St. John School’s elementary-level teaching guidelines follow the California State Standards (Common Core) and are shaped by Catholic teachings, doctrine, and tradition. Elementary students receive English language arts, math, science, social studies, and religion from their classroom teacher daily. In addition, they receive PE and nutrition education twice a week from our Athletic Director and weekly Spanish language instruction from our dedicated Spanish teacher. Special music, dance, technology, and art classes rotate through the elementary curriculum in segments.
Outdoor physical activity is good for a strong body and brain development. St. John School is blessed with a large recess yard nestled between our terraced garden and the Glen Park Greenway. St. John’s elementary students enjoy outdoor recess twice a day and lunch outdoors (weather permitting).
First Grade curriculum emphasizes the development of writing, reading, and public speaking skills through book report read-alouds and individual student read-alouds. Popular first-grade field trip activities include starring in an animated film at the Walt Disney Museum and trying on 49rs uniforms at Levi Stadium.
Second-grade students look forward to a Sacramental Preparation Program during the winter and spring. Students who choose to receive the sacraments receive their First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion during the spring.
Beginning in third grade, students begin learning cursive, navigating textbooks, using a homework planner to track daily assignments, receiving letter grade report cards, and pairing with buddy students in lower grades.
All elementary classes expand classroom education with grade-appropriate, carefully planned field trips. Field trips offer students fresh learning environments, build their confidence, and expose them to teaching not readily available in a classroom setting. Supervision is provided by classroom teachers and parent volunteers. Field trips for elementary grades may include visits to the Walt Disney Museum, Elkus Ranch, 49rs Levi Stadium, the San Francisco Ballet, the San Francisco Symphony, the SF Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park (Hyde Street Pier), the San Francisco Zoo, and the Academy of Sciences, among other destinations.
Fourth graders enjoy a unique overnight field trip to Coloma, CA where they are immersed in California’s Gold Rush history, including panning for gold and baking cornbread over a cookfire.
Gifted parents and alumni often bring expertise into our elementary classrooms, adding their unique skills to our students’ learning experience. Depending on the parent community, elementary classes may host visiting authors, arts and crafts volunteers, engineers, nurses, gardeners, construction experts, firefighters, police officers, bakers, and a variety of other gracious volunteer educators.
All adults, including parents and family members, who volunteer on the school campus or for any school field trips and activities must complete the San Francisco Archdiocese Safe School Program and adhere to all school safety policies.