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Saint John Berchmans School

2511 West Logan Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60647

(773) 486-1334


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

A well-rounded curriculum taught through hands-on activities, experiments, and indirect methods such as cooking, play, and stories integrates concepts from the subject areas listed below: Science Language Arts Music Math Art Physical Education Computer Skills Religion

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • New Primary Library
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Money and Numbers Activities
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • Daily schedule
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

More Information

  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Water Table, Sand, Specific Unit Centers
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • CDs, Listening Center
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

More Information

  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
  • Large Motor Equipment
Other subjects taught Spanish (twice a week), Computer (through structured centers), Religion

From the Director:

We promote an atmosphere of love, patience, and support that is reinforced through teachers, parents, and students working together. We build on children's natural creativity and curiosity to further their growth and development. Social-emotional growth is fostered by providing children the opportunity to hone social skills by working in a group. Group work provides opportunities in which to negotiate the sharing of materials, turn taking, and listening to others.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

We work to create an environment that encourages the learning potential of every student through a well-rounded curriculum. We value and respect the cultural and academic diversity of the school community.

Flexible grouping is accomplished throughout the day, sometimes based on age, developmental level, ability level, or other factors. Through flexible grouping, our teachers work with students who have needs that may be different than those of the larger class group.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"St. John Berchmans School, an integral component of St. John Berchamns Parish, strives to encompass all facets of Christian living in its education of the whole child; spiritual, moral, intellectual, social, cultural, and physical. We will work to create an environment that encourages the learning potential of every student through a well-rounded curriculum including fine arts, special reading classes, library resources, computer usage, physical education, and social skills. We try to build a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of success. We believe that parents are the first educators of their children, and we support and encourage this role. We value and respect the cultural and academic diversity of the school community. We hold dear the dignity of each child as a practicing member of the family of God, celebrating prayer and liturgical experiences, and encompassing moral values into their everyday life. Our common goal is the development of the whole person; this is accomplished through an atmposphere of love and support provided by the teachers, parents, and students working together."

"Educating the child is the shared responsibility of parents and school personnel. The school has been delegated with the role of training the child in arts and sciences. Parents, however, remain the primary educators. Their role is decisively important and should include:

- Living the values taught in a Catholic School. Words alone do not convince a child.
- Attending Mass each Sunday.
- Helping the child relate the teachings of his/her faith to the experience of daily living.
- Promoting a genuinely positive attitude towards education.
- Cooperating with the school to help the child understand his/her obligations and responsibilites.
- Maintaining a positive attitude towards education."

-From the school website

A Typical Day

7:50 - Doors Open

8:00-8:20 - Welcome, calendar work, library time

8:20-8:45 - Prayer, pledge, Bible sotries, and other stories

8:45-9:00 - Restroom Break

9:00-9:45 - Structured Learning Centers*

9:45-10:00 - Clean-up and prepare for outside

10:00-10:30 - Outside play, motor skills

10:30-10:45 - Restroom break and lunch preparation

10:45-11:00 - Story time

11:00 Half day student dismissal

11:00-11:30 - Lunch

11:30-11:45 - Restroom Break

11:45-12:00 - Movement and music

12:00-1:00 - Nap

1:00-1:45 - Puzzles and books

1:45-2:00 - Restroom break and outside preparation

2:00-3:00 - Outside play

3:00 - Full day student dismissal

*Music and art are integrated throughout the day. Students receive Spanish instruction twice a week and formal physical education once a week

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Teachers communicate on a daily basis and have email, voicemail, and a class blog. Our school sends home a weekly Family Folder every Thursday, and parents may also join our school's Google Group for regular updates. Our website, is regularly updated to keep parents informed.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

We work with each family to develop a plan that best suits each student's needs. We have Sister Joyce, our Director of Early Childhood Education, who serves as a resource for both parents and teachers.