This year, due to Covid-19 restrictions, shadow visits, in-person Open House, and other on-campus activities for future cadets to experience life at St. John’s have been canceled. The St. John’s Admissions team is getting creative in finding new ways to welcome and admit the St. John’s class of 2025 during these challenging times.
On October 25, St. John’s held its first ever Virtual Open House. This event included live speeches from faculty, Q&A sessions with a student panel, and video tours of the St. John’s campus. This event allowed parents and potential students to learn more about St. John’s and the SJC community without the risk of Covid-19 exposure. Shannon Dempsey ‘21, a Peer Minister, had the task of conducting live interviews with teachers. According to her, the Open House was mostly a success. “Overall I think we did well giving prospective students and families a feel for St. John’s and the opportunities we offer; however, without having the in-person aspect, it was harder to really give off the feeling and vibe (for lack of a better word) of the community here at St. John’s,” Dempsey said.
The biggest difference for this year’s round of applications is the lack of events that allow applicants to truly experience and feel the community at St. John’s. “That feeling was so important in my and many others’ decisions to come here and it’s just a shame that these 8th graders won’t have a chance to feel that with any school they’re looking at,” Dempsey said. Like Dempsey, most SJC students consider these on-campus events to be one of the most important factors for them when choosing St. John’s.
In an attempt to bring back some of these community-building events, the admissions team started holding “Welcome Wednesdays.” On these days, 25 eighth graders and their families can come on campus to hear Mr. Mancabelli speak along with other faculty and students. Mrs. Hinton, head of St. John’s Admissions believes while this isn’t a full replacement for shadow visits and Open House, it does provide a personal and informative experience. “The goal of the admissions team is to ensure that every prospective student is able to know and understand what our community is all about. The main reason 9th graders choose St. John’s is because our community feels like a family,” Hinton said.
For the application itself, nothing has changed this year. All information can be found on the St. John’s website under the admissions tab. The application consists of personal information along with a written essay, all due on December 4, 2020. The High School Placement test is still required and can be taken at St. John’s on December 5 and December 12.