At St. Benedict’s, we believe that how we teach our students is as important as - if not more important than - what we teach them. Students are given tremendous responsibility and a significant opportunity to serve as leaders in all aspects of school life. It’s not easy. In fact, it takes a lot of hard work. But we believe in each and every one of our students.
The Group System
In the Middle and Prep Divisions, the Group System is an important part of social life and student government at St. Benedict's Prep. Students are divided up among 18 groups; each group is named in honor of a St. Benedict's alumnus or prominent figure in its history. Groups meet regularly, compete in events, and play an active role in running the school. Each group elects a student Group Leader and Assistant Leaders and works closely with its faculty advisors. The Group System is structured in such a way that it enables students to earn the opportunity to be a part of the St. Benedict’s community.
Students remain in the same group throughout their St. Benedict's career, looking out for one another, helping each other with studies, and providing support.
Goals of the Group System:
- Provide a vehicle for ordinary academic advising and personal counseling: a means to catch, channel, and follow-up on those who need more professional attention.
- Provide a framework for socialization and recreation.
- Provide peer motivation and positive peer pressure in academic and personal areas.
- Provide a basis for student government and student problem solving.
- Provide structure for clean-up, leadership practice, intramural sports, and attendance monitoring.
Group Leader Duties:
The Group Leader is first of all responsible to the members of his Group for running a worthwhile program; secondly, he is responsible to his Faculty Advisor and finally, to the Section Leaders, Senior Group Leader, and Headmaster. Group Leaders are tasked with:
- Accounting for all group members, all the while providing a report of the group’s attendance during daily Convocation.
- Overseeing activities during daily group period. Activities can range from running group discussions, counseling students, as needed, about their grades, comportment and attendance and attending to outside guests.
- Representing their respective group during Group Leader meetings, and other gatherings that may require him to advocate for the interest of his group members.
The U.S. Naval Academy and St. Benedict's Prep
In 2007, St. Benedict's and the U.S. Naval Academy formed a unique partnership. Since the Academy's first internship placement, up to 15 USNA Midshipmen at a time are placed at St. Benedict's in May and August to work with students on leadership development while honing their own leadership skills. These Midshipmen help Benedict's students form a "clarity of desire" and give the USNA a "living classroom" in which to work.