Congratulations to six student-athletes who have accepted an offer to play college sports next year and participated in the National Signing Day on Wednesday, November 11. Go Spartans!
- KJ G., Purdue University Fort Wayne, Volleyball
- Kevin S., McKendree University, Volleyball
- Abby S., Western Michigan University, Gymnastics
- Gigi S., Western Michigan University, Gymnastics
- Annika N., Minnesota State University Moorhead, Softball
- Max M., Loras College, Baseball
Join Us On The SFHS Path
“Happy is he who places all his joy and happiness in the holy words
and works of God, and who leads others to His holy love in joy,
happiness, and bliss.”
Saint Francis of Assisi
Thankful for Future Spartans
Imagine my delight when I heard a current SFHS student praying for our “Future Spartans” last week at the beginning of class. The students were getting ready with an activity that involved intentions, and I overheard a student request a prayer for “Past, Present, and Future Spartans.” Did you ever envision our students praying for your children? SFHS teachers and students incorporate habits of gratitude into everyday experiences. And, as Thanksgiving approaches, we express gratitude for your family, all prospective students and “Future Spartans,” and this exceptional high school community.
On the heels of Thanksgiving, of course, is the St. Francis High School Entrance Exam, Saturday, December 5 at 8:00 a.m. You may register online here. Students who test at St. Francis High School receive priority consideration for admission as well as an opportunity to qualify for numerous SFHS scholarships.
At this time, high schools in the Diocese of Joliet plan to hold the exam in person on December 5. St. Francis High School is a safe working and learning environment and our protocols are in accordance with health and safety regulations. We have not encountered any incidents of positive COVID cases with being in school. We believe that our adherence to distancing guidelines, mask-wearing and sanitation efforts contribute to SFHS operating in the Hybrid School setting successfully since August.
SFHS has a COVID-19 Response Team in place that regularly reviews our protocols, positive case counts, quarantine counts, cleaning protocols, etc. Because this is a dynamic situation and there are innumerable scenarios that could become reality, we evaluate data every day. In addition, many modifications and logistics have been altered for the Class of 2025 Entrance Exam in order to keep students as safe as possible (i.e. quicker check-in time, multiple check-in locations, more testing rooms, no group break, etc.) In the event an in-person test is not feasible, the SFHS Admissions Office will notify 8th grade parents.
If your child is not available that day, or if you have circumstances in which your child is not available to be at SFHS in person, please contact the Admissions Office.
If you would like to visit campus, there are still a few opportunities. I am happy to schedule a tour for you and your student whenever convenient. Email me for reservations at email@example.com.
On behalf of the St. Francis High School faculty, staff, and students, I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. We are grateful for the opportunity to educate extraordinary young people and foster their encounter with Jesus and the gospel message. We give thanks for you in daily prayer and look forward to welcoming your family into the St. Francis High School College Prep community.
Maureen Isphording, Director of Admissions
"I Am St. Francis"
The Current Parent Perspective: Six Questions for John & Heather Eberle and Jeannine & Greg Bukowski
1. What grade school did your children attend?
Mr. & Mrs. Bukowski: Elizabeth and Julia attended U-46 schools, including Eastview Middle School.
Mr. & Mrs. Eberle: Hubble Middle School.
2. Describe the process of selecting SFHS with your children.
Mr. & Mrs. Bukowski: The kids had little (no) say in where they were going to attend high school. We started telling them in kindergarten that they would attend St. Francis. It was important to us for them to attend a Catholic high school, and having such a fabulous one so close to home was amazing.
Mr. & Mrs. Eberle: We have an older daughter who attended Wheaton Warrenville South High School and had a great experience. When Jake was in middle school, we decided to look deeper into our choices. We researched many schools and decided that SFHS provided a better fit for Jake. We worried that he would have been lost among other students. SFHS seemed like the most inviting program we had toured. Four years later, Skylar was given her choice of all of the schools in our area and she quickly chose SFHS. She had attended sports events and camps at several schools, but she had seen her brother thrive and wanted to be part of that experience.
3. Why was it important to you to choose a Catholic school for your children’s secondary education?
Mr. & Mrs. Bukowski: Greg attended all Catholic schools, from pre-school through college. It was odd for him to send them to public school at all. High school seemed almost more critical than grade school, though, because this is the time when kids really start to understand the challenges that the secular world presents to the faithful. Having caring, informed responses in every facet of their school days to support our faith at home is important.
Mr. & Mrs. Eberle: John spent 12 years in the Catholic school system growing up. He has two sisters who teach within the system. Heather grew up attending public school. We chose Catholic school because of the close-knit community and the college preparatory environment. We wanted our children to be both spiritually and academically challenged. We especially like the community service requirement and enjoy participating in this as a family.
4. What has been most surprising about your SFHS experience as a parent?
Mr. & Mrs. Bukowski: As a parent, I was surprised at how quickly we were embraced as part of the community. We have been very grateful to faculty, staff, board members, coaches, and other parents for reaching out to us and including us at various times.
Mr. & Mrs. Eberle: We are surprised by how independent the students at SFHS are. Our children manage their coursework, clubs, athletics, and jobs efficiently. The students at SFHS are polite and respectful. We are always delighted by the mature conversations we have with our children’s friends. We also love the athletic programs. We have found that coaches are open and inviting to new participants. Because of the pandemic, sports seasons have been altered. What was always Fall Volleyball now became Tennis for our daughter. Coach Castronovo and Coach Sawko instilled confidence in her even though she was brand new to the sport. She was instantly part of the tennis family.
5. What advice do you have to families with children in middle school beginning to consider high schools?
Mr. & Mrs. Bukowski: I think the most important thing is to frame this as the exciting opportunity that it is. My current students are very different, but so far St. Francis has been a good fit for both. Their younger sister and brother will also be able to find their own paths at this school. St. Francis' guidance staff is amazing. The education is amazing. The opportunities for so many different activities, sports, and interests is amazing. How many schools have their own rock band playing at games? How many schools carve out an activity hour, so that all athletes have a chance to participate in clubs? How many schools were up and running (well) two days after the state shut down?
Mr. & Mrs. Eberle: When choosing a college, students spend months to years touring and researching schools. When given so many great choices in our area, why wouldn’t you do the same with high school? Spend some time asking yourself, “who do I want my child to be when I send them off to college, and which high school can help?”
6. What one word encapsulates your experience at SFHS?
Mr. & Mrs. Bukowski: Community.
Mr. & Mrs. Eberle: COMMUNITY.
Only at St. Francis High School
Fall Sports Recap
The unconventional fall sports season presented many challenges, but our Spartan student-athletes and coaches persevered. Congratulations to these teams on their outstanding athletic accomplishments.
Boys Cross Country
Metro Suburban Conference Champions (third year in a row)
2nd place at IHSA Regional
2nd place at IHSA Sectional
All-Conference runners (7): Luke Orwig ’21 (St. Michael), Sam King ’21 (St. Michael), Chris Covone ’22 (St. Michael), Chris Spahn ’22 (St. James), Nate Rodriguez ’22 (St. Michael), Andrew Hernandez ’23 (St. Michael), Daniel O’Connell ’23 (Geneva M.S.)
Girls Cross Country
3rd place in Metro Suburban Conference
4th place in IHSA Regional
6th place at IHSA Sectional
All-Conference runners (2): Alyssa Falco ’23 (St. Isidore), Leann Ringsrud ’23 (St. Joan of Arc)
2nd place in Metro Suburban Conference
2nd place in IHSA Regional
3rd place in IHSA Sectional
IHSA Regional Co-Champion: Zach Mulhearn ‘21
(3) All-Conference golfers: Zach Mulhearn ’21 (Edison M.S.), Danny Rice ’22 (St. Michael), Kory Carlson ’22 (Elgin Academy)
Metro Suburban Conference Champions (third year in a row)
Dual meet overall record: 14-2
2nd place at IHSA Regional
4th place at IHSA Sectional
IHSA Regional Individual Champion: Katherine Lemke ‘21
IHSA Sectional Hole-In-One: Katherine Lemke ‘21
All-Conference players (4): Cameron Marr ’21 (St. Patrick), Katherine Lemke ’21 (Geneva M.S.), Sarah Grivetti ’22 (St. Pius), Emmy Hollarbush ’24 (Holy Angels)
13 of the 14 swims at the IHSA Sectional were personal best times
6th place finish in the Metro Catholic Aquatic Conference
2nd place in the Metro Suburban Conference
4th place in the IHSA Sectional
2nd at IHSA Sectional (Doubles team): Elen Ryson ‘23/Maddie Hoden ’23 (McClure M.S.)
All-Conference players (6): Maggie Breyne ’21 (St. Isidore), Tanya Masnyk ’21 (Edison M.S.), Bryn Carroll ’22 (St. Petronille), Nora Los ’22 (St. Michael), Nora Shannon ’22 (St. Joan of Arc), Elen Ryson ’23 (St. Irene)
Beyond Admissions Events – You’re Invited
Virtual Technology Open House – Why Microsoft Technology Makes a Difference for an Optimal Learning Environment
St. Francis High School is one of 39 U.S. Microsoft Showcase Schools, and because staff and teachers use and integrate technology so well into the curriculum, SFHS can showcase technology that is student-friendly and can transform the way students learn.
St. Francis High School, Learning Technology Center, and Microsoft Education hosted a virtual Technology Open House on November 11, 2020. SFHS opened our ‘doors’ to give schools, teachers, administrators, and organizations to give unique access to our Microsoft based learning solutions. The Open House featured demonstrations to see how teachers successfully incorporate apps in the classroom. In addition, guests were able to see classes in action with Microsoft tools and devices.
General Agenda – Get an Inside Look from Some of Our Experts
1. Introduction/Background – Director of IT, Jeff Gerdeman ’87:
- “We researched other schools 8-9 years ago, and determined Microsoft is best for students as they go forward into college and careers.
- Device does matter. The Surface Pro is a 2 in 1 (touch screen tablet with digital stylus and ultrabook). Teachers, staff and students use Office365, OneDrive, OneNote and Teams daily. The device truly helps teachers with instruction and students with learning process.
- The devices are leased to students. We have hot spares; therefore, if student breaks a device, we can get them up and running with replacement within 20 minutes.
- SFHS has a Technology Integration Specialist (Tim Martens) to enrich and support teaching and learning while strengthening the technology skills of students, teachers, and staff.
- The Surface Pro is a learning tool. Users can write directly on screen, print, and run programs for coding/engineering classes and advanced art that you can’t run and install on other devices. The full PC computer equips students to do so much more.”
2. App Explanation
- OneNote Class Notebooks
- Classroom organization has never been easier. With a personal workspace for every student, a content library for handouts, and a collaboration space for lessons and creative activities, OneNote empowers students to create their best work. With digital ink, handwritten notes, sketch diagrams, videos, and pictures, OneNote turns notes into living documents. Commonly used features include Dictate, Math assistant, and Immersive Reader.
- Microsoft Teams
- Teams is a digital hub that brings classes, conversations, meetings, files, and apps together in one place. Because it’s built on Office 365, SFHS benefits from integration with familiar Office apps and services.
Listen to Math Teacher Ashley Lynch explain how she uses Microsoft apps in her classroom
3. Q&A and Resources
- Student Owen F. ’21: “I like the stylus that goes with the Surface Pro. OneNote allows me to easily organize my work and offers a lot more personalization for my notetaking and learning process.”
- Student Katherine L. ’21: “I like the versatility of the device. I can take the keyboard off and use it as a tablet or computer. It’s not a hassle to take notes or to make a video. The SurfacePro is easy to use in all areas.”
- Math Teacher Madison Wall: “I really can’t imagine teaching 1:1 with another device. It is invaluable to have the students write and show all their work. The technology is really easy to learn.”
- French Teacher Jess Roulo: “One of my favorite things is to wirelessly project. Also, students can record directly in OneNote and then I can easily grade their work.”
SFHS Featured on Fox 32 Pep Rally Friday
Feast of St. Francis
We hope you enjoy our talented choir singing the prayer of St. Francis
120 Full year and semester course offerings
19 Honors courses
17 Advanced Placement (A.P.) courses
CO-CURRICULAR: ACTIVITIES & ATHLETICS
24 sports programs
65% of students participate in the performing arts
77% 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.