Information for Sacred Heart and St. Francis Xavier School Partnership Families
As we move forward with planning for our first year in partnership in the fall, we have updated our Q&A document with information responding particularly to the issues of utmost importance to your decision to attend our schools.
First, we know how important the start time for the school day is to your commute and morning routine, and the possibility of transportation between our campuses. To this end, we can confirm that we are in discussions with private vendors to provide a shuttle between our schools, so that a student may be dropped off at the campus most convenient for their family and be safely transported to the school they attend.
Estimated Start & End Times
- Drop-off at St. Francis Xavier will begin at 8:15 am
- Classes at St. Francis Xavier will begin at 8:35 am
- St. Francis Xavier School will dismiss at 3:00 am
- Drop-off at Sacred Heart will begin at 8:30 am
- Classes at Sacred Heart will begin at 8:45 am
- Sacred Heart School will dismiss at 3:30 am
- Students may be dropped off for the extended day program at either school as early as 7:00 am
We are currently in discussion with private vendors to provide a shuttle between the campuses beginning at 7:00 am.
We understand that this option is vital to many families’ decisions whether to attend one or both of our schools.
Please stay tuned for further details.
Before / After School / Enrichment
- Sacred Heart hosts before and after school programs through Champions
- St. Francis Xavier School will also welcome students as early as 7:00 am and as late as 5:00 pm for the extended day program.
- St. Francis Xavier may initiate a Champions program in the near future.
- Enrichment or extracurricular programs will proceed. Both schools have strong traditions in athletics, arts and computers, and our programs will be blended to capitalize on the strengths of each school.
- Both schools have after school tutoring available.
- The tuition was increased to ensure financial stability and uniformity for both schools.
- Besides an increase for the cost of living, the rise in tuition will cover increased expenses so that the schools can adhere to state health regulations and policies.
- These expenses include but are not limited to the cost of personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies and specific cleaning solutions, as well as individual learning materials that students would previously have shared.
- Both schools will undergo adaptations of learning spaces so that teaching personnel can cover a larger area of students that are safely spaced.
- It is important to point out that the multiple child discount is higher than it was previously at Sacred Heart, and both schools now welcome a fourth child for free.
- FACTS will be accessed and maintained outside of ParentsWeb. Families may utilize a single FACTS sign-on, but will need to establish an account with each school where your student attends. Billing will be handled internally by the same personnel and thus be streamlined as much as possible.
Payment Plans / Registration:
- We are able to make accommodations for those whose employment status is uncertain due to the pandemic.
- We have a limited amount of financial aid available to our schools. Please contact Vicki Dromey (781-337-6333 x120) to inquire, as applications are currently being accepted.
- For those on monthly payment plans, plans will begin in July and end in June.
- Students and families are encouraged to tour their new school, but must make an appointment to do so, as we must only have one group at a time.
- Sacred Heart tours are best scheduled online at https://calendly.com/sfxshtours/sh-tour
- You may, of course, call the school if you have questions: 781-335-6010.
- St. Francis Xavier tours may be scheduled by calling Mrs. Walsh at 781-335-6868.
Additional School Details
Grade Locations :
- Grades Pre-K-4 will be located at Sacred Heart School
- Grades 5-8 will be located at St. Francis Xavier School
- Headmaster, Principal – Mr. Robert Murphy
- Assistant Principal – Mrs. Shannon Mazza
- Each school’s current nurse has accepted their positions and expanded roles to support our students, faculty and families. Given the heightened concern around a safe and healthy learning environment, they will work closely with school leaders.
- All Pre-K through Grade 4 students who are enrolled at SFX will be “transferred” automatically to SH.
- All Grade 5 through Grade 8 students who are enrolled at SH will be “transferred” automatically to SFX.
- There is no need for students who have already enrolled to reapply.
Mass and Prayer:
- Our life of faith is our Catholic mission, and we will celebrate the sacramental life of the Church as we always have done.
- Mass, reconciliation and daily prayer will continue to strengthen our life of faith as a partnership and community.
- This partnership will respect and celebrate the diverse Catholic communities from which our students will come and students can keep wearing the school uniforms they already have. This is true no matter what Catholic school your child most recently attended.
- Students who need uniforms are encouraged to purchase those from the school they will be attending.
- There are used uniforms available at both schools for those who may need one.
- Grade levels will conduct dynamic use of learning space to
- a) meet safety and health requirements, and
- b) adapt to the learning and teaching styles utilized in this new model.
- The number of students in learning spaces will be determined by the regulations put forth by the State Department of Health and the Catholic Schools Office due to COVID 19. Our facemask policy will also adhere to state regulations for schools when they are presented to us.
- We do expect each grade to utilize multiple learning spaces.
- It is important to clarify that teachers were not laid off. Catholic school teachers receive a contract each year. Due to this partnership, traditional roles will be slightly different given new parameters for learning spaces, potential for remote learning (ie: ZOOM, Google Classroom) and the new format of our schools. All teachers are encouraged to apply for these roles.
Teacher Hiring Process:
- An independent, objective board will review applications and conduct initial interviews for the new teaching roles in the coming weeks and the Headmaster, Vice Principal, and Pastors will make final selections.
- We expect to be able to announce teachers by late July.
PreK – Kindergarten:
- There will be full day Pre-K3 and Pre-K4 with the option for half-day pick up.
- Kindergarten is full day.
- The middle school program will create an incredible experience to prepare students for high school and young adulthood.
- It is our intention for St. Francis Xavier School to continue to work with Cardinal Spellman High School, with which it had established a relationship last year. This is an ongoing conversation.
- Learning Center services will follow all children from SH to SFX. The team of special education teachers will monitor and support the progress of students identified with IEPs or from the gifted and talented program.
- We do not yet know if we will be able to contract with a food provider per state health regulations.
Board / Leadership / Finances:
- The shared Board will consist of the pastor of each parish school as well as faithful Catholic community members. This Board will govern the partnership between our schools, focused on finance, development and long term strategy.
- At this time, only Dr. Gretchen Hawley and Fr. Charlie Higgins have been announced as members of the Board.
- The Headmaster and Vice-Principal have final say in the educational decisions and the day to day running of each school and may be advised by an academic advisory committee of their choosing.
Long Term Plan:
- This is not a temporary solution. While this partnership has formed in response to unprecedented events in our world, we do believe that it will be a tremendous opportunity for Catholic education in our area as it will allow our campuses to specialize on age groups and learning styles.
- This decision was made in conjunction with the Catholic Schools Office, including the Associate Superintendent for Finance and Operations. Financial projections have been created and it is expected that these schools will operate with a balanced budget.
Remote Learning Plan:
- There is a plan being developed to facilitate online learning in the case that students and teachers are separated for an extended period of time. This model is a comprehensive approach to remote learning that will house all content and communications between teacher and students on an online platform. Video lessons may still take place through this model.
- Both of our schools adhere to the Massachusetts Framework and the standards of the Catholic Schools Office.
- While we are utilizing two locations in this partnership, our intention is to foster community through service and mentorship between older and younger grades, as well as shared opportunities for worship at a time when it is prudent per state health regulations.
- Both schools have comparable technology programs, with computer labs and mobile devices, as well as Smart Boards and Google Classroom. Details regarding individual technology devices will be forthcoming as regulations around such tools are outlined by the state.
- Per state health regulations, these will cease for the time being.