Summer Musical, "Mary Poppins, Jr."
Join Us On The St. Francis Path
"True progress quietly and persistently
moves along without notice
Saint Francis of Assisi
Community Motivates Freshmen to Academic Success"
Each August, I begin to hear rumblings about freshman academics, and funny enough, no answer seems to satisfy. Some parents fear school will be too hard for "yesterday's middle schoolers," while others believe only crushing levels of stress and homework will measure success. Here are some insights to the St. Francis High School experience and how "community" motivates freshmen to achieve, one class at a time.
When students from 45 grade schools come together as freshman classmates, St. Francis H.S. relies on individual classroom teachers to begin building each student's connection to the St. Francis High School community. Teachers nurture and challenge their freshmen, motivating students academically by fostering comradery, cohesiveness, and accountability. St. Francis H.S. faculty do not create an intentional "freshman boot camp" environment. Instead, freshman year serves as a leveling ground, of sorts. Depending on their middle school preparation, some students may find a class more difficult while other students may not. Common examples of this spectrum include grammar-heavy freshman English and honors-level science and math. But no matter where students fall, St. Francis H.S. teachers meet them where they are, then motivate them to reach higher. Getting to know teachers, doing homework, and joining activities to meet friends all help students to acclimate and succeed, in and out of the classroom.
It all takes time to unfold. Students begin in classes determined by their entrance exam and placement test scores, but sometimes adjustments are necessary. The excellent Counseling department will help students find the right academic place and also offers support groups to ease academic and social transitions. Our students begin their college prep journey surrounded by vibrant teachers and friends, involved in numerous activities, and growing in ways that may seem gradual but all add up to develop self-confident and motivated college-bound young people. It's an exciting ride!
Maureen Isphording, Director of Admissions
"I Am St. Francis"
The President Perspective: 5 Questions to Welcome St. Francis High School's New President, Dr. Betsy Ackerson
1. What "fun fact" would the SFHS students be surprised to find out about you?
Dr. Ackerson: When I was in high school, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I took all the right classes, had the right summer jobs, and had everything all planned out. I went to Duke University as a biomedical engineer, then completely changed my mind at the end of my freshman year. I transferred to a liberal arts college and double majored in Public Policy and Spanish. This taught me to be flexible and to stay open to what the Lord was calling me to do with my life.
2. If you were to be given a superlative when you were in high school, what would it have been?
Dr. Ackerson: "Joyful."
3. Is there a quote or saying that you live your life by?
Dr. Ackerson: Jeremiah 29:11-13, which says, " 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'" For many years in college and even after I got my MBA, I was not sure what God was calling me to do. This verse was one that really helped assure me that the Lord had a plan for me even if I didn't understand or see how things would work out.
4. What drew you to St. Francis High School?
Dr. Ackerson: The quality of the academics, the location in the Midwest (I'm originally from Indiana), and the fact that it is a Catholic school. When I visited campus, the caring environment I witnessed also attracted me.
5. What do you hope to accomplish as President of St. Francis High School?
Dr. Ackerson: To lead the school in pursuing excellence wherever we can and in all that we do.
I am "Mission Driven".
Only at St. Francis High School
This Summer Vacation-
We Went on a Service Trip!
This July, St. Francis High School students and faculty rolled up their sleeves to assist the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels' Young Neighbors in Action. The ministry serves people who live in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago's west side and also adds a Catholic presence in this area of the city. The Mission needed help transforming a former school into a community center for neighborhood residents. Explains Jillian Pettenuzzo, adult leader and SFHS Guidance Counselor, "We helped the Sisters repurpose the old school. The bottom floor will be a food pantry, the middle is for educational purposes and Vacation Bible School, and the top floor will be for missionaries that work in West Humboldt Park."
The St. Francis H.S. crew worked alongside visitors from six other schools (from Wisconsin, Ohio, New Jersey, Missouri, St. Isidore Parish in Bloomingdale, and St. Cletus in LaGrange). They cleaned, cleared debris, organized the food pantry, packed food, moved furniture, painted, and even helped run camps for children ages 5-12. "At night, people who ran Young Neighbors spoke to us about social justice and other topics," Ms. Pettenuzo continues. "We discussed what we were doing that day, what we learned, and how to continue doing this work."
"What shook me the most about this trip was how much work needed to be done right at home," adds volunteer Payton M., '19. "A mission trip doesn't need to take you across the world because there's always something to do right outside your door. All of the missionaries had so much fun helping our neighbors downtown, and in return we all ended up helping each other in so many unexplainable ways."
Faculty & Staff Welcome New Students at Freshman Orientation
Welcome Class of 2022!
Call (630) 668-5800 for reservations
Information Session for Prospective Parents; Sessions
Volleyball Middle School Night
Football Middle School Night
Open House at 6:30 p.m.
Open House at 1:00 p.m.
Feast of St. Francis
We hope you enjoy our talented choir singing the prayer of St. Francis
Thanks for reading
St. Francis High School Fast Facts
CLASS OF 2018-
100% of graduates were accepted to colleges or universities
Earned $33 million in college scholarships
72% of faculty have advanced degrees
Class of 2018 average ACT score = 27
117 Full year and semester course offerings
20 Honors courses
14 Advanced Placement (A.P.) courses
CO-CURRICULAR: ACTIVITIES & ATHLETICS
98% student participation in at least one activity
24 sports programs
10th Place Division 2A State Math Team
65% of students participate in the performing arts
66% of students participate in athletic programs
Provides opportunity for prayer and worship, retreats, justice and service, ministry leadership formation, pastoral care, and community building
SFHS Bus Service
St. Francis High School offers bus transportation. The school provides two-way bus service in the northern, western and southern suburbs, with students arriving to St. Francis High School by 7:25 a.m. and departing school after the Activity Period at 3:15 p.m.
For more information, fees, route schedules or questions, please contact Bob Gorski at (630) 668-5800 x1138 or at