St. Francis Kicks Off $3.5 Million “Innovations in Education” Campaign

St. Francis High School Announces $3.5 Million Innovations in Education Capital Campaign St. Francis High School Announces $3.5 Million Innovations in Education Capital Campaign


12:16 pm | January 3, 2013

On Sunday, December 2, 2012 close friends of St. Francis High School gathered in the chapel for a Mass and Formal Kick-Off Announcement of the school’s $3.5 million “Innovations in Education” Capital Campaign.

This campaign will fund a second-story classroom annex and allow the school to launch its highly-anticipated technology initiative. Fr. Tony Marti, OFM Cap., SF President was the main celebrant: Fr. Matthew G. Elshoff, OFM Cap. ’73, former SF President and current Provincial of the Western Province of Capuchin Franciscan Friars and Fr. John de la Riva OFM Cap., SF Chaplain concelebrated the Mass.

It was also announced that Mr. Sam Longo, Jr. ’73 and Mr. Michael J. Smith will serve as the campaign co-chairs.

The new classroom annex will be built as a second-story addition behind the Fr. Alphonsus O’Connor Memorial Gymnasium. This represents the final component of a campus-wide Master Plan, Vision 20/20, St. Francis committed to fifteen years ago.

It was in November 1999 that the school announced its first capital campaign, Building Today for the Men of Tomorrow which saw the remodeling of the Fr. Lawrence Caruso Memorial Learning Center, the building of a parking structure, Degheri Performing Arts Center, Norman Family Courtyard, renovation to the Fr. Alphonsus O’Connor Memorial Gymnasium as well as the construction of the Angelo and Phyllis Mozilo Field House.

A second phase to the campaign brought an all-weather track, new home-side bleachers and storage and the installation of FieldTurf on Friedman Field. In October 2005, the Fr. Matthew G. Elshoff OFM Cap. ’73 Administration Building was dedicated after extensive remodeling that created ample space for guidance and counseling, multi-purpose needs and administrative offices. During the years 1999- 2005 nearly every inch of our campus was either rebuilt or improved in some fashion – in the end, it equated to a $20 million investment in our physical plant.

The remaining component of this Master Plan calls for more classroom space as a second story classroom wing behind the gymnasium.

Having literally rebuilt or renovated our campus so as to offer a 21st century learning environment, this need for additional classroom space can no longer wait. Classrooms are used for instructional purposes each period of every school day – in more recent years, the theater, music room and space in the Field House have been assigned regular classes. While the student population has remained consistent over the years, the introduction of additional courses and new campus co-curricular clubs, have put space at a premium.

Each classroom in this new annex will offer roughly 900-square feet of instructional space as well as contemporary technology such as interactive white boards, multi-media podiums with screens, sound system, video and document camcorders and rolling carts of mobile computing devices such as iPads, notebooks or laptops.

Enhancing current teaching methodologies and providing innovative means of connecting with students will be an evolving process. To that end, our administrative team is currently working with a consultant, CDW Educational Collaboration, on a readiness assessment which will allow us to reach our educational goal of creating student-centered, inquiry based instruction. This will also address device choice, professional development and rollout of new technology.

A new technology board committee has also been formed to assist with this research and process. This group will compliment the work that is being done by a faculty technology advisory group. Plans are also underway to create a “model classroom” to test the new technology and allow a group of teachers to begin integrating the technology into their courses. This new model classroom is expected to be completed by the late spring 2013. In our new classroom wing, there will be three new classrooms that will allow us to implement our technology strategy on a broader scale.

School officials expect construction on our new classroom wing to begin in January 2013, with a completion date by year-end 2013. During this time, there will be an emphasis on faculty training to create student centered, inquiry based instruction. Further administrative planning will address financing, additional personnel and infrastructure needs related to the new technology. In this way, St. Francis will go beyond ease of use of these new technologies and offer students learning experiences that will best prepare them for college and their lives in the global workforce.

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