Middle school students invited! Join us in the stands on September 21 (Middle School Football Event) and September 24 (Middle School Girls' Volleyball Night).
Click here to register
Join Us On The St. Francis Path
"There is no use walking anywhere to preach unless
our walking is our preaching.
Saint Francis of Assisi
Five Unexpected Tips Help Families Find Right School Fit
It's barely September, yet 8th grade parents have already called asking for advice on how to begin exploring St. Francis High School. In addition to September's Information Sessions click here to register, some wanted a broader overview of the whole process. So, I thought I'd share five unexpected ways for parents to begin thinking about the best high school fit for their children. And just for fun, I used a few Franciscan virtues for inspiration. Here we go.
1. Begin with a humble search of the heart:
Take time for personal inventory. What matters most to you? What kind of student is your child? What kind of high school will inspire your teen? This will help decode what kind of high school environment you desire. (Virtue=Humility.)
2. Break down college prep basics:
Learn for yourself how the school functions. What is the academic structure, and how will it affect your child's path? Does technology make classroom work easier or more cumbersome? How do counselors prepare students each year to meet college goals? (Virtue=Simplicity)
3. Look for the light in the school:
Extracurricular fun, opportunity for involvement, leadership development. These are lights on the high school road. They also provide challenge, chances for self-discovery, and experiences for college applications long the way. (Virtue=Joy)
4. Make room for refreshments:
High schoolers don't need juice boxes, but a refreshing community spirit can encourage growth and strengthen them. Many experienced parents appreciate generous opportunities that affect students in profound ways, such as offering time for service, retreats, activities, and spiritual enrichment. (Virtue=Generosity)
5. Include a bit of prayer:
In the end, remember it's a process. After you read, schedule shadow visits, attend events and Open Houses, let it settle. You'll begin to know what to do. (Virtue=Faithfulness)
This month welcomes our first Information Session for prospective families, September 25 at 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. click here to register. We also are accepting shadow day requests online click here to register. Call me any time to discuss the transformative impact of a St. Francis High School education (630) 668-5800 x1120.
Maureen Isphording, Director of Admissions
"I Am St. Francis"
The Leaders in Showcase Technology Perspective: Four Questions Celebrating Three Teachers Who Earned Distinctions in Educational Technology
St. Francis High School celebrates its Microsoft Showcase School status with three educators who earned impressive distinctions.
Mary McCarthy was selected as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert for the 2019-2020 school year, joining 400 nationwide. Matt Ernst earned Microsoft Certified Educator certification for incorporating technology into curriculum. Colleen Kaplan was conferred as International Society for Technology in Education Certified Educator.
Their perspectives appear below.
1. Why did you want to pursue this advanced status in educational technology?
As a teacher, it is my goal to reach students in the most effective way I can. Students today learn differently. This generation has access to technology 24/7, and I wanted to reach students where they are. Last year, I began to create my own library of math videos that explain topics in our curriculum. I saw improvement in both student engagement and success. After much diligent work, I am certainly humbled to achieve the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert distinction. It has inspired me to learn even more.
Mrs. Kaplan: One of the main aspects of my job is making classroom technology as straightforward as possible for teachers. When it comes to educational technology, there are so many apps, websites, and tools for teachers to use with more added every day! Each of the certifications I received (MIEE, MCE, and ISTE) has been immensely helpful in keeping me up to date on the latest and greatest programs out there for our school community. I share best practices with other educators in the certification programs, and I am able to add more tools to my ed tech tool belt to help our teachers and students be successful in the classroom.
I wanted to pursue the MCE certification because I thought that it would help improve my teaching and use of technology. I also knew it would help shift my way of thinking regarding the 21st century and education. Essentially, a paradigm shift is required to really reach students as a 21st century educator.
2. How do you use Microsoft technology in the classroom? How does it help your students learn?
The entire math department has OneNote digital notebooks. We created these for each course to help students stay organized and give them access to every resource they need. As a teacher, I can easily send a page of notes to a student who is absent. I can answer questions or give direction on a problem directly into a student's notebook. We use the collaboration space within the OneNote notebooks for students to present board problems to the class. Also, I have worked in the last year to flip my classroom on certain topics, and I make screen cast video reviews for the students when we have a quiz or a test. The students have really appreciated this new video option as a learning tool. Students can watch the explanation of a problem and make corrections as needed. They are able to complete more work without stalling since they can receive an immediate answer and not need to wait until class the next day. Lastly, I am working to introduce a few new technology pieces into my math classes this year. I will soon be launching a "Discussion Board" to have students help each other to answer questions. I hope that this will help foster good math conversation as well as prepare students to use this kind of tool in college or a future job. I have a few projects in mind that will incorporate seeing math in the real world by the placement of parent functions and their transformations.
Mrs. Kaplan: My favorite classroom tool is FlipGrid, a video-based social learning platform where students can respond to questions/prompts from a teacher (or classmates) by recording a video, as opposed to simply typing or writing a response. Many of our freshmen can still be hesitant when it comes to sharing their thoughts or opinions in class, so the ability to record their responses can allow for thoughtful, meaningful conversations than a written discussion board. In Digital Literacy, my favorite way to use FlipGrid is for coding projects. Students build a coding creation using Microsoft MakeCode and the Adafruit Circuit Playground Express circuit boards. After spending weeks planning, coding, and constructing, students record a short demonstration of their coding project. We then create a virtual library of example projects I am able to use in upcoming years. I am also able to send a link to these videos home for parents to see, and students are able to watch presentations and respond to their classmates' projects outside of class.
I use Microsoft OneNote for essentially all assignments in my class, including distribution of materials, creation of projects, and submission of assignments. It helps students stay organized and also embraces what it is to be a 21st century individual by showing them more efficient ways to complete tasks and learn. More importantly, however, is that the MCE certification has compelled me to look into a variety of ways to accomplish these tasks and opened up my way of thinking to include new avenues to teach.
3. In your opinion, what makes SFHS unique?
St. Francis is special and unique because of the people. It is the entire community of students, parents and educators working together. I am thankful the strong IT Department provides so many professional development opportunities for us to grow. I am grateful our administration promotes and encourages this growth. And, I am especially grateful to the amazing St. Francis Math Department for always prioritizing collaboration. By continually sharing ideas, we are able to reach our students in new and exciting ways.
I love the excitement teachers have here to learn. Teachers are always looking for new ways to make learning more meaningful or relevant for their students, which is really amazing.
What makes St. Francis stand above other schools is a combination of community and values. Our community of teachers care and are willing to go above and beyond for others. Our students also continually exemplify what it is to be Christian young adults. Our community is grounded in Christian values, and these values manifest as kind words and attitudes, interest in academics and learning, and willingness to serve others.
4. If you had to give advice to a new SFHS student and/or teacher, what would you say?
Enjoy your time as a Spartan. It will pass by so quickly. Embrace the technology piece of the experience. The sooner you can feel comfortable with SFHS showcase technology, the sooner you will reap its benefits.
Jump in with both feet! Get involved, reach out, say hello! The community at St. Francis is wonderful in every aspect and excited to welcome you as family!
Be open, be vulnerable, and be kind. Believe in St. Francis High School.
Only at St. Francis High School
State-of-the-Art Fitness Center Renovation Takes Shape This Summer
St. Francis High School recently celebrated the Ribbon Cutting and Blessing of the Fitness Center, which shaped up this summer with an impressive renovation. Friends of St. Francis High School donated to improve the Fitness Center to better serve students, Physical Education classes, and athletic teams.
"The newly renovated Fitness Center equips SFHS with the best resources to create an environment that students are drawn to and excited to use," explains PE Department Chair Dave Haberman. "Now, all PE students, athletic teams, and Health Department students can learn how to improve their overall fitness and meet the physical demands of sports and activities. And because all students utilize the space, all students benefit from the major improvements in safety, quality, and capacity."
President, Dr. Betsy Ackerson adds, "This state-of-the-art Fitness Center represents what St. Francis stands for-the standard of excellence and the holistic development of our students."
The renovation included installation of:
"We now have a space that will safely and efficiently accommodate multiple classes and teams at the same time," concludes Dave Haberman.
- 12mm rolled rubber flooring with turf inlay by PLAE
- 10 Hammer Strength HD Athletic Weight Training Racks
- 8 Cross members between training racks each equipped with TRX suspension trainers
- 14 adjustable benches
- 2 Dual Adjustable Cable Crossover Machines
- 2 Squatmax MD Racks
- 1 Leg Press Machine
- 1 GHD
- 8 Treadmills
- 5 Upright Stationary Bicycles
- 4 Elliptical Trainers
- 3 Concept 2 Model D Rowers
- 2 Complete Dumbbells Sets (5-100 lb pairs)
- 1 Complete Set of Kettlebells (5-65 lbs)
- 20 Medicine Balls
The St. Francis Way
Franciscan Virtues Help Students Reach College and Life Goals
Perennial Franciscan virtues anchor the transformative St. Francis High School experience to create one powerful college prep culture. We call this culture The St. Francis Way. How does it help students achieve college goals? We asked Director of Counseling, Bridget Buckley, and this is her answer.
"Franciscan values help students submit their best college applications,"
--Bridget Buckley, Director of Counseling
"Colleges are looking for young adults who are confident, capable, and healthy in every aspect of their lives: academically, socially/emotionally, physically, and spiritually. A high school experience focused on Franciscan values allows students to submit the best college applications possible in every area. The college applications of St. Francis students are not lopsided. Every single aspect is strong, because each student has had support holistically. The desire by a whole community to see our students succeed allows students to build skills and high school résumés that prepare them for college applications and, quite frankly, life in general. Everyone in the building helps. Every club, sport, activity, service project, spiritual group, and even every tutoring session or conversation that happens during a student's time at SFHS lends itself to building a strong application. Our teachers, our coaches, and our staff are all asked to help with aspects throughout the process, from proofreading essays, to coming up with creative answers to more unusual prompts, to simply giving students room to talk about their process. What we are doing, as a community, is giving our students a vast array of experiences leading up to that actual application process students go through as seniors. I think our Franciscan values and culture, first and foremost, allow students opportunities when they are applying to colleges because they have an entire community supporting their growth and development throughout their high school experiences. Their experience here throughout their four years makes them more prepared for the world and for life in college."
Director of Counseling Mrs. Buckley with students in the Trudy Rigney Conference Room
Call (630) 668-5800 for reservations
Middle School Football Event
Middle School Girls' Volleyball Night
Info Sessions for Prospective Parents, 9:00 a.m.
Info Sessions for Prospective Parents, 6:00 p.m.
Fall Open House, 6:30 p.m.
Fall Open House, 1:00 p.m.
Info Sessions for Prospective Parents, 9:00 a.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 2019-
100% of graduates were accepted to colleges or universities
Earned $27 million in college scholarships
74% of faculty have advanced degrees
Class of 2019 average ACT score = 27
123 Full year and semester course offerings
21 Honors courses
16 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
73% 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