Mayfield Junior School
of the Holy Child Jesus

Pasadena, CA

Meeting the Wants of the Age

In the 2021-22 school year, Mayfield Junior School celebrated 90 years of teaching and learning in Pasadena. The anniversary, especially coming out of 2 years of pandemic-driven flexibility, was an opportunity to reflect and consider just who we are – as a school, as a community - at this milestone moment.

Although we look very different today than the old photos and journal entries of the 1930s reveal, our current students and teachers share the same spirit and Holy Child ideals. An emphasis on the whole child and individual potential continues. A values-based curriculum builds character and develops empathy and compassion. These things are the foundation of Holy Child education. Still, Mayfield has changed and grown over the last 90 years. Grown and changed because of the passage of time and significantly because it is what a Holy Child school is called to do. Cornelia Connelly profoundly stated nearly two centuries ago that we must “educate for the wants of the age.” It was her belief, in a constantly changing world, that we must respond to each child, encouraging, teaching, and helping them become the best person that they can be for today and tomorrow.

At 90 years, Mayfield Junior School fully embraces Cornelia’s directive. A student-centered program provides meaningful and relevant connections and focuses on process, skills, and experience. This school year our middle school shifts from separate English and history departments to a humanities model allowing for greater exploration and understanding of complex issues. Implementing a 70-minute block schedule provides time for differentiation and deep work, and an extended advisory time boosts student-teacher interaction, building relationships, and trust. Increased arts and technology integration stimulates creativity at all levels, and opportunities for student voice and choice are plentiful. A renewed emphasis on student support addresses post-pandemic learning needs along with social-emotional wellness.

As always, we move forward. The gift of whole child education is its deeply human element – its belief in the individual – its relevance in a rapidly changing world. It is a challenge and a blessing to offer a student experience that sustains each child both in the here and now and in the future. Preparing them with life skills such as critical thinking, connection, and understanding helps fulfill Cornelia Connelly's wish for individuals "capable of making choices which enrich their own lives and contribute to the lives of others."