College Preparation in High School

College Preparation High school is about many things — social-emotional development, growing from a young adolescent into an almost-adult, exploring intellectually and honing skills. All of this, in the end, translates into teenagers’ preparation for college and the rest of their lives. The way we do that at St. Francis is distinct from other schools. We talk about preparation for college and life. Another way of putting it is that we prepare students for all aspects of college, which is more than just academics. Academics, of course, are foremost. Our curriculum is designed to focus on close reading, writing of all kinds (beginning with major research papers in 9th grade), critical thinking, discourse, problem-solving, and analysis. We go both broad and deep, with AP courses and non-AP electives in every department, challenging students at all levels and preparing them for any college classes they may encounter. There is no doubt that our students are ready to handle college academics. Then there’s the aspect of college preparation that has always been a focus at St. Francis, but seems to be ever-increasing in importance as articles abound these days about college students’ inability to handle the non-academic aspects of their lives: working with parents to develop students’ resilience, competence, independence, and self-esteem. We believe that letting students “test drive” some responsibility is the best way to help them handle full independence in four years. Here at the High School, our sign-out system fosters time management and independence, as well as the added benefit of teaching students how to budget for lunch. [...]