WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2016

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/713244

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Page 165 of 211

The school operates by three pillars: academic excellence, faith development, and community. Saint John School recently celebrated 50 years in continuous operation. Thanks to unique programs such as monthly meetups for parents (with reading assignments from the principal!), Saint John School also educates parents as to what their child's curriculum is going to be. "We have monthly mingles so parents can meet with the principal prior to mass," says Peg Fischer, director of mission advancement. "We post a current research article on timely topics, such as reading with boys or screen time vs. parental controls." Principal Michael Dibbert, fresh off a five- year stint as an educator at a Swiss boarding school, explains, "I'm a big reader, and I want to have a faculty and staff that are current on what's going on in the world of education. We also want to ensure everyone feels engaged— including parents—and that they're a part of the school's daily life." Holistic involvement of the entire school community is a theme that Saint John School administrators assert fosters students' love of learning. "We really try to engage the parents," Dibbert emphasizes. "There's a lot of research that says the more consistency, the better, between the home and school environments in areas such as study habits, discipline, and what kind of language is used." Small class sizes (such as 15 pupils in kindergarten), allow for individual student attention, which in turn gives teachers the opportunity to really reach each child, regardless of their learning styles. Aside from the "three R's"—reading, writ- ing, and arithmetic, Saint John School offers a new Spanish language program for kinder- garteners through fifth graders. "This wasn't typically offered in the past," says Fischer. "We also work one-on-one with kids who have specialized learning needs. By law, public 164 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 6 education "academic excellence, faith development, and community"

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