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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 nearby assisted living community. We also have weeklong immersion trips to places like West Virginia, Maine, Guatemala, Jamaica and Ecuador. Students also run a host of activities to serve others. Many opportunities exist and new ventures are often added!

Are there coed social activities?

We have dances throughout the year, including casual Friday night dances and semi-formals. Young women often take part in Drama Guild plays, and we also have coed activities, games nights and service opportunities. On the sports front, the Prep fencing team and the mountain biking teams compete with female athletes. And students often bring female guests to concerts or games on campus!

Are there transportation options?

Many families carpool to St. John's, and our online family directory makes it easy for parents to find other families living nearby. We offer bus transportation along eight routes:

  • Arlington/Medford
  • Lynn/Swampscott/Peabody
  • North Shore/Cape Ann
  • Chelmsford/Lawrence
  • Andover
  • North Andover
  • Southern New Hampshire/Newburyport
  • Lexington/Burlington

Is tuition assistance available?

We provide $6.6 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 expenses can we expect in addition to tuition?

This is a rundown of what High School families can anticipate:

  • iPad: Students in grades 9 through 12 are required to own an iPad. The cost through the School's discount purchase program is about $515.
  • Books and ebooks: Freshman can expect to spend about $220 for e-books and books. 
  • Lunch: Lunch typically costs about $8/day. Students who purchase lunch every day can expect to spend about $1,300 a year. Some students purchase lunch in the dining hall, while others bring their own lunch to school.
  • Bus: St. John's offers round-trip bus transportation on eight different routes. The cost is $2,500 a year.
  • Other Programs: St. John's offers a wide variety of service, retreat and cultural immersion programs. The cost of trips vary depending on the trip, but can range from $500 to $2,300. Attending Model UN conferences and similar programs can range from $50 to $250. Because we partner with an outside marina, there is a $1,000 cost for crew team. These examples are provided only to give families a sense of what to anticipate.

How much is the entrance exam weighted?

The entrance exam is optional for admission for the 2021-2022 application cycle. If taken, it 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 percent of students participate in High School athletics. We offer more than 20 different interscholastic sports, as well as recreational sports fitness programs 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.

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.

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 per day) 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 sandwich wraps, burrito bowls, salads, hamburgers, fries, 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 to 2.5 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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