provide tuition assistance to ensure access for students from all socio-economic backgrounds. 

“As a Catholic, Xaverian Brothers sponsored school, we feel strongly that St. John’s must be affordable for families from a wide spectrum of incomes, including middle class families," Hardiman said. "By focusing on endowment growth, we can ensure access for those who cannot afford a Prep education without tuition assistance."  

The "Prep 20/20" plan is the result of a three-year process of research, study and collaboration that involved the participation of the entire school community, including parents, alumni, students, faculty, staff, and trustees.  

"The vision expressed in 'Prep 20/20' reflects the collective wisdom, inspiration and experience of people from all corners of the Prep community," Hardiman said. "The strength of our past and the promise for our future stems from their commitment to St. John's." 

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