ST. FRANCIS TAKES PART IN May's National Bullying Prevention Month.
As part of the National Bullying Prevention Month, St. Francis will offer several bullying prevention activities and programs in classrooms and in the Guidance & Counseling Department throughout the month of May. National Bullying Prevention Week presents a great opportunity for schools to focus on helping students develop the skills to prevent and cope with bullying and to immerse them in anti-bullying messages and educational activities. If you are interested in finding out more information, please contact Mrs. Rupp at ext. 1104.
The National Bullying Prevention Month is also a perfect opportunity for parents to talk about this issue with their children. Since today's teens are facing new and more unobtrusive methods of bullying, such as cyber bullying, it is important to discuss these particular forms of bullying.
Here are some tips on how Parents Can Help Kids Avoid Cyber Bullying:
Children have access to computers nearly all day - at school, at home, and when visiting the homes of friends. This means it's impossible for parents to continuously monitor their child's online activities. It's vital that children are made aware of the potential for online harassment, and know what to do if it happens.
If a child believes he/she is being harassed by a cyber bully, he/she should:
- Tell his/her parents. If the child is wondering if a message qualifies as cyber bullying, it probably does. He/she should be instructed to immediately tell a parent, guardian or other trusted adult if such a message arrives in his/her inbox or is posted on his/her online "wall."
- Save all emails, MySpace or Facebook posts, text messages or instant messages that could be interpreted as threatening, violent, insulting, taunting or in any way harassing. These saved messages will serve as proof of the threats or harassment.
Talking and Teaching Can Protect Children From Becoming Victims of Bullying. A great Website for further information on Bullying Prevention is
PROTECT TEENS AT GRADUATION TIME
High School graduation is a time for teens to celebrate their achievements, but in some cases, those celebrations involve late-night drinking parties. Sometimes parents are tempted to “look the other way” as their children engage in inappropriate celebration activities, thinking that they will soon be on their own in college where they have to make their own decisions without parental supervision. Nonetheless, it is important that parents continue to set guidelines for their children’s behavior while their children are still living in their houses. Our graduates are not of legal drinking age yet, and parents are liable for young people who may drink at graduation parties sponsored in their homes. In addition, younger siblings are watching and taking note of the graduate’s behavior and the parental response. So encourage your graduating senior to enjoy this time and celebrate this milestone, but do so in a safe and appropriate manner. There are a number of resources on the Guidance page of the school website, under Alcohol Prevention Resources, including guidelines for parents on hosting parties. A link to the site is also provided here at http://www.sfhsnet.org/top/studentsvcs/guid-alcoholprevent.htm
LETTING GO OF YOUR COLLEGE BOUND STUDENT
For the seniors who are off to college, this is an exciting time but also one that brings many decisions and stresses. It can also be difficult for the parent who is saddened by the departure of a child. It is important to be sensitive to the feelings that these changes can bring to both parents and young adults. Listed below are some suggestions from the book, Letting Go: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding the College Years.
Advice to Parents:
- Be prepared for your child’s and your own conflicting emotions as the day of departure approaches.
- Discuss academic expectations ahead of time. Encourage your son/daughter to set his/her own academic goals.
- Make a financial plan and openly discuss expectations with your child.
- Discuss expectations about communication - phone calls, emails, and letters.
- Discuss use of alcohol and other lifestyle choices your son/daughter will have to make but don’t give lectures.
- If you take your child to school, don’t expect to spend a lot of time together. Orientation is designed to foster separation.
- Be a coach rather than a rescuer. Encourage your son or daughter to use the resources at college. Learn what the academic and personal support services are. Keep the parent handbook and materials from orientation in an accessible place.
- Don’t make major changes at home without informing your son/daughter.
- Be an anchor. Listen with an open mind and be supportive.
- Keep in touch—write and send care packages.
Advice to Students:
- Leave time during the summer to be with friends—to say goodbye.
- Open and answer all mail and email from your college in a prompt fashion.
- Bring part of home with you—pictures of friends and family, yearbook, posters.
- Get to know the physical environment of campus and campus services.
- Seek out faculty members and your advisor. Take advantage of office hours.
- Remember, being independent doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. Seek help when you need it.
- Explore academic options. Most college freshmen do not know what they want to major in. Most will change ideas about majors; not to know is normal.
- Remember, new friends can’t immediately fill the gap left by separation from long-standing friendships.
- Get involved in at least one campus activity first semester.
- Make time in your schedule for exercise, sleep, and “sit down” meals.
Some other things for parents and students to consider which are not included in the above list are:
- Consider drawing up formal power of attorney for health care papers for your son or daughter before they leave for school. Your child is now an adult and privacy laws may inhibit disclosure of information regarding medical issues. If your child has a medical emergency, you can fax the power of attorney papers to the medical professionals or hospital and know that you will have access to information concerning your child and can assist in making important decisions if they are needed.
- Make sure all immunizations are up to date, including those for meningitis.
- If the start of college is a bit rocky, do not push the panic button. The adjustment will take time, just like it did in high school.
SENIORS REQUESTING THE FINAL TRANSCRIPT
On April 24, seniors completed a survey of their college acceptances and scholarship awards. In addition, each student completed a request to have the final 8th semester transcript sent to the college of his/her choice. Some students indicated that they are still undecided about which college to attend. Please note that students must submit an enrollment confirmation and deposit to their chosen colleges by May 1. If the student should change his/her mind over the summer about which college he/she will attend, the student should submit a new transcript request to Mrs. Rigney or the main office and inform Mrs. Rigney of the change in plans.
MAKE CHANGES TO COURSE REQUESTS NOW
A copy of the student’s schedule requests for 2013-2014 will soon be mailed to all students. When you receive your copy, students and parents should carefully review the course requests to determine if they are correct. If you see that some courses are listed twice, it is because some full year courses have a different course code for semester one and semester two.
If any changes need to be made to the courses listed for the student schedule for next year, please contact the student’s guidance counselor as soon as possible, Mrs. Rupp for students with last names A—K ext. 1104, and Mary Kay Sullivan for students with last name L—Z, ext. 1108. Students who make changes now are more likely to get all the courses they want. Students who make changes later in the summer are more likely to encounter conflicts and courses that are closed to further enrollment.
SUMMER SCHOOL SIGN UP TIME
Any student who failed a course for semester one will need to make up the credit through summer school. Students can now obtain Summer School information in Student Services. Students who will be attending summer school must meet with a counselor to obtain approval for the make up course. If a student is aware that he/she will also fail semester 2, it is recommended that he/she sign up for both semesters with the option of cancelling later.
College of DuPage High School Credit Program and local public schools offering summer school are now accepting applications. It is best to register as early as possible to secure a place in the class. If you sign up for a course at the College of DuPage High School Credit Program and your course is cancelled or you find that you do not need the course, the college will issue a full refund provided you cancel your course registration prior to the first day of class.
If your child needs to take a summer school course to make up a deficient credit, please call your child’s counselor to confirm that your student is registered for summer school and make sure he/she is signed up for the correct course.
LAST CHANCE to SIGN UP for SPRING ACT & SAT TESTS
The final deadlines are approaching for juniors who still need to sign up for ACT and SAT tests. Any junior students who have not yet taken the ACT or SAT must register as soon as possible. These May/June test dates are also the last time this school year when students may take a re-test:
- June 1 SAT late registration deadline is May 17
- June 8 ACT late registration deadline is May 17.
*Don’t forget to include our six digit high school code (144-383) for St. Francis when registering so the school receives a copy of the test scores.
*St. Francis strongly recommends that students take the ACT (with Writing) or SAT at least two to three times in order to earn the best possible score for college admission. Colleges will base admission decisions on the best score from all tests taken.
JUNIOR COLLEGE PLANNING APPOINTMENTS
On May 8, Mrs. Rigney will complete appointments with all members of the junior class to discuss career and college plans. After meeting with the student, Mrs. Rigney provided the student with a personalized list of colleges that the student may want to research. A copy of this list of colleges was also mailed to the parent so you may review and discuss it with your child. In addition, Mrs. Rigney spoke with all juniors in March to have them complete their lists of high school activities and to review the college planning tasks they should be completing before the fall. All students received a handout of the Top Ten Tasks Every Junior Must Do as seen below. In addition to the list below, students are urged to go to the Naviance Family Connection program and complete My Game Plan, My Resume, an Advanced College Search, and My (List of) Colleges. After that, students should schedule campus visits for those schools that they have not yet formally seen.
MRS. RIGNEY’S LIST OF TOP TEN TASKS EVERY JUNIOR MUST DO BETWEEN MARCH AND SEPTEMBER
- Take the ACT with Writing at least 2 times by early June and take the SAT at least 2 times if you performed reasonably well on the PSAT.
- Go to the Guidance page of the St. Francis website and become familiar with the resources there, such as: College Planning Guide and Timeline, ACT and SAT Testing Information, ACT and SAT Prep Programs, ACT/ SAT Conversion Chart, ACT and SAT Testing Accommodations Information, Websites for College Planning, Monthly Guidance Newsletter, Weekly College, Scholarship and Summer Program Bulletin, Scholarship Listings, Important Dates and Deadlines, Printable Transcript Release Form, and Printable Request for Teacher Recommendation Form.
- Research career and college major choices using the college and career resources on the St. Francis website, such as the Occupational Outlook Handbook, My College Quick Start, What Can I Do With This Major, My Majors.com, etc.
- Do at least two different college searches using the major web based college programs such as Family Connection, My Road/My College Quick Start, Peterson’s, Princeton Review, etc.
- Form a working list of 10—15 colleges and thoroughly research them.
- Complete at least six formal college visits, touring a variety of colleges in terms of size, location, and academic rigor.
- Examine the program of studies in your potential major by going to the Academic page of some of your potential college choices and clicking on your major. Take a close look at what you will be studying for the next four years.
- Make sure your schedule for senior year includes all the courses necessary to prepare you for the requirements of your potential colleges and major. If not, see a counselor ASAP and change your schedule.
- Narrow the list of colleges to which you will apply to approximately 6, making sure that at least 2 colleges on your list are completely affordable for you and are “safety” schools (sure bets) in terms of your acceptance. To determine this, look at the college profiles on Family Connection, collegeboard.com, or other college resources and use the Compare Me component of Family Connection.
- Work hard this spring to earn the best grades of your high school career. Remember that for some colleges, junior year is your last opportunity to improve your grade point average and rank before you apply in early fall. Junior year performance is often viewed as the most recent and best predictor of your college success.