The Benefits of a Pre-K through Eighth Grade School

buddy day activity

Your Child's Growth

Throughout lower and middle school, your child's strengths, interests and personality gradually become more defined. By eighth grade, the right fit for upper school is clearer than when your child was first entering school.

Involvement in the Decision

During the initial steps of the educational journey, parents make all the school decisions. With your child's maturation, school choice can become a powerful family decision. The child then
feels more committed to success in upper school,
and the experience is good practice for selecting the right college.

The Best Match for Upper School

The Head of the Middle School works carefully with you and your child through a personalized placement process to find the best match for upper school. Area upper schools pursue St. John's students because they are well-prepared, grounded, confident and well-rounded; they often become servant leaders in their high schools.

Desire for Change

After so many years in the same school, eighth grade students often feel ready for a change. They want to experience another environment, with new friends and fresh challenges. The move helps students learn to adapt to new situations. Because all of the students leave after eighth grade, they support each other and develop an unusual bond that endures even when they attend different upper schools.

Opportunities for Participation and Leadership

Older students at St. John's serve on various councils, work in print and broadcast media, play on interscholastic athletic teams beginning in fifth grade, lead in chapel services, perform service in school and the larger community, act as buddies for younger students, and provide powerful role models for the entire student body.


Our middle school students show unusual maturity, yet they can be themselves and sometimes act "younger" and playful. Without the presence of an upper school, students feel less external pressure to act cool too soon. This is developmentally appropriate. In fact, our teachers are acutely aware of the developmental needs of students at each level.

Lifetime Connections

St. John's alumni maintain their friendships and express gratitude for their experience. We frequently hear from alumni about how important St. John's has remained in their lives. They tell us that St. John's is the place where great lives begin.