Every time we take ourselves away into our worries and the anxieties, we can begin to lose the presence of God. At any time in your life when you don’t feel the presence of God, all you have to do is pull yourself back for a moment and begin to give thanks. Thank God for your life, thank God for the sunshine, thank God for the day, thank God for your teachers and students, thank God for our benefactors, thank God for His blessings, thank God for your health, and thank God for the gift of His son Jesus. Every time you begin to thank God, the presence of God builds up.
With a heart filled with gratitude and in this Spirit of Thanksgiving, we give thanks for the blessing of calling you our "Salesian Partner in Mission.” The missionary zeal and perseverance you manifest every day in support of Catholic schools is a blessing to us all.
We hope you had a Thanksgiving filled with an abundance of LOVE and Gratitude. As we transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas, may you experience all of God’s blessings and make many memories among your family and friends.
I want to thank all of you who attended our 2016 Fall Open House, volunteered at our Open House, and/or shared your students with us on this day. We saw almost 200 people come through our doors – some to take tours and many more who came just to pick up registration and tuition assistance materials. Our students, parents, and staff greeted visitors; all were welcomed into our St. Francis community. Visitors were treated to a choral performance, Animas highlights, the drumline, and a gripping introduction to our Project Lead the Way biomedical science pathway (now in year two). Mrs. Marheineke and her team created an amazing, authentic experience for all.
Since the holiday season is in full swing, I want to acknowledge that on December 18, we will be celebrating the 157th anniversary of the founding of the Salesian family. On this important date, Don Bosco gathered a group of 17 young men to start a congregation. After 157 years and in countries all over the world, this initial group has grown into a worldwide movement. This movement has a single purpose – to foster good Christians and honest citizens. This basic belief is part of our school’s vision: To ensure every student is prepared to attend a 4-year college and possesses the values of a good Christian and an honest global citizen.
Because we will not be in session on December 18, we will be celebrating this momentous occasion at our Christmas Liturgy on Tuesday, December 13th. This is also the Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe. We will celebrate both important events in the Salesian church. All are welcome to attend this mass from 8 am to 9 am in our BAC gym.
We will kick the holiday season into high gear starting December 9th. On this day/night we, will have the infamous Christmas Rally (starting at 1:05 pm) with students and staff encouraged to wear their appropriately ugly Christmas sweaters as we welcome Santa Claus. That afternoon, we will caravan to CAL GIANT for the KSBW Share Your Holidays event – Mr. Ryan will be driving the truck filled with presents, cheerleaders, and Sharky and the drumline and the choir will perform on TV. That night, the choir will perform their Holiday Christmas Concert. Please join us at all of these fun community events and celebrate the holidays in true St. Francis style!
Study Day is the 17th and we encourage all students to attend from 9 am to 12 noon. The teachers will be here along with NHS/CSF to ensure everyone is prepared to be successful on their semester final exams. All local and international students are expected to attend this day. Mr. Falcone is looking for food, drink, and raffle gift donations for this event. All of the donations make participation in this event free for all students!
Semester finals happen the next week and you can read Mr. Cmaylo’s portion of this newsletter for that critically important information. The last night of testing, December 21st, we will have the alumni basketball game and all-alumni reunion. Attendance is free for this event; donations will be accepted at the door to support the SFHS Athletics program. All SFHS alumni will get admission to the reception where free appetizers and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided. We encourage all alumni to RSVP to Mrs. Marheineke with your attendance, updated personal information, and t-shirt size, so that we can have your shirt and steel pint cup waiting for you at the reception. We also encourage all alumni to push out the invitation via social media to other alumni around the country. All alumni are welcome!
The front office will be shut down December 23rd through January 4th. January 5th-6th the staff will have meetings. School resumes for all on Monday, December 9, 2017.
We will be sending out critically important WCEA surveys to students and parents in the weeks to come. Please take the time to fill these out. They are critically important to our school improvement and help us go from good to great! Each survey you complete can be counted for 2 service hours. If you go to greatschools.org and/or niche.com and complete the positive reviews of our school, you can count each one as 2 hours, as well. We appreciate your help in being the #1 rated high school on the Central Coast!
This Friday we are mailing home the 2016-2017 Annual Fund Campaign letter/envelope. I am happy to say that UCLA Honors Pre-Med student, Ms. Isabella Shahmirza, again wrote this year’s appeal. This is Part 2. I asked her to share her successes and Salesian connections one year after graduating from St. Francis so you will know how well-prepared your sons and daughters will be upon graduation. They, and you, are Sharks for Life!
Whether you are currently 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 prior to Easter Break.
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,