Freshman Experience

Open to admitted and enrolled Saint Francis freshmen

Registration will open after acceptance letters have been sent.

June 16 – July 11 (July 4 holiday)
 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Specially designed for the incoming class of 2017, The Freshman Experience is the perfect opportunity for our newest Lancers to acclimate to social and academic life at Saint Francis. Whether enrolling for educational enrichment, or for review, students have the chance to build a diverse and interactive course schedule, engage with our wonderful Saint Francis teaching staff and form friendships with their incoming classmates. Historically, over half of the freshman class has transitioned to Saint Francis through this program. Matriculation is limited to admitted and enrolled students.

  • Students take three classes during the four-week program.
  • Because these courses cover academic subject areas, students may encounter a limited amount of homework in each class.
  • Registration materials for this program will be mailed home with your acceptance letter.
  • Students should select classes based on the courses planned for next year. We will adjust summer courses to reflect the result of the placement exams.
  • Course decriptions are available below
  • Afternoon activities available

Morning Classes - Students take 3

  • Basic Fine Arts Exploration
  • Computer Literacy
  • Graphic Arts
  • Introduction to Algebra
  • Introduction to Geometry
  • Introduction to French 1
  • Introduction to Spanish 1
  • Leadership Skills
  • Reading and Writing
  • Reading and Writing Honors
  • Speech and Debate
  • Study Skills/Orientation
****Course selections will automatically be altered to reflect placement exam results.

Freshman Experience Afternoon Electives

$220 per two-week session, 12:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

  • Acting Workshop - Session 1 (limited to incoming SFHS 9th graders)
  • Fine Arts - Session 1 (limited to 7-9th graders)
  • Photography - Session 1 & 2
  • Writing Workshop - Session 2 (limited to 8-9th graders)
  • Weekly Pre-paid Lunch Service

Basic Fine Arts Exploration

This course presents students with a range of art mediums and techniques in order to demonstrate the principals and theories of art.

Computer Literacy

This course introduces students to the computer and how it works. The course will teach skills in word processing, database, presentation, and spreadsheet applications. Students will fulfill the computer literacy graduation requirement upon passing the competency test at the completion of this course.

Graphic Arts

This enrichment course will explore the field of graphic arts using graphics software such as Adobe Photoshop© as a medium of expression, while learning the elements of design and art. This class will teach the necessary skills of computer operation to allow students to use their artistic abilities with the aid of the computer.

Introduction to Algebra

This course will review basic mathematics and introduce elementary algebra skills. Students who would like to prepare for the freshman year of algebra should enroll in this class.

Leadership Skills

The basic premise of this class is to give an introductory glance at the ethos behind a Catholic Holy Cross Education, including the history of Holy Cross and our BRIC themes of integrity, family, hope and respect. The goal of the course is to instill some basic sense of what strong, ethical student leadership at the high school level entails. Students interested in student government, campus ministry and/or various other extracurricular club activities should take this course. Emphasis will be placed on developing leadership skills, goal setting and public speaking.

Introduction to Geometry

This course will review algebra and introduce elementary geometry skills. Students who would like to prepare for the freshman year of geometry should enroll in this class.

Introduction to French 1

this course is specifically designed for students who have never taken a French class.

Introduction to Spanish 1

This class emphasizes speaking and familiarizes students with the spoken language. The curriculum covers grammar basics and tips to be successful in Spanish 1. Please note: this course is specifically designed for students who have never taken a Spanish class.

Introduction to Spanish 2

This class emphasizes speaking, writing and listening, well review material from Spanish 1 and introduce major topics of Spanish 2. The curriculum covers grammar basics and tips to be successful in Spanish 2. Please note: Students must pass the qualifying exam for Spanish 2 in order to enroll in this summer course.

Reading & Writing

This course covers the summer reading assignments for freshmen. Students will develop skills in comprehension, analysis and discussion. In addition, the course provides students with an introduction to high school writing focusing on mechanics, voice, imagery, description, and organization. Students will be expected to complete homework for this class

Speech & Debate

This course provides students with an introduction to public speaking and debate. It is an opportunity to gain self-confidence and learn successful communication skills. This class is intended for students interested in joining the Saint Francis Speech and Debate team or for those who would like to develop their speaking skills.

Study Skills/Orientation

This class will review note taking, outlining, memory and test taking techniques to help students in their high school classes. The class will also provide an overview to “life at Saint Francis.”

Afternoon Activities

$220 per session
12:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Session 1: June 16 – June 27
Session 2: June 30 – July 11 (July 4 holiday)

Acting Workshop: Session 1

Get ready for high school theatre by developing your acting, singing and dancing skills in this high-energy class. You will work with the drama director at St. Francis High School and her drama students.

Advanced Argumentation and Debate (4 week camp)

This class serves as an introduction to debate at the high school level. Students will learn the basics of value debate in the Lincoln-Douglas format and limited prep formats. Unlike our other afternoon classes, his is a 4 week camp and runs from June 17-July 12, $440.

Fine Arts: Session 1& 2

Fine arts is a basic exploration of art and design. Students will learn how to use the elements and principles of art to create aesthetically pleasing work.They will explore many techniques and methods of the art making process, and will do so through the use of mediums such as oil pastels, color pencils, paint and acrylic medium. This class helps students explore and develop artistic thinking while stimulating and encouraging creative thought.

Guitar: Session 1

This is a beginning and advanced guitar course for rising 8th and 9th graders. Students will learn the basics of guitar playing and how to play their favorite songs. Students will be able to write their own songs using basic chords on the guitar. For the more advanced guitar players, students will learn amazing finger techniques and compositional ideas. They will be able to dissect their favorite songs to get a better understanding of how their favorite artists create music.

Photography: Session 1 & 2

Digital Photography will cover the basic principles of photography and explain the three building blocks of light, time and subject. Students will explore the many artistic choices you make when you take a photograph. They will learn about cameras, lenses and filters, and finally, how to bring the photograph into Photoshop, enhance it, prepare it for printing, and print it.

Writing Workshop: Session 1 & 2

This course is focused on expository and creative writing. Utilizing literary excerpts, students will hone their grammar skills, perfect the paragraph structure, and develop their thesis and essay writing expertise. The creative projects will inspire imagination and encourage self-expression. Editing and revising will be stressed as integral parts of the writing process. Students will have time to work in class, but minimal amounts of homework may be required.

Weekly Pre-paid Lunch Service

12:00 noon – 12:45 p.m.
$35 per week, except $28 week of June 30
Students may also bring their own lunch.  There is no vegetarian option, and lunch options sometimes include beef.

Contact Information

Summer at Saint Francis:
650 968-1213, ext. 446

Academic Programs:
Kelly Walsh
Summer School Principal

Sports Camps:
Chris Volta
Athletic Summer Programs Director