And we are back! What a fantastic first week it’s been. We kicked things off with 9th Grade Orientation on Tuesday, welcomed 157 students to the new school year on Wednesday, and sent the Class of 2020 off on their senior rafting trip on Thursday. Now it’s Friday and the general theme settling in among students is exhaustion – everyone is ready for the weekend!

Speaking of exhaustion: We all know that teenagers don’t get enough sleep; parents don’t always, either. But as we get back to school, having healthy sleep habits can have a significant impact on students. Our Wyverns SFS alumni Facebook page had a question posed this week asking for words of wisdom for our current students, and several alums emphasized how much sleep is needed, including, “If you want to actually get 8 hours, you better be in bed 9 hours before you have to get up.”  It’s challenging for teenagers to do this, with activities, homework, jobs, and other commitments, but getting enough sleep is really foundational to students’ health, well-being, and academic success. 

Another important foundation to the work we are doing with our students at St. Francis is encouraging them to advocate for themselves. Particularly as they transition from middle school to high school and then prepare to head off to college, teenagers need to foster self-confidence, self-reliance, and autonomy. When a concern arises, with a class, for example, parents can help by brainstorming the conversation that the student might have with a teacher. It can be tempting to just send the email or make the call yourself, but in one, two, three, or four years, your teenager will be on a college campus and need the skills to be able to walk in the door to talk with an advisor, a professor, or someone hiring for internships or other jobs. We want to encourage them to practice this crucial skill in the safe confines of SFS.  

Let’s make it a terrific 2019-20 school year!