Top 10 Reasons to Choose St. Francis
St. Francis high School's student population is small enough to allow teachers and staff to get to know students as individuals and respond to their specific learning needs. Students are expected to make a personal commitment to excellence and are provided with a supportive, engaging climate to help them realize this goal. Each student has a detailed academic plan and receives frequent and ongoing guidance from his academic advisor. In addition, parents are encouraged to be active partners in their son's academic endeavors. At St. Francis High School, students and their families are valued and significant members of our educational family.2 Our challenging curriculum prepares students for college.
All students learn the advanced skills needed for success in college as well as in the 21st Century workplace. Our curriculum is designed to exceed the entrance requirements set by the UC/CSU systems and immerse our students in a rigorous academic environment that will enable them to become productive citizens. Ninety-nine percent of our students have entered institutions of higher learning. Graduates from the Class of 2012 were accepted by some of the finest universities in the nation, including Princeton, Stanford, UCLA, Loyola Marymount University, UC Berkeley, Vanderbilt University, and USC.3 Our competitive athletics program provides a superior sports experience.
Our school competes in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League. We offer 11 CIF-sponsored sports with 26 separate teams. Seventy-six percent of our student population participates in one or more of our sports, and all of our CIF-sponsored sports are "non-cut" giving all student-athletes an opportunity to participate. In our brief history we have won league and CCS Championships in basketball and tennis.4 Our historic campus is one of the most beautiful in the state.
The roots of the St. Francis High School date back to 1869. In 2001, the school opened its doors to freshmen and sophomores. Through the years the campus facilities have continued to grow as has the student population to its current 12 acre campus. The school now boasts the Borina Athletic Complex with its stylish contemporary gym, weight room, locker rooms, and administrative offices. The classically designed buildings, well-manicured grounds and acres of green fields are a source of pride for our students. We have our own football field, baseball and softball fields, soccer fields, basketball courts, swimming pool and a brand new weight room.5 Our committed, enthusiastic teaching staff is comprised of experts in their fields.
Our teachers are positive, dynamic and inspiring in their approach. They all share the same mission -- to instill in students a lifelong passion for learning. Each teaches in the discipline in which they received their degree and/or credential. In addition, two-thirds of our faculty has been teaching for more than 10 years. They bring real-world experience to their classrooms and give students the personal mentoring they need along their academic journey.6 Our use of technology enhances each student’s educational experience.
This year St. Francis moved to a one-to-one iPad program for all students; the school expanded its data bandwidth through improved fiber optics. The school boasts see less WiFi access anywhere on campus and either Apple TV or wireless LCD projectors in all classrooms, offices and facilities. Our commitment to technology proves we are a modern facility committed to preparing our students for the modern world.7 Our wide range of extracurricular activities helps students discover their interests and talents.
As part of our broad mission to develop the “whole student,” we offer a multitude of activities that play an important role in the St. Francis experience, not only for a student’s enjoyment, but to help him and her gain and improve skills, as well. These activities exist to complement our academic curriculum and to enhance the educational experience. Students may choose to explore the arts, cultural activities, rocket science, surfing, dance, cycling, skateboarding and drama, to name a few. These activities have a positive impact on the students’ emotional, intellectual and social development. Plus, they’re fun!8 Our commitment to Christian values develops morality, integrity and a sense of service.
Each day, St. Francis actively promotes the development of a Christian community under the direction of our Salesian laity, who seek to deepen each student’s relationship with God and with others. In addition, we encourage community service through numerous opportunities made available to students, including Second Harvest Food Bank, Grind out Hunger, Susan G. Loomed Breast Cancer, Jacob’s Heart, campus blood drives and the St. Francis Food Kitchen in Santa Cruz. These experiences develop compassion, integrity and a greater sense of purpose within our young men.9 Our relationship with Diocesan feeder schools:
St. Francis High School enjoys a special relationship with the diocese of Monterey and the parochial schools in it. Known as our “Feeder” schools, we interact with Their staff and students throughout the school year as we gather for numerous special events such as Triduum Fun Day, Feast of St. John Bosco, 7th-8th Grade Retreats, school wide liturgies, and Family Football Nights. The cooperation between the schools provides a safe, healthy environment for social responsibility and community-building. This dynamic has been an important tradition for the life of the school.10 Our students make friendships that last a lifetime.
It’s a term our students use frequently on campus: “The St. Francis Family.” It refers to the deep sense of camaraderie our students experience with each other, resulting in strong, supportive friendships. And, because these friendships are so valued, they continue long after graduation day. Many of our alumni remain close and continue to be integral members of the St. Francis community. They share, and greatly appreciate, what St. Francis provided for them: an excellent academic foundation, a respect for God and each other, memories of dances, football games, and spirited school events, and friendships – with teachers and staff, and each other – they can take forward into their lives.