Because we will not be in session on December 18, we will be celebrating this momentous occasion at our Christmas Liturgy this Thursday, December 10th. All are welcome to attend this mass from 8 am to 9 am in our BAC gym.


I first want to thank all of you who attended our 2015 Fall Open House, volunteered at our Open House, and/or shared your students with us on this day. Despite the rain, we saw over 220 people come through our tours and many more who came to pick up registration materials or to see their child’s name listed as an accepted Early Commitment (EC) student. With your help, this EC program has grown over 300% in the past three years. Our students, parents, and staff greeted visitors and all were welcomed into our St. Francis community. Visitors were treated to a choral performance, Animas highlights, and a dazzling introduction to the Project Lead the Way biomedical science pathway. Mrs. Marheineke and her team created an amazing, authentic experience for all.


Also in the spirit of Thanksgiving and celebration, I wanted to acknowledge your support of our Salesian School Climate Committee. We successfully completed the student, staff, and parent surveys. I spoke with Harvard last week and they shared that our results should be back to us by Christmas. Our committee will meet in January to discuss the results, begin a 2-year action plan, and plan our Catholic Schools week/Feast of St. John Bosco celebration at the end of January. We will meet as a whole committee on January 14th at 12 noon in B4. All parents are invited to attend the planning meeting. Per the SFPA Board’s request, we will have a night meeting in February to accommodate more parent participation.


January 2016 is a busy time with myriad opportunities for students and parents to continue their education. On January 19, the students will participate in a Digital Citizenship education module. Mr. Ed Moakler, SFPA President, and Mr. Watson, our Director of IT, will train the teachers the week before. The homeroom teachers will lead the students through this year’s module and facilitate the assessment afterwards. Each student has to pass with an 80% or better to demonstrate their mastery of the knowledge and skills. Last year, the students learned about cyberbullying and Internet integrity/plagiarism. This year will be a new module.


Also, in January, we will have two parent meeting opportunities:


1)    January 25th at 6:30 pm in the Art Room/E1 for the Junior Parent Meeting hosted by our own Ms. Green from Academic/College Counseling. All grades are welcome to attend.


2)    January 27th at 6:00 pm in the Art Room/E1 for Detective Nick Baldridge’s presentation on teen drug and alcohol use. Detective Nick will be presenting that morning in place of the all-school study in the BAC. All parents are welcome to attend.


Though we are in the middle of a great start to our winter sports teams – all are winning tournaments and games at this period in the calendar--I want to acknowledge Mr. Dewig and his students for a busy choir schedule. This week they will be performing for the Diocese of Monterey Principals’ Christmas Luncheon, performing at the KSBW Share Your Holidays event at Cal Giant this Friday at 3pm, and then performing Friday night at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Watsonville. We are so impressed with their progress and growth as individual singers as well as a tightly knit group of choir performers. Thank you all for your celebration of the arts!


Finally, we are mailing the Annual Raffle tickets early this year. As a result of the surveys last year and the SFPA Board recommendation, we are mailing the tickets home rather than having your student sign for them. Many of you lamented that the tickets never made it home or that your student lost them in his/her backpack. We are also mailing home the 2015-2016 Annual Fund Campaign letter/envelope. I am happy to say that our 2015 alumnus and Sister Laura Goedken scholarship winner, Isabella Shahmirza, wrote this year’s appeal. Whether you are on tuition assistance or not, our goal is 100% participation from our families. This year we will use our SFPA Grade Level Representatives to facilitate each grade level’s participation. The class with the highest % of families participating will get a free lunch and free dress day.


Every dollar counts in bridging the gap between what we charge for tuition versus the actual cost of what tuition should be charged. We want to offer the best Catholic college-prep education in the smallest classroom sizes with the best teachers who genuinely care about each and every student.


Yours in Christ,



Pat Lee

President and Principal
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