Upper School Signature Programs
- Experiential Travel
- Hands–On Entrepreneurship
- Health and Wellness
- Innovations in Learning
- Spiritual Education
Students have the chance to study and serve locally, statewide, nationally, and internationally. Freshman year travel opportunities center on the Houston community, while sophomores engage in programs at the state level. Students’ junior and senior years provide flexibility for national and international adventures. As part of St. Francis’s commitment to civic and local engagement, every graduate will benefit from these programs.
At St. Francis, entrepreneurship courses introduce our students to the process of creating and launching business models under the guidance of mentors. Students work in teams to solve real-world business challenges. Regardless of a student’s future career path, the skills used to create and launch a business teach valuable life lessons.
Our health and wellness curriculum is a bridge across divisions that promotes education around self-care and self-awareness. Students must be prepared for an increasingly demanding world in which individuals often sacrifice personal well-being for their goals. Age-appropriate information and tools will help students make wise choices about gaining and maintaining healthy lifestyles. Integrated into formal health courses, advisory, and religious education, this four-year program (designed around National Health Education Standards) will cultivate a link between mind, heart, body, and spirit.
These seminars will support an interdisciplinary, collaborative teaching and learning culture that becomes the incubator for new solutions. Beginning in their freshman year, students will learn about brain theory, learning styles, and pedagogical models to better understand how humans think and learn—setting a foundation for understanding how knowledge is conveyed and received. Through this experience, students will become advocates in their own educational process.
As an application-based curriculum, the St. Francis internship program extends classroom learning through practical work experience to help spark students’ career interests. These hands-on experiences help students make connections between what they are learning and how like-minded professionals apply their education in the real world. Thanks to relationships with community partners, alumni, and interested parents, high school students will thrive via internships, Shadow Days, and Career Days. Because of our emphasis on the value of real-world experience, these opportunities take place during the school year with the possibility of additional summer programs.
As founding members of our Upper School, students lead in all facets of campus life. They help create and direct student government and student life activities, including all clubs, sports, and fine arts organizations. Through the course of their academic and extracurricular experiences, students will forge relationships with civic leaders, business professionals, philanthropic patrons, and peers across the globe. As people for others, Upper School students will create service learning courses and seek mentors both within St. Francis and the larger Houston community.
Students have opportunities to engage and lead in an inclusive faith-based environment that embodies our values of faith, dignity, courage, and scholarship. Through chapel, Eucharist, service learning, and an array of religious course offerings, St. Francis Upper School continues the tradition of nurturing people for others. We also encourage and support student-driven, extracurricular religious involvement that merges students’ spiritual life with their academic and social reality.
High-level instruction in coding, computer logic, and 3-D technology—plus a decidedly hands-on “maker space”—offers creative design opportunities related to engineering concepts and computer science.
Since technology is woven into the very fabric of education today, all St. Francis students research, create, design, evaluate, communicate, and present information through leading-edge technology in our STEM learning experience. Armed with the belief that true tech savvy extends well beyond the classroom, our faculty focuses on producing responsible digital citizens—students who understand the rules of the digital world and how to stay safe within them.
In addition to tech-driven projects, St. Francis Upper School students benefit from access to online SAT preparatory courses, the ERB’s Writing Practice Program, and the curriculum at Learning.com. Through STEM education programs in core classes and a rigorous technology curriculum, students are challenged on all fronts to use technology to construct knowledge and build upon creative thinking.