Saint John’s Catholic Prep is a Jesuit-run high school located in Santa Monica. In language, their students are expected to show the highest accuracy. In morality, their students should be leaders in their communities, on and off the playing field. In academics, Saint John’s Catholic Prep students must apply themselves fully to the course work to give them the best chance of success in college.
The school is diverse in culture, religion, and ethnicity
Most schools are pretty homogenous in culture, religion, and ethnicity. If you look at how teachers talk to their students, it’s obvious they are all from the same neighborhood, they know what everybody else talks about, and they all have the same ideas about how children should think.
The students don’t mind this. If you look around your school, there is a good chance that no one else shares your background. You may be one of only three Asian kids in your class; everyone else is white, black, or Hispanic. You may be the only kid from a low-income family. And that’s fine: you can do everything you need to on your own.
But if you want to learn about someone else’s background, it helps to see it from their viewpoint and yours. Many schools are not just “homogenous” but also pretty uninteresting. A diverse school is like a museum where the exhibits come from different countries and periods. Each exhibit has something important to teach us about how humans live elsewhere in history. They help us understand our world better by giving us fresh ways of seeing it.
It also provides a foundation for academic and leadership success.
Saint John’s Catholic Prep School is intended to provide a foundation for academic and leadership success: good grades, strong study habits, and good preparation for the tests that form the core of our education system. But schools don’t do enough to prepare students for the rest of their lives. And many problems which arise in schools may not be problems at all when they occur in workplaces or other settings.
Schools are not supposed to be where you learn what you need to do your job. They are supposed to teach how to think. But that’s a fine line, and often policy falls short of it. Many schools have a very narrow curriculum, and if you don’t take the courses they offer, there is no way for them to prepare you for the work you must do outside school. A narrow curriculum doesn’t teach the thinking skills that will serve you well in your job, and without those skills, it’s hard to get a good job.
Schools teach us how to make things work, but they don’t teach us how to work things ourselves. They teach us how to follow procedures and ask for help. This is fine for learning how to play a musical instrument or operate a computer, but not so much for figuring out how to solve problems independently.