From the Office of the Assistant Principal of Academics

Congratulations to our Honor Students!  117 of our students earned first honors by maintaining a GPA greater than or equal to 3.5.  63 of those 117 students were honored at the 4.0 Luncheon on January 22nd.  An additional 54 students earned second honors by maintaining a GPA between 3.0 and 3.5 over the first semester.

Working with the Academic Council and faculty, we have established two new goals to improve student learning.  Teachers will be focusing on improving reading comprehension and improving formative assessment in the classroom.  More detailed information on how parents can participate in these school-wide goals will be coming in future newsletters!


At this time of year, we begin to look forward to the scheduling of classes for the 2016-2017 academic year.  With this in mind, please review the course selection timeline:

  •   February 5 - Course Catalog will be posted on the St. Francis website.
  •   Week of February 8 - Classroom visits to explain the course offerings.
  •   February 25 - Course selection sheets are due (both hardcopy and electronic).

Please be sure to review the course offerings and course catalog, and return your completed course selection sheets to the front office by the February 26th deadline.  It is vitally important that we receive the course selection sheets in a timely fashion so that we may properly plan for 2016-2017.

All students will be strongly encouraged to take a full, seven period class schedule for 2016-2017.  Exceptions will be made for those students taking multiple AP or Honors classes, and students with documented learning differences.


We are excited to offer three new additions to the course catalog this year:


Biomedical Science Pathway- Human Body Systems (10 units, 2 semesters)

10th-12th grade

UC / CSU approval pending

Students examine the interactions of human body systems as they explore

identity, power, movement, protection, and homeostasis. Exploring science in action,

students build organs and tissues on a skeletal Maniken®; use data

acquisition software to monitor body functions, such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary action, and respiration; and take on the roles of biomedical professionals to solve real-world medical cases.

Prerequisites:  Minimum B in Principles of Biomedical Science; department approval.


AP Government and Politics (10 units, 2 semesters)

12th grade

UC/CSU Approval Pending

This course explores the political theory and everyday practice that direct the daily operation of our government and shape our public policies. The express purpose of this course is to prepare students to take the AP U.S. Government and Politics Exam. The course is for all intents and purposes taught at the college level, and it requires a substantial amount of reading and preparation for every class meeting.  The objectives of this course go beyond a basic analysis of how our government “works.” Students will develop a critical understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the American political system, as well as their rights and responsibilities as citizens.

Prerequisites: Minimum of B in AP US History OR Minimum of B- in US History, department approval


Concert Band (10 units, 2 semesters) 9th -12th grade

UC/CSU approval pending

Concert Band is intended to provide the student with musicianship techniques in instrumental performance (tone production, technical skills, intonation, music reading skills, listening skills, analyzing music, studying historically significant styles of literature, and integration of other applicable disciplines such as sight-reading and correct responses to a conductor’s musical insight to the literature being studied and to be performed). Students study a varied repertoire of developmentally appropriate concert band literature, technical studies, and develop the ability and artistry to convey a composer’s intent in the performance of music. Upon completing the course, the student will have acquired the necessary skills to perform with a strong musical background in which they may continue to develop their talents towards a musical vocation. Inherent to the course is the understanding that students are enrolled to further develop their own individual talents as well as develop the talents of the overall group which culminates in the creation and performance of music.

Prerequisites: None


Thank you for continuing to support student learning!  If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at




David M. Cmaylo

Assistant Principal of Academics
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