Trips and Travel

“Education is not a two-by-four: it should not be limited to the two covers of a book and the four walls of a classroom.” —John Dewey

Fresh air. It’s something we believe all children should get more of. That’s why learning at St. Francis may begin in the classroom, but it certainly doesn’t end there! Our Primary II through eighth-grade students gain a deeper understanding of a variety of subjects—from U.S. and Texas history to earth science and gardening—through class trips, cultural enrichment, field trips, and participation in our Outdoor Learning Experiences (OLE) program. OLEs enrich curriculum study with extensive opportunities for critical thinking, problem solving, and captivating primary-source learning. All while forging unforgettable lifetime memories.

Field Trips and Outdoor Learning

Students from every division learn more about the world around them through field trips to notable locations within the Houston area, as well as frequent visits to the school’s vegetable gardens and certified Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom. Based on research-driven principles for creating spaces that support children’s interactions with the natural world, this 12,240-square-foot outdoor space allows students from every grade level to collaborate as they learn about the earth’s natural resources.

Class Trips

Ask our alumni, and they’ll tell you that the annual grade-level trips for grades 4–8 top the highlight reel of their years at St. Francis. These overnight trips to locations throughout the state and nation allow our older students to experience independence and hands-on learning, bond with their fellow classmates, and apply their classroom learning in locales far from the desk and classroom.

Fourth Grade: A visit to Camp Balcones Springs in Marble Falls reinforces students’ study of Texas history through its “cowboys and campfires” theme. Students spend a total of three days and two nights experiencing the outdoors, the fellowship of friends, and exciting team-building activities.

Fifth Grade: Our fifth graders look forward to their trip to the The Outdoor School in Marble Falls. Because new students often enter St. Francis at this grade, the trip is held in the fall to allow classmates to unite and bond.

Sixth Grade: Sixth graders typically travel to Carolina Creek Christian Camp. As with the fifth-grade trip, the excursion is held at the beginning of the fall semester so that new students have a chance to bond with their peers in a variety of team-building and outdoor activities, such as ropes courses, zip-lining, and canoeing.

Seventh Grade: During their class trip to the T Bar M Camp in New Braunfels, seventh graders experience both personal growth and hands-on academics. Ropes courses encourage team (and courage!) building, while Circle Time allows students to use telescopes to view stars and constellations normally obscured by Houston’s bright city lights.

Eighth Grade: Middle School’s highly anticipated last class trip is a memorable one, with eighth graders spending a week learning about a significant part of the country. From Washington, DC, and Boston to Virginia and Pennsylvania, selected destinations offer students a wide array of curricular connections through experiences related to literature, art, science, math, and history.

Middle School Travel Program

The St. Francis Travel Program offers middle schoolers the opportunity to broaden their horizons, expand their minds, and embrace what it means to be global citizens through carefully curated learning adventures. National and international trips expose students to new cultures, languages, and ideas, while reinforcing classroom learning and encouraging individual growth. Trips are available to current fifth–eighth graders and range from five days to two weeks in length.

We'd love to get your input as we plan our international Middle School trips for upcoming years. Complete our survey by choosing the appropriate link below:

St. Francis International Trip Survey 2017 (Parents)
St. Francis International Trip Survey 2017 (Students)

Click here to view the St. Francis Summer 2017–18 Travel Brochure. For more information, contact our travel coordinator, Kathryn Spinelli at 713.458.6117.