Men's Spirituality Group Retreat - Camp Manitoqua in Frankfort
Theme: Franciscan Brotherhood, Franciscan Spirit
All SFHS boys were invited to the retreat last weekend to discuss the Franciscan values Saint Francis promoted among his brothers. The retreat focused on identity, community, respect, humility and faith.
Join Us On The St. Francis Path
"Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance.
Saint Francis of Assisi
Study Shows Catholic High Schools Improve Students' College Performance
As a person immersed in "high school options," a not-so-flashy title caught my eye recently, a study called, "High School Options and Post-Secondary Student Success: The Catholic School Advantage." It reported that "students who attended Catholic high schools had higher college grade-point averages (GPAs), were more likely to graduate, and were more likely to graduate with a STEM degree."* In addition to 45,000 observations and 25 pages of stats, graphs, and research, the study proposed these four reasons Catholic high school graduates perform so well in college:
1. "Catholic schools may be more academically challenging"*
The "going to college mindset" collectively motivated students in all groups. This caught my eye, because parents from public schools often tell me this difference served to spark their children at St. Francis High School.
2. "Catholic schools may promote higher levels of social capital"*
This describes how people, relationships, and dedication drive students to succeed. It hit home, because community is the hallmark of St. Francis, and it propels each student here in personal and transformative ways.
3. "The positive effects of Catholic schooling may be driven by better teacher quality"*
The study cited the freedom of Catholic schools to not only hire more effective teachers but to reward effective teaching. Invested teachers help students fulfill their potential at St. Francis High School because students know they care.
4. "An ethic of a strong motivation to work hard as a means of showing love to others and fulfilling a heavenly calling leads to positive Catholic school effects"*
Here was the article's nod to the heart of St. Francis, the Franciscan virtues, The St. Francis Way-which we recognize as concretely beneficial for students to develop the whole person as they prepare for college.
When parents say they're considering a public high school option, I encourage them to keep their options open and explore St. Francis first, to understand the advantages they would miss. Attending next week's Information Session, September 25 at 9:00 a.m. or 6:00 p.m., is a great start click here to register, as is reading about SFHS's college prep culture click here for viewbook. Please call me any time for a private Admissions meeting to discuss the transformative impact of a St. Francis High School education (630) 668-5800 x1120.
Maureen Isphording, Director of Admissions
*Fleming, D. J., Lavertu, S., & Crawford, W. (2018). High School Options and Post-Secondary Student Success: The Catholic School Advantage.Journal of Catholic Education, 21(2).
"I Am St. Francis"
The AP Scholar Perspective: Five Questions for Two of 41 SFHS Advanced Placement Scholars
St. Francis High School congratulates Ava C., '20, and Zachary M., '21, who earned the "Advanced Placement (AP) Scholar with Honor" distinction for receiving an average grade of at least a 3.25 on all AP exams as well as a grade 3 or higher or four or more AP exams in spring 2019.
1. What grade school did you attend? What activities are you involved in at SFHS? What are your college plans?
I attended Holy Cross Catholic School in Batavia. I am currently involved in Varsity Tennis, Student Ambassador Leadership Team, National Honor Society, Math Team, Student Government, and Worship Team. I am a Eucharistic Minister through St. Francis, and I am in the process of starting a nonprofit called Books for the Bush. I am looking at Northwestern as my top choice for college, but I'm also interested in Washington University, Creighton, Loyola, Case Western, Notre Dame, and Carnegie Mellon. My goal is to double major in something business-related and political science and possibly minor in psychology.
I went to Edison Middle School in Wheaton and participate in SALT, Golf and Hockey. I am hoping to major in business or finance and am also hoping to play golf in college.
2. What is a favorite SFHS memory?
My favorite memory so far was going with Math Team to State and then to prom on the same day. Spending a day with some of my closest friends in two very different settings was one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had, even though my hair for prom was finished on the interstate heading back from the math competition!
My favorite memory was my first day sophomore year. I transferred, so that was my first day attending SFHS, and it was everything I expected it to be and more.
3. How has SFHS prepared you to excel in your areas of interest?
St. Francis has made me excited to enter a career in business with the diverse business classes offered and the willingness and generosity of the department to help me with any endeavors and questions. Along with academics, St. Francis has given me the time management skills to balance a sport with my rigorous academic classes.
SFHS prepares us to excel because they offer many different activities and classes that cater to pretty much every student. In addition, the teachers and coaches work with us as much as they can to help us, especially when we have a conflict.
4. Why are you glad you choose SFHS for your high school experience?
If you've ever spoken to a St. Francis student, one of the first things they will mention is the sense of community. I immediately felt like I was part of a family at St. Francis, and this feeling has never changed.
I'm glad that I chose SFHS because it feels like its family. Within the first few weeks of going here, I felt like I had gone here for all of high school, even though I had transferred in sophomore year. There are always students and teachers here who are trying to make sure that our experiences are as good as they can be.
5. What Franciscan Virtue do you most connect with your high school experience? (compassion, prayer, peace & justice, simplicity, integrity, humility, brotherhood/sisterhood, joy, acceptance, service, generosity, peacemaking, faithfulness, hospitality, charity, goodness)
I feel my high school experience relates most to the Franciscan Virtue of service because, through the many retreats and programs offered at St. Francis, I was able to reach out and understand how important it is for us to help those people who are struggling in one way or another. The example of many members of the staff and student body also helped me realize that service should be a big part of my life because of the impact I can make in another person's life for the better. "
I AM APPRECIATIVE."
Zach: I would say brotherhood is the Franciscan Virtue that would describe my experience so far here at SFHS. There is the feeling of a brotherhood/sisterhood or family all around the school. When we're walking in the halls, we always feel that we are connected in a way to the other students. There are many different clubs and organizations to connect us, as well.
"I AM COMMUNITY".
Only at St. Francis High School
Homeroom: Students Start Each Day with High School Family
Mornings are anchored by homeroom at St. Francis High School. Ten minutes a day, five days a week, 20 days a month, for four years, students brought together alphabetically maintain a connection without having an academic class together. Homeroom families--students and their homeroom teacher--build a sense of Franciscan community in small but real ways as they study, joke, make plans, and catch up each morning. "It's a great way to start the day," says
Anne W., '21.
"There is a small basketball hoop in the room, which brings about a fun competition."
Bryce W., '20
, agrees, appreciating how Homeroom keeps students informed and encourages participation. "Student Government homeroom reps are in each homeroom to make announcements as well as take our ideas to student government. It's a nice to have something consistent - classes change, things change, but we come together since freshman year as a group every morning to pray together, work together, and connect. It's about the relationships. I know everyone, and it's a good starting point."
College Prep Resource Guide for Parents
Supporting every student, every day, all four years. That is the hallmark of the SFHS college preparatory foundation. But with so many resources, it's challenging for parents to keep track. Guidance counselors and teachers make sure students are informed, so here's a parent list of September's wide-ranging services, which exceed both public and Catholic high school norms.
This Month in College Prep
5 September Events for Parents and Students
Parents, take note of this month's sequenced events that correspond with needs during each phase of high school. Trained counselors guide students step-by-step through the mazes of preparation and deadlines, offering programming and support. These events keep parents informed and on schedule, too. Here is a look at five SFHS Counseling Events offered in September.
1. Meet the Counselors Breakfast for Freshman Parents
: Counselors Mrs. Rupp and Ms. Pettenuzzo provide resources and focus on SFHS resources and support, such as how to navigate freshman year and how parents can best support freshmen at home.
2. Parent Information Program on College Planning for Junior and Senior Parents
: Director of Counseling Mrs. Bridget Buckley reviews key factors in college admission; explains steps in the college, scholarship, and financial aid application process; and demonstrates the key features of the Naviance Family Connection College software program.
3. College Application and Essay Program for Students and Parents:
Julie Nelson of Xavier University will discuss college application essay prompts, provide examples of well-written and poorly written college essays, and describe ways to make a college application unique.
4. Coffee with the Counselors for Senior Parents:
Counselors Bridget Buckley and Adam Lindley explain the college admission and application process. Topics include completing college applications, using Naviance, requesting recommendations and transcripts, completing the Common Application, and applying for scholarships.
5. College Financial Aid Program for Parents:
Paul Daly of OMH Partners explains the myths and facts of college financial aid, tips to complete financial aid forms, updates on the FAFSA, and ways families can obtain the maximum amount of financial aid.
This Month in Counseling
5 Support Groups for Students Begin in September
In addition to college prep events, St. Francis Counseling offers wide-spanning comprehensive support to safeguard students' health and adjustment in and out of the classroom. Here's an overview of this year's expansive counseling offerings for all students.
1. Support Groups I & II:
for students dealing with challenging situations such as divorce, family conflict, social isolation, etc. Also focuses on building resilience and coping skills.
2. Grief Group:
for students who have experienced a significant loss.
3. Transfer Students Group:
for transfer students to meet other transfer students, providing opportunity to ask questions about classes, activities, and SFHS happenings.
4. Girls Empowerment Group:
focusing on stress management, self-esteem, girl's health issues and encouragement.
5. Freshman SUCCESS Group
: to help students
meet people, learn study skills and test taking techniques, transition to high school, and use the Surface Pro for effective organization and note taking.
National Honor Society Offers Free Peer Tutoring
September through May
In addition to the professional slate of services, St. Francis National Honor Society (NHS) members pitch in to tutor peers. These NHS juniors and seniors tutor students for free during the school day in the Library during study halls and before and after school. No appointment needed!
Beyond Admissions Events - You're Invited
Executive Functioning Resource Workshop for Middle School Parents
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
5:30-7:30 p.m. at St. Francis High School, $50 per family
Middle school parents and students are invited to a hands-on workshop for parents to help students in grades 6-12 with organization, time management, studying, and note taking. This practical workshop offers a chance for parents and students to:
- Learn about executive functioning skills
- Organize binders, OneNote folders, and school materials
- Learn study and note-taking skills
- Build effective homework routines as a student-parent team
- Get tips and tricks for managing time effectively
St. Francis Speaker Series Invites Prospective Parents
Each year, SFHS Counseling and College Prep offers powerful speakers on relevant topics and welcome prospective parents to attend the events. Scan the list and see what topics may make an impact with your family. All events free of charge.
"Exploring Ways to Restore, Replenish, and Refocus Our Hearts and Mind."
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 8:00-9:30 a.m.
Presenter: Dr. Diane Mercadante, Pastoral Minister at St. Francis High School
Our world is restless, and it never ceases. We run from one thing to another. Even in moments of rest and silence, our minds race. We habitually turn to email, texting, and Twitter. We quickly feel uneasy, unquiet, agitated. What is the antidote? Come and explore ways to allow God to restore, replenish, and refocus our hearts and minds.
"The Critical Voice: To Whom Are You Listening?"
Wednesday, January 29, 2020 from 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Presenter: Dr. Ann Letourneau from the Central DuPage Pastoral Counseling Center
Do you ever find yourself thinking, "I can't do this?" While many of us have such inner dialogue, do we ever consider what life might be like without that critical voice? This workshop will help participants begin to find a self-acceptance that leads to freedom. Participants will also practice skills and integrate faith to find a more balanced inner voice.
Tuesday, March 4, 2020 at 8:30-10:00 a.m.
Presenter: Nicole Burmingham from Nurturing Wisdom
It's not uncommon for teens to lose their spark when it comes to school. While it's easy to chalk it up to disinterest or laziness, that's usually not the case. Students thrive when we take a more nuanced approach. This talk will unpack the complex psychology behind motivation and share tips to help children rediscover their passion for learning.
If you are interested in attending any of the above events, please RSVP with Michele Lebeau at email@example.com. Questions, please contact Mrs. Rupp, firstname.lastname@example.org or Ms. Ras, email@example.com.
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