Middle School Capstone
The ‘middle school capstone experience’ at St. Joseph School is a curriculum-informed program where students receive opportunities to grow, develop and apply classroom knowledge, outside the academic classroom. These experiences begin in 5th grade and culminate with an 8th grade trip. Each year students are exposed to different developmental experiences that model the philosophy of the school – to join together persons that are intellectually competent, open to growth, faith-filled, loving and committed to doing justice in generous service to the community.
This formational program enhances the community at St. Joseph School and provides experiential learning experiences that attempt to address the dichotomy between student life and academic life. The capstone experience is comprised of 4 grade level experiences beginning with the current 5th grade camp and culminating with an 8th grade trip. The goal is for each student to experience a strong sense of belonging, fellowship, acceptance and love while growing as young adults, students, and servant leaders. It is a hope that the middle school capstone experiences fulfill this exciting vision to provide all students with experiences that form them into faith-filled, curious and competent learners, contributing community members and persons of integrity.
Under the direction of the 7th grade team, students embark on an overnight wilderness camping and hiking experience that both challenges and excites students. In a remote outdoor setting, students will enhance relationships with classmates, embrace spirituality in nature and overcome the challenge of being in an unfamiliar environment. This overnight includes hiking, camping and of course community time around the campfire!
The culminating experience for the 8th graders is a trip to New York City and Washington D.C. in late April/early May. The trip complements the 8th grade U.S. history curriculum and 7th and 8th grade literature, incorporates a service experience and lots of site-seeing and allows students to spend time together in community. Since the 8th grade trip is a culminating experience, the cost is more significant. Additional fundraisers such as a class dinner and a dance for parents will take place each year.
A critical piece of each of these experiences is cost. The efforts and results of a variety of fundraisers help off-set travel, food, activities and lodging costs. Fundraisers include Caffe Appassionato coffee sales, noon-dismissal bagel sales, and concessions at all CYO events in the Wyckoff Gymnasium. We expect that as many students as possible participate in these fundraisers in an effort to support their classmates and future capstone experiences.
Financial aid is available for families who receive aid for tuition. Additional information regarding capstone experience costs and financial assistance will be communicated on an annual basis to middle school parents.