SFA students are expected to work hard to reach their highest potential. Teachers offer rigorous coursework presented through a variety of teaching styles. Some classes are co-taught in order to provide students with extra support or to extend students’ learning. Students work hard to meet language proficiency standards and leave SFA prepared for high school Spanish. SFA students are also equipped with 21st Century technology skills through a trimester long technology class and 1:1 use of Chromebooks in each classroom.
Serving the Greater Community
Each month, 7th and 8th grade students have the opportunity to donate to various charities and dress out-of-uniform in a school-wide Mission Awareness Day. At Christmastime, the 7th and 8th grade religion classes adopt families through West Des Moines Human Services. Each year, the 8th grade students travel off campus for a service day to give back to the community and in recent years students and their parents have packaged meals at Meals From the Heartland and help at Wildwood Hills Ranch. The students are able to strengthen their faith not only by attending weekly Wednesday Mass but also by leading a class Mass and serving as altar servers. 8th grade students also give back to the SFA school community by planting and maintaining the Mary Garden at the school entrance.
Projects, Trips, and Clubs
SFA offers a variety of activities to further students’ learning in and out of the classroom. The student newspaper club publishes a monthly SFA community newspaper, 8th grade science students prepare and present science fair projects, and every even year, 7th and 8th grade students and their parents have the opportunity to travel to Washington DC for a class trip. Students can pursue leadership opportunities through programs like Student Ambassadors, and get involved in the numerous sports offered at St. Francis. 8th grade students help build a strong learning community from the beginning as they are paired with a kindergarten buddy to help mentor them through school Masses and serve as a familiar face and role model during the year.
Music and Visual Arts
Band and choir rehearsals and concerts throughout the year provide SFA students with opportunities to improve their performing arts skills. In addition, SFA 7th and 8th grade students work together to learn and perform a musical each year. This includes learning speaking parts and multiple songs with choreography. Students begin preparing after Christmas break and work until the production at the end of the year. The drama club works hard in the months leading up to the musical to prepare the props, backdrops, and costumes. Lastly, students master different forms of art in their weekly art classes. We are blessed to showcase our students’ work in our middle school display case.