Traditions & Innovations

The sense of family at St. John’s is one of our most distinguishing characteristics. Parents and siblings are always welcome to attend programs and chapel services.

WELCOME PICNIC Join us the Sunday evening before school starts. Class lists are posted and the campus is open for students and their parents to acquaint themselves with new teachers and classrooms. Everyone meets first in the chapel for a welcome from the Head of School.

GRANDPARENTS’ DAY - This is a special day set aside to honor the grandparents and family friends of St. John’s students. Special guests enjoy an open house in the classrooms and a music program performed by the students. After a catered lunch, everyone is released early to allow students to enjoy the day with their grandparents.

CURRICULUM NIGHT OPEN HOUSE Once school has begun, St. John’s hosts an evening meeting mid-September. At this meeting parents and teachers have the opportunity to discuss classroom curriculum, policies and expectations. This is also a great time to learn more about PTO, special events and how to stay involved at St. John’s.

BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS “Lord make me an instrument of your peace.” In observance of St. Francis of Assisi Day, St. John’s hosts a special ceremony celebrating the joy that God’s creatures bring to our lives. Students and parents are encouraged to bring their family pet to the front lawn of the School to be blessed by our Chaplain. In lieu of bringing a pet, photographs and special stuffed animals have been blessed as well.  St. John’s also collects pet needs during this time to give to Rescue the Animals. For more information on the meaning of St. Francis of Assisi Day, please visit http://www.epicenter.org/the-feast-day-of-saint-francis-of-assisi/

HALLOWEEN CARNIVAL St. John’s PTO sponsors this annual fundraiser held each October. The gymnasium is transformed into a festive, safe place for your child and their friends to enjoy dinner, game booths, a cakewalk, and much more.

RED RIBBON WEEK – National Family Partnership was established in 1980 by parents who were convinced they should begin to play a leadership role in drug prevention. Nancy Reagan was an Honorary Chair of NFP. NFP has devoted its efforts to the well-being of young people and is a national leader in drug prevention education & advocacy. St. John’s supports this effort by participating in NFP’s “Red Ribbon Week” activities to educate children on the dangers of substance abuse and help prevent the use and abuse of drugs, tobacco, and alcohol.

VETERANS’ DAY – Currently 10% of St. John’s families are active military.  Even more include family members who are retired or disabled from the military.  St. John’s proudly salutes the men and women who serve this country so honorably with a morning program on the school day closest to November 11. It is one of our most proud days on campus.

ECONOMICS FAIR This event is held in December. As a part of this program, St. John’s third grade students learn about the four Ps’ of marketing – product, promotion, price, and profit. The marketplace provides a venue for each student to sell a product or service to students at St. John's.

"EAGLE UP" This event occurs during the school day in February and is for students only. Its purpose is to acquaint current and prospective students with the next year’s teachers and get them excited about the curriculum and activities of the coming academic year.

VALENTINE POST OFFICE (V.P.O.) The V.P.O. is THE PLACE to get all of your Valentine cards for your friends, teachers and special someone for Valentine’s Day. Witty and kind, custom printed Valentine cards are available for purchase for you to deliver to your friends and teachers during class parties. This sale is sponsored by the fourth grade class as a fundraiser to offset expenses for their annual trip to Mo Ranch.

ASH WEDNESDAY & HOLY WEEK -  The Season of Lent begins approximately 40 days before Easter Sunday.  At St. John’s with recognize Ash Wednesday with the Imposition of Ashes Service. Following Lent, the students learn about the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ with chapel services for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

ST. JOHN’S SUNDAY St. John’s is accredited by the National Association of Episcopal Schools and is affiliated with and supported by Church of the Heavenly Rest, Episcopal here in Abilene. Each year, St. John’s families are invited to attend a special worship service celebrating our relationship with them. Fifth grade students assist with the readings that Sunday and the choir performs during the service.  St. John’s Sunday is the first Sunday after Easter.

100TH DAY & 100% PARTICIPATION Each year, the students of St. John's celebrate the 100th day of class by doing hundreds of different things throughout the day. Also, the students all participate in supporting the “St. John’s Fund.”  For just $1 from each student, St. John’s can say with certainty that 100% of our attending families support the mission of St. John’s Episcopal School.

SPELLING BEE Elementary students (grades Kindergarten through 5th) participate in the annual St. John’s Spelling Bee.

SCIENCE FAIR As part of St. John’s science program, fourth and fifth grade students compete individually by selecting a topic of interest to investigate. Then, using the Scientific Method, they create a project to enter in the fair. Students in early preschool 2’s through the third grade participate with a class project. Additionally, fourth and fifth grade students go on to compete at the regional level at the Southwestern Association of Episcopal School Science Fair.

WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD  The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration hosted by National Association for the Education of Young Children.  St. John’s sets this week aside to celebrate the students in St. John’s preschool (EPK 2 – PK4) program through various exciting activities.

MO-RANCH Fifth grade students and teachers participate in the leadership-training program offered at Mo Ranch near Kerrville, Texas. This three day event includes exercises in teamwork and leadership through activities in the great outdoors. Not to mention – a whole lot of FUN!

FIELD DAY GAME ON! In May, students and teachers in kindergarten through the fifth grade are divided into teams and participate in games, challenges, and athletic competition. Every year, Field Day is an elementary school favorite.

FIRST GRADE FAIRY TALES Students in first grade present to their parents and schoolmates a fairy tale that they have written and illustrated as part of their language arts curriculum. St. John’s is proud of the budding novelists we showcase each year.

STATES FAIR This event is hosted by second grade students, as a part of their study of the United States. Each student presents a project showcasing one great state and all it has to offer: food, art, pop culture, industry and more.  Second graders spend weeks of the research and studying the state they have chosen in order to make sure nothing amazing about each state is left out.

WAX MUSEUM - This school project for fourth graders is one of the most exciting on campus.  Students research one famous historical figure each and bring that person to life, wax museum style.  Every St. John’s student gets to walk through this “wax museum” and engage with the fourth grade actors portraying the historical person they have chosen. 

COMING HOME St. John’s honors its former students who are graduating from high school during this ceremony. Former teachers are invited to attend and share their memories. After a presentation in the chapel the honorees are invited to enjoy a reception and a tour of “their” school. 

KINDERGARTEN GRADUATION - At the end of the school year, a service celebrating the completion of kindergarten is held in the Jim Price Memorial Chapel.  There’s nothing cuter than tiny caps and gowns celebrating the closing of Kindergarten and the beginning of more learning as they continue to grow.

FIFTH GRADE GRADUATION At the end of the school year, a service celebrating the completion of elementary school is held at on campus. A reception for the honorees and their families follows the ceremony as we prepare to send our “graduating” 5th graders off to middle school.