For information about applying to St. John's De La Salle Scholars Program, please contact our Admissions Office. To be admitted to the De La Salle Scholars Program, an 8th-grade student must meet the following requirements:
- Top academic performance in seventh and eighth grades
- Scores in the top percentiles on the High School Placement Test
- Excellent teacher recommendations
- Involvement in service and extracurricular activities
- A well-written and well-developed essay
- Grade 9 - Honors Scripture, Honors English, Honors Math, and Honors Biology
- Grade 10 - Honors English, Honors Math, Honors Chemistry, and AP World History
- Grade 11 - AP English Language and Composition or Honors English 11 (as well as a combination of three or more additional honors and/or AP classes)
- Grade 12 - Honors Seminar, a minimum of four honors and/or AP classes, and the Independent Study Project
Challenging Courses Of Study
- These students engage in critical inquiry in religion, literature, philosophy, ethics, and the social and natural sciences. The program bridges the scholastic knowledge of St. John’s faculty and experts in various fields with experiential and interdisciplinary learning components.
- Above all, the scholars’ journey culminates in an understanding of the progressive learning process. Upon graduation from St. John’s, scholars utilize practical and theoretical knowledge effectively to serve others and successfully navigate an ever-changing world.
Scholars embark on two orientation activities, an outdoor team-building adventure in the spring of their 8th-grade year, and a scholars-specific orientation day immediately prior to the start of freshman year. The orientations help scholars acclimate to St. John’s and give them a preview of future challenges and opportunities.
Field experiences help scholars evolve into more active learners. The four core areas of experiential learning revolve around faith, reason, art, and politics. Scholars visit exhibitions and museums, enjoy performances, conduct experiments in real-life settings, and engage in scholarly discussions with experts.
Past field experiences include:
- Hamilton performance at the Kennedy Center
- National Cryptologic Museum
- Museum of the Bible
- International Spy Museum
- Ford Theatre performance
- Shakespeare Theatre performance
- Smithsonian Museums (National Gallery, Dulles Air and Space Museum)
- Natural History Museum Forensic Labs
- United States Supreme Court
- National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
- Franciscan Monastery
- Mount Vernon
- The National Cathedral
Each year, the Scholars Program culminates with an independent study project. Students link their scholastic journey to create their project, providing the ultimate opportunity for experiential learning. Scholars may create and test a hypothesis, create a work of cultural expression, investigate a possible career/area of interest, or choose another area on which to focus. Students choose their topic junior year, work with several mentors throughout junior and senior year, then present their projects to members of the school community.
Past projects include:
- A custom-built device that converts electrical signals from decaying uranium into truly random passwords
- A 90-page original play
- Completion of Hazmat certification, an EMT course, and a volunteer firefighting experience
- Creation and implementation of a school newspaper at San Miguel School
- State-specific marketing plan for a sports betting company
- Conversion of a manual bicycle into an electric bicycle
- Implementation of a "puzzle-time" program at memory care facilities in Maryland and Brazil
- Understanding a political campaign through the eyes of the executive director of Teen Democrats of Maryland
- Two-week dance camp for elementary school students
- Creating a sustainable food source for Nauru, a small island in Oceania
- Development and implementation of Model UN as an extracurricular activity at St. John’s
- Creation of a high school history course titled, Women in World History
During their senior year, scholars have an opportunity to travel internationally during spring break. The trip takes students to the sites at the center of the ancient world where culture and civilization flourished.
- In the fall, the scholars director meets with parents and students to begin the college application process. Scholars are given access to SCOIR, an online database for college and university information. Additionally, the scholars director meets with individually with scholars multiple times in the spring of junior year to select senior year courses and continue the college counseling process.
- During the spring of junior year, scholars visit college campuses with their fellow scholars and the scholars director. These visits help scholars better understand of the college application process and the various options for higher education. Scholars also have the opportunity to connect with St. John’s alumni scholars who are attending the colleges that they visit.
Throughout the college application process, students receive step-by-step counseling, mentoring, and guidance, working closely with the scholars director and the College Counseling Office.
The scholars director serves as the college counselor for all scholars and works closely with the College Counseling Office on all aspects of the college counseling process.