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Go here for re-opening information for 2020-21.

St. John the Baptist
Catholic School
12319 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20904 | 301-622-3076

Guidance and Counseling

Ensuring a Positive Learning Environment

 We believe we are called to love our neighbors and to treat them with respect. SJB is committed to providing a physically safe and emotionally secure learning environment that is free from bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment, and intimidation.

Bullying, harassment, and intimidation are prohibited. When an incident is reported, we investigate and treat it seriously. When the behavior is observed, it is addressed right away.

SJB policy is spelled out in the Parent Handbook. It is also taught in the classroom throughout the school year.

Here are the bullying guidelines we follow.

Here are our guidelines for creating a positive classroom environment.

Our goal is a positive learning environment where, as the SJB slogan goes, "you feel you belong.”

The coordinator of our positive-environment and anti-bullying program is SJB's guidance counselor, Mrs. Doreen May. The program is followed on the class and school levels.

School-Level Components 

  • Hold staff discussions  

  • Follow and enforce policies set in the Parent Handbook 

  • Involve parents and seek their active support 

Classroom-Level Components 

  • Enforce school rules against bullying 

  • Hold regular discussions with students   

  • Hold meetings with Students/Parents 

  • Adopt Stop, Walk, Talk as a school-wide program in an effort to empower students to create positive change in their environment 

  • Guide students in Stop, Walk, Talk at the start of the school year and follow up regularly with positive-environment skills and anti-bullying measures 

  • Guidance counselor meets with classes bimonthly on community building, character development, and life/social skills 

Positive Environment and Anti-Bullying Resources 
  1. Stop, Walk, Talk (piloted in 4th grade this year and will be taught school-wide in 2019-20)

  2. Connect With Kids  -- Character and Life Skills at

  3. Character Development and Life Skills 

Individual-Level Components 

  • Supervise student activities in the classroom, during lunch, and on the playground. 

  • Ensure that all staff intervene on the spot when teasing and physical behavior begins and respond when such behavior is reported. 

  • Offer “Lunch Bunch” meetings with students to discuss all areas of student life. 

  • Develop individual intervention plans for students who have shown signs of bullying.  

  • Meet with parents of involved students, seek their support, require counseling and specific improvements when necessary. 


The Climate at SJB

At St. John the Baptist School, students are supported in many ways to enhance motivation and encourage engagement in both academic and social activities. Across the curriculum, students work in small differentiated groups, both in resource and enrichment, to enhance language arts and math skills. In accordance with the Backward Design theory of planning, instructing and assessing students in alternative ways, students are given opportunities to apply knowledge through various projects and assignments that focus on specific talents and gifts, sometimes overlooked in traditional testing situations. Students might work within Makerspace  program to create special projects and creative responses to learned material. 

Our Guidance Adviser is available to all students each afternoon in many ways. Regular bi-monthly guidance classes are offered in grades K-5, and in grades 6-8, students have an opportunity to participate in small groups during lunch or homeroom periods. A Buddy Bench sits on the periphery of our playground, reminding all students that no one should be without a friend at SJB and that all are welcome in our community.  

A Service Committee, headed by faculty members, works with the Student Council to plan specific activities throughout the year. Students and teachers, together with parents, participate in various opportunities that encourage active participation in not only the parish community, but also as an outreach to surrounding communities, and to our military serving our country around the world.  

An important component to a positive school climate is the ability of all students to interact with one another on many levels. Students in upper and lower grades pair up in our Buddy Program which regularly brings students together as Mass and Hot Lunch partners. In addition, throughout the year, classes pair up to do service projects, and participate in activities such as Roll Out and Read Day, Fairy Tale Writing, and other athletic competitions. Buddies in the upper grades read to students in our Kindergarten and First Grade on a regular basis.  

Teachers and staff are highly valued at SJB and are given many opportunities for professional development throughout the year - after school and on professional days. Currently, some members of our staff are participating in a Book Study using the book, Understanding by Design. Many teachers have also taken advantage of workshops utilizing resources from Discovery Education, and creating formative assessment tools.  

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