Educating In Life and For Life – is intrinsic to the educational vision and philosophy of Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac School. Behind the saying is 400 years of history that encourages teachers and students alike to learn not only for academic purposes but for everyday experiences. This is why Saint Jeanne’s requires its high school students to take four semesters of seminar courses that explore different aspects of life that students may run into outside of their everyday school academics.
Foundations for Success, Life Skills, College and Career Seminar, and Senior Capstone are classes that the freshman through seniors take throughout their education at Saint Jeanne High School.
Elyssia Perez, the Saint Jeanne’s college counselor, explains, “After successfully completing the seminar courses, our students understand their innate strengths. They understand how impactful they can be as community members and how their leadership is encouraged and needed. They are prepared to navigate the college terrain and are prepared with the skills needed to be successful post-high school.”
The students greatly appreciate the opportunity for the skills learned during their seminar courses. Students have the chance to apply the skills they learn every day in real-life situations. For example, Sophomores are enrolled in Life Skills which is a comprehensive course that includes units in the areas of personal development, food safety, nutrition, beginning sewing techniques and apparel maintenance, financial literacy with a focus on the importance of credit scores, bank account awareness, and the basics of home and auto maintenance.
Malik Douglas, a Saint Jeanne’s Sophomore, said, “I really enjoy learning about nutrition in Life Skills because I’m an athlete. The class has enabled me to research the food I am putting into my body and analyze if it will make me a better athlete. I’ve learned that when we are super active and practicing every day, we have to be very aware of what we are eating so we don’t cramp up or become dehydrated out on the field.”
Students also have the opportunity to learn about the next steps in their lives, such as applying and going to college. Juniors are enrolled in the College and Career Seminar, in which Mrs. Perez coaches them through the entire application and attendance process of college.
During their senior year, students create their Capstone projects. “Capstone projects are a way for students to give back to their community and live out the Saint Jeanne tenets that they have learned throughout their time at the school. The projects enable students to explore ideas that could be potentially implemented into the curriculum. For example, students have explored the idea of implementing a kinesiology class based on the growing athletics department and the need for sports medicine. Another idea that was captured through the Capstone class was the concept of a peer music tutoring program so elementary students could learn from the high school students,” explained the Capstone class teacher, Mr. Lincoln Nguyen.