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Sixth grade is added for 2013-2014 year at St. John's in Vermillion

St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Vermillion is adding a sixth grade to its curriculum for the 2013-2014 school year. Registration for all grades preschool through grade 6 is under way.

A decision to add a sixth grade to the school was made earlier this year.

"A priority for St. John the Baptist School is to ensure that our fifth- and sixth-grade program will provide experiences that will cement the skills our students need for transition to seventh grade," said Sister Tresa Margret, school principal. "These two additional years of faith fortification, confidence and leadership-building experiences and service oriented contributions to our community will be the building blocks for their successful transition and readiness for middle school, high school and beyond."

She noted the core studies will be taught by current staff. The fifth- and sixth-grade students will occupy the enlarged fifth-grade classroom. There is an existing science lab area. The music room/library adjoins the classroom. The break-out areas will be used to separate the grades or ability levels for math, reading and other subjects.

The areas of art, physical education, music and leadership will be enhanced, said Sister Tresa Margret. A new speech and debate program will be added.

The Catholic identity of the students will be expanded as well.

"The religion curriculum will include deeper catechetical lessons, an annual sixth grade retreat day, youth ministry experiences, active leadership roles in all-school Mass, daily religion class, instruction from our pastor (The Rev. Stan Mader) and optional participation in summer mission trip," she said.

The school develops the whole child, she said, "by fostering academic excellence, spiritual and character development, personal responsibility, and a life-long commitment to service to providing individual attention and a supportive community."

Currently, St. John's School is the only Catholic school operating preschool through fifth grade in the Archdiocese. The majority offer preschool through eighth grade.

St. John the Baptist Catholic School has been part of the community for more than 50 years. Parishioners have firmly supported their school since they began building it in 1957. In October 2005, a new $1.1 million, 8,200-square-foot addition was completed. The addition included a new classroom/science room, library/music room, conference room, a large community room and office space.

Anyone interested in learning more about the school is invited to stop in at the school, or call 651-437-2644.