Top 10 Reasons to Choose SFHS
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.
2. Our academic rigor prepares students for college and life.
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 successful global citizens. Students can take advanced placement and elective classes on campus and online as well as participate in a unique hands-on Biomedical Science Pathway (STEM). Consequently, all of our graduates are equipped with skills and mindsets that enable them to assume highly leveraged roles and lead strategic initiatives locally and globally.
3. Our competitive athletics program provides a superior sports experience.
Our school competes in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League. We offer 19 CIF-sponsored men’s and women’s sports with 34 separate teams. 81% percent of our student population participates in one or more of our sports, and many of our CIF-sponsored sports are "non-cut" giving all student-athletes an opportunity to participate. In our newest history we have won league, CCS, and/or NorCal Championships in volleyball, tennis, cross country, basketball, track, and baseball.
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 20 acre campus. The school boasts modern science labs, an art complex with kiln and indoor/outdoor workspace, a lake, gym, pool, and fields (Football, soccer, baseball, and softball). The classically designed buildings, well-manicured grounds and acres of green fields are a source of pride for our community. Classrooms are contemporary learning spaces that allow students to interact with their teachers and technology.
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 s/he received their degree and/or credential. In addition, half of our faculty has been teaching for more than 10 years with advanced Masters or Doctorate degrees. 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.
Students are mentored to maximize technology as a learning tool responsibly. We have a one-to-one iPad program for all students included in the tuition cost; we provide iPad management software to ensure every device is only used for educational purposes on/off campus as well as expanded fiber-optic and data bandwidth; WiFi throughout the school grounds; and voice-over IP phones in all classrooms, offices and facilities. Each classroom incorporates Apple TV and projectors. Our entire staff participates in annual technology in the classroom professional development; therefore, our commitment to technology in learning proves we are a modern facility committed to preparing our students for the global market.
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. These activities exist to complement our academic curriculum and to enhance the educational experience. Students may choose to explore the arts, multi-cultural appreciation, robotics, surfing, dance, cycling, skateboarding, fishing, film making 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 community under the direction of our Catholic, Salesian values. It is our mission to deepen each student’s relationship with God and with others. Each class and after school activity begins and ends with prayer, we have all school prayer daily, all school liturgy monthly, and grade level retreats are provided annually. In addition, we encourage and support community service through numerous opportunities made available to students, including Second Harvest Food Bank, 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 women and men.
9. Our students are equipped with leadership skills and mindsets.
In keeping with St. John Bosco’s desire to educate young people to be “good Christians and honest citizens,” our student leadership model is one that promotes active service by students in all areas of student life. Animas (Latin for “soul”) is the name given to the group that provides leadership through Student Activities. They are charged with animating campus life through a broad range of activities that promote spirit and social life. Animas meets regularly throughout the year to plan and administer student activities.
St. Francis offers students various opportunities for student leadership:
1) Associated Student Body (ASB): Class Officers will commit to participate in all designated activities and projects and will serve the school and the students in all matters pertaining to student life. Officers have an obligation to serve as a liaison between the student body, Animas, and the school by soliciting student ideas and concerns and sharing those with core team members of Animas and the school in a constructive way.
2) Student Activities (Animas): Animas (Latin for “soul”) is the name given to the group that provides leadership through Student Activities. They are charged with animating campus life through a broad range of activities that promote spirit and social life. Animas meets regularly throughout the year to plan and administer campus activities.
10. Our students are part of a family and 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 and alumni parents 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.