St. John’s Episcopal Parish Day School prepares each of its students for lifelong intellectual and spiritual growth by providing a superior educational experience within a nurturing Christian environment. Situated in Hyde Park and near Downtown Tampa, St. John’s is a co-ed, Episcopal K(4)-8 independent school with a rich 68-year tradition of exceptional academic achievement. Founded in 1951, St. John’s is Tampa’s oldest Episcopal school.

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Health and Wellness

At St. John’s, we believe each child should benefit from the strongest possible support – not just with their academic learning, but also with their physical, emotional, social, and mental well-being, which is equally important. To better ensure that we support the “whole child,” we have both a full time School Nurse and School Psychologist/Learning Support Specialist. We also believe in supporting our families with resources for their own health and wellness. Below you can find articles from our staff that we hope will better serve our community:

Kindness at SJE
By Amy Patenaude, School Psychologist

Kindness is a cornerstone value of an SJE education! Kindness is defined as demonstrating generosity, friendliness, and consideration for others without thinking about what an individual will get out of doing something for another person. St. John’s students are encouraged to look for ways that they can help others without being asked or told to. We see acts of kindness every day at St. John’s. Students demonstrate kindness by waiting their turn in line, holding the door open for their teachers and fellow classmates, sitting with a classmate who is by himself or herself, and helping a friend who may have gotten hurt. 

Kindness comes in many different forms. I like to live by the mantra of kind actions, kind words and kind thoughts. 

This month students at the Primary Division Campus are learning about kindness as part of our character education program. During the lesson, students learned about what kindness means and gave examples of different ways that they have seen other students demonstrate kindness. Students played a game where they were asked to determine what behaviors demonstrated kindness by standing or kneeling down. 

Students worked together to make a kindness chain. Students learned that when we show generosity, friendliness, and consideration to others, it helps others and creates a stronger, longer chain. 

Wondering how to talk about kindness at home with your children? You can talk about different ways that children and adults can show kindness to others. You can encourage your child to look for ways to show kindness to others. 

Healthy Habits for Back to School 
By Sharon Weaver, School Nurse

Hopefully you have all enjoyed your summer and had lots of quality family time. I know my favorite part of summer is the lack of routine and time to just be with family.  Our children have hopefully had lots of time to relax, play outside, and just be kids.  As we embark on the school year and get back to our routines, I thought I’d give you a few simple tips to help your children start off on the right track.

S:  Sleep - I cannot stress enough how important sleep is to a successful day.  Start re-introducing the bedtime routine now so it is not a shock to your child on the night before school starts.  Turn off the electronics at least an hour before bed so your child’s mind is prepared to rest.  A night of 8-10 hours of sleep yields a healthy body and mind that’s ready to learn.

C:  Cardiovascular Activity/Exercise - Daily exercise is a must for our children.  This doesn’t mean your child has to be in a fitness class or play an organized sport.  Exercise can be playing tag, riding a bike, running around with a pet, or taking a walk as a family in the evening.  Children spend far too much time watching screens and not enough time moving.  Exercise relieves the stress of a long school day and in turn will help with our number one tip of getting a restful sleep.

H:  Hygiene - As we start another school year amidst a global pandemic this is of utmost importance.  Please encourage your children to wash their hands frequently. Hand-washing is the one thing we know definitely decreases the spread of germs. Also, if your child wears a face covering, please make sure they have a clean one each day.  

O:  Outdoors (fresh air) -  Our children spend hours inside school buildings each day reading, writing and thinking.  All of us have busy schedules, and our kids will have homework, but it is so important that we provide our children time outside.  Fresh air clears the mind and often coincides with the all-important cardiovascular activity. 

O: Optimism - Be optimistic. This, I believe, is very important in a child having a successful day or school year.  Our kids need to hear that we believe they are going to have a great day and achieve great things.  It’s a known fact that children become who they are told they can be.  Let’s make sure we have successful children because of our optimism. 

L:  Laughter -  This is my favorite tip.  Laugh with your children.  Humor helps with self esteem and friendship building.  Laughing with your kids will benefit both parties by providing quality time.  Laughing reduces stress and has a great healing power.  Laughter is, in fact, the best medicine. 

I wish you all a wonderful start to the school year and am happy to help with any health concerns your child may have.

Health & Wellness Team

Amy Patenaude

Amy Patenaude

Titles: School Psychologist, Learning Support Specialist K(4)-4
Sharon Weaver

Sharon Weaver

Titles: School Nurse