Challenge Grant 2018

Challenge Grant 2018

Dear Friend,

St. John the Baptist is very proud of the many educational opportunities and special programs that we provide to our students. This year marks the 150th anniversary of our school! For 150 years, St. John’s has enabled students to grow in faith while striving to reach their full potential and embrace lifelong learning.

During the 2018-2019 school year, St. John’s will enrich our successful academic programing in several ways, while creating exciting new opportunities for growth. I invite you to take a look through this case statement to learn about our plans. I hope you will provide your feedback, and support the plan in any way you feel comfortable. Thank you, and God bless you for your continued support of St. John’s!

Courtney Bierlein | Principal


Start children off on the way they should go,

  and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Proverbs 22:6

St. John the Baptist Catholic School History

St. John the Baptist Catholic School has been serving the educational and spiritual needs of students for 150 years! The school began with its first teacher and students in 1868. The school was initially run by lay instructors who taught the fundamentals of a sound elementary education with an emphasis on the Catholic Faith.

In 1878, the school made a proposal to the School Sisters of Notre Dame to oversee the school, as well as its instructors, students, and faith development programs. The first School Sisters arrived in 1879. From that point on, the school grew in enrollment and programming.

The large school building, which still stands, was built in 1908 to house a growing student population. Classrooms averaged 20 students per grade level. Tiled ceilings, additional classrooms, fluorescent light fixtures, a modernized kitchen, and a maple floor were added as the years went by.

In 1979, the school celebrated the centenary of the Notre Dame Sisters teaching at St. John’s. The School Sisters’ presence dwindled shortly thereafter, as fewer and fewer women joined the order. The last Sister left the school in 1981, while one sister stayed on until 1983 to coordinate the church’s Faith Formation Program.

In 2004, teachers, staff, and parents worked together to move the school into the new Education Center.

Our Wishes

At St. John the Baptist Catholic School, we provide our students with an outstanding, faith-based educational experience. In order to stay at the top of our game, we need to update our school equipment, technology, and instructional materials on a regular basis.

We want our students to be able to study and learn in an environment that reflects our commitment to their success. To that end, we plan to replace our aging school furniture with furniture that will provide all our students with a comfortable and well-maintained space in which to work.

Some say that St. John’s is the best kept secret in Jordan! In order to help make our presence known, a new school sign will be installed to greet visitors, to identify our place in the community, and to help us market our school to prospective families!

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages has found that children who study a world language show increases in other academic test scores, improve their reading abilities, have higher linguistic awareness, form positive attitudes toward speakers of foreign languages, and have improved memory and problem-solving skills. For these reasons, St. John’s is proud to provide instruction in Spanish, and is excited to invest in new and up-to-date instructional materials.

Technology in our classrooms is providing wonderful opportunities for greater student learning and engagement. In our world today, students need to learn skills of digital citizenship. These valuable skills will help students be prepared to collaborate with others not only in school, but also in the workplace. Thanks to several recent grants, we have been able to upgrade our school’s technology infrastructure and teacher training, so in order to enable more students to develop this 21st century learning skill, we need only add a small number of additional devices.

Based on qualitative research done at St. John’s last fall, the improvements mentioned above, and our ability to provide excellent programing throughout the school, will directly affect parents’ school choice decisions.

Challenge Grant Opportunity

Last year, through your generous support of our challenge grant, St. John the Baptist Catholic School was able to award scholarships to many of our families; we were able to expand our preschool to provide kindergarten readiness skills; and we were able to license and supply an additional  preschool classroom, which is set to open as a Kindergarten Readiness class for the 2018-2019 school year!

Again this year, St. John’s has been offered an extraordinary opportunity to earn a significant Challenge Grant to help us increase excellence and enhance enrollment in our school!

If St. John’s School can raise $30,000, that amount will be matched by the Catholic Schools Center of Excellence (CSCOE), in cooperation with the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, which would give us a total of $60,000. We have been challenged to raise all of the $30,000, so if we are not successful, we will not receive any money from CSCOE.

In an effort to help us broaden our donor base, while still letting our previous donors help us earn the challenge, the Catholic Schools Center of Excellence has asked that only donations from new donors to the school and the increased amount given by previous donors to the school be counted toward the challenge. If you did not give to the Challenge Grant last year, here is your chance! If you did give to the Challenge Grant last year, the amount by which you increase your gift this year will count toward our $30,000 goal. For example, if you gave $250 last year, and give $300 this year, $50 will count toward our Challenge Grant goal, and your other $250 will provide generous support for several upgrades to our school security system.

Challenge Grant Financial Summary


Courtney Bierlein

St. John the Baptist Catholic School | Principal

215 Broadway Street North

Jordan, Minnesota 55379



Thank you for your continued prayers!


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