Featured Story

Ninth Grade Completes J-Term

Last week, St. Luke’s ninth grade participated in the annual J-Term, a week-long, student-led learning experience that encourages students to dig deeply into issues they care about and develop actions to help change the world. Center for Leadership Director Kate Parker-Burgard shared the following about this year’s event.

We asked this year’s ninth graders the following question: "What issues weigh heavily on your mind when you think about the world you’re going to enter as adults?” They came up with some serious responses: the environment, gun violence, poverty, health care, racism, and child abuse. Our opportunity for them to explore those issues further and create solutions is J-Term.

Throughout the week, the daily school routine was paused for students to work together and dive into these topics. While the pandemic caused us to move the work online, our ninth graders were not daunted by the challenge. We watched them take charge of their learning and earnestly engage their topics. We are so impressed and pleased with the work they’ve done, and we’re eager for you to hear from them. 

The week concluded with the J-Term Showcase, an opportunity for the student groups to share their findings and present their recommendations to help change the world for the better. After viewing the presentations, students, parents, and faculty shared feedback and words of praise for the good work. A few of the comments are highlighted below. 

  • I learned a lot. The slides were well-organized and did a great job of highlighting the major themes and takeaways. All of the presenters were prepared and seemed equally conversant on the topic.
  • A great job was done by all. I appreciated that the group included different types of child abuse and the information on the various resources one can reach out to if needed.
  • Overall, everyone had a great understanding of the issue and presented an inspiring and engaging presentation. Everyone did a great job!
  • The presenters were polished, well-informed, and prepared. It was an excellent presentation. I learned a lot, and I even took notes! I will go home tonight and discard any sunscreen that has coral reef-endangering chemicals.
  • The presenters were well-informed, and it had obviously been practiced. The question-and-answer portion was lively. There seemed to be a real team approach and passion from the participants for the topic.
  • Well-organized, and I enjoyed learning about what I can do in my everyday life to help and what other organizations, states, and companies are doing to combat climate change.
  • The speakers were well-informed with data, which helps make the choice to move to green technologies an easier decision.
Recordings of the students’ presentations will be shared soon, so stay tuned to watch their impressive research. In the meantime, check out photos from this year’s J-Term and learn more about the Class of 2024’s J-Term projects. Thank you to all of the students for their dedication, the St. Luke’s faculty who participated as J-Term facilitators, and the many parents and friends who joined us during the showcase. 

Download our brochure
St. Luke’s School is a secular private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving 25 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.