HIGH school FAQ

Browse this page for the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Prep experience for students in grades 9 through 12. If you have questions we haven't covered here, please feel free to call the Office of Admission at 978-624-1301.


Can I get involved in community service?

Yes! St. John's offers a wide variety of community service opportunities through our Campus Ministry office. These include afternoon activities like serving a meal in a soup kitchen or visiting a nursing home. We also have weeklong immersion trips to rural Virginia and Duran Ecuador. Students also run walk-a-thons and a host of activities to serve others. Many opportunities exist, and new ones are often added!

Are there coed social activities?

We have dances throughout the year, including casual Friday night dances and semi-formals. Girls often take part in Drama Guild plays, and we also have coed activities, games nights and service opportunities. On the athletics front, the Prep fencing team competes in coed meets with fencers from Dana Hall School. And students often bring female guests to concerts or games on campus!

Are there transportation options?

Bus Transportation

St. John's organizes round-trip bus service along five different routes, serving the areas listed here. There is an added fee for this service.

Arlington/Medford Route

  • Medford
  • Arlington
  • Winchester
  • Melrose
  • Wakefield

Lynn/Swampscott Route

  • Nahant
  • Lynn
  • Swampscott/Salem
  • Peabody

Chelmsford/Lawrence Route

  • Chelmsford
  • Lawrence

Andover/North Andover Route

  • Andover
  • North Andover

Southern New Hampshire/Newburyport Route

  • Portsmouth
  • Seabrook
  • Newburyport 
Carpools

In addition, many students carpool to school. The school directory that is available to families makes it easy to find others who live nearby.

How much is the entrance exam weighted?

The entrance exam is considered as part of your overall application, but it does not receive a specific "weight." All aspects on the application are considered by the admissions committee.

I hear it's hard to play sports at St. John's. Is that true?

No! In fact, 67% of our students participate on an athletic team. We offer 20 different sports, including several non-try out sports every season. When they come to St. John's, many students discover a talent for a sport they had never tried before. We have many walk-on or non-tryout sports, including cross country, winter and spring track, fencing, football, swimming, water polo, wrestling, rugby, and Ultimate Disc.  These teams are just as competitive as their tryout counterparts and require a daily commitment to practices and competitions. Try-out sports include baseball, basketball, golf, hockey, lacrosse, sailing, skiing, soccer, tennis and volleyball.

Is the significant investment in my son's education worthwhile?

We believe it is. St. John's strives to educate the whole person, and through the development of every student's spiritual, intellectual, moral, physical and creative potential, we prepare students for life beyond St. John's. As a preparatory school, we provide students with the tools to succeed in college. In fact, over 99% of our graduates attend outstanding four-year colleges and universities each year.

Is tuition assistance available?

We provide $5 million in tuition assistance for students in grades 6 through 12. In addition to need-based tuition assistance, we also offer the St. Francis Xavier Merit Scholars program for students entering grade 9. There is no reduced rate for sibilings attending St. John's.

What are the benefits of a single-sex education?

Research shows that boys and girls learn differently. St. John's is geared towards the distinct learning needs of boys and our teachers teach to the strengths of boys. Students feel safe to be themselves and take a sincere interest in their own intellectual, physical, spiritual, moral and creative formation. Furthermore, the unique brotherhood that develops between students here is something that unites them as a student body and carries into their lives as alumni.

What course levels does St. John's offer?

We offer College Prep, Accelerated, and Honors levels. We also offer Advanced Placement levels for juniors and seniors. St. Francis Xavier Scholars may have early access to AP courses, as well.

How much do books cost? What educational technology do students use?

As a part of our 1:1 student iPad program, every student will be required to own an iPad to use the the classroom and to do research and homework assignments.Rising freshmen and sophomores will purchase eBooks for most of their classes instead of purchasing textbooks. The average cost of an eBook is $17. Read more about the 1:1 iPad program here.

Students in grades 9 through 12 are required to own an iPad for use at home and school. The iPad specifications outlined below meet school requirements. Students in grades 6, 7 and 8 will use school-owned and managed iPads; they will not be allowed to bring their own iPads to school. 

  • New Students: Minimum of an iPad Air with 32GB of space
  • Returning Students: Minimum of an iPad 3 with 32GB of space 

The iPad Mini does not meet our qualifications. All iPads support WiFi and will be able to access the SJP wireless network everywhere on campus. Although it is not required, you may purchase iPads that will work on 3G or 4G cellular networks for connectivity everywhere.

Discount Purchase

St. John's works with Apple to provide a discount purchase opportunity in late spring and/or summer. The program also offers an extended 3-year AppleCare+ policy. In addition, St. John's is authorized by Apple to perform on-campus, walk-in, warranty repairs on iPads purchased through the school. iPads purchased through St. John's may also be brought to any Apple store for repair. iPads purchased at the Apple store, from Apple online, or at a retailer such as Best Buy, must be brought to an Apple store for warranty repair.

Protecting Your iPad

We recommend that you purchase a case to protect your son’s iPad from accidental damage.

SJP recommends that families consider insurance coverage for accidental damage. The device is covered by most homeowners’ insurance policies, but the repair costs for accidental damage typically do not exceed the deductible, which makes separate coverage a good idea. If you want to pursue extra coverage, check with the retailer where you purchase your iPad or contact your family insurance broker.

In addition, Apple offers AppleCare+ which extends the standard technical support and hardware warranty to two years and adds coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage due to handling, each subject to a service fee. More information here on the Apple site. You may also consider third party warranty coverage like that offered by the Worth Ave Group.

What is lunch like?

The meals at St. John's are delicious! Boys can purchase breakfast, snacks and lunch throughout the academic day. The lunch lasts for 40 minutes. Students may either bring their own lunch or purchase it in the cafeteria (the average cost for lunch is $8) with cash or an Eagle Express Card, a combination ID/debit card. Parents/guardians deposit money into the Eagle Express account for students. The Eagle Express Card may also be used in the bookstore. Daily lunch items include sandwiches, hamburgers, fries, salads, pasta, chicken fingers, a chef's special and other assorted snacks and drinks.

What is the dress code?

Students must wear a collared, button-down shirt or a St. John's Prep polo, which is available in the school bookstore. Shirts must be tucked in at all times. Pants must be four pocket dress pants of a solid color. Students must wear a belt and dress shoes and socks. During the winter, students may wear boots. Sweaters may be worn over shirts at any time. More details are listed in the student handbook which is available to enrolled students.

What is the homework load like?

Freshmen typically have about 2.5 to 3 hours of homework per night. Some nights students may have less, other nights more in the case of studying for a major test or working on an essay or project.

What is the average class size?

The average class size at St. John's is 18 students.

Will I have study periods?

Yes, all students have one unstructured (study) period for one semester during the school year. Students may choose to take an elective course instead of the unstructured period as well.
St. John's Prep is a Catholic private school offering a boys High School and Middle School program on a 175-acre campus in Danvers. Students come to St. John's from communities throughout the North Shore of Boston and the Merrimack Valley. Founded in 1907, St John's Prep is a Xaverian Brothers sponsored school with a long tradition of excellence in academics, athletics and co-curricular life. Our commitment to the wellness of every student stems from our mission to educate the whole person - spiritually, socially, emotionally, intellectually, physically and aesthetically.
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