October 2017

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
Theodore Roosevelt

From the Desk of Mr. McLaughlin:

We opened the month of October by celebrating the Feast of St. Francis and the many blessings we have available to us at SFP. At our Open House on October 14th, students, staff, faculty, parents, and alumni came together to spread the good news about SFP to future Terriers. It was a very impressive display of SFP values and the 4 Golden Links of a Franciscan Education: Spiritual, Intellectual, Social, and Physical. The annual Senior Halloween Dance took place on Friday, October 27, with another dazzling demonstration of creative costumes. Once again, October was a month that embodies the culture of SFP and ties us back to the last line of our Mission Statement: “Together we create an environment filled with academic success, respect, integrity, and joy.”

As we close in on the end of the 1st quarter, keep in mind that Parent-Teacher Interviews are scheduled for Thursday, November 16th,with an afternoon 3:00-5:00 pm and evening 6:00-8:00 pm session.

From the Desk of Mr. Castellano:


Student GPAs are displayed on a number of reports and screens. The information below will assist you in understanding what each one represents.

At the end of each quarterly marking period, we calculate the average for that quarter and generate the Quarterly Honor Roll. If a student is on the Honor Roll for a particular quarter, a notation is made on the bottom of the emailed report card.We also post the most recent Quarterly Honor Roll in the school lobby.

The Yearly GPA represents the student’s average for the academic year up to that point.We calculate Yearly GPA in the same way as the quarterly GPA, explained below; we include every grade and the average is not weighted.This Yearly GPA appears at the bottom of the Grades and Attendance screen on the Parent Portal as “Current Year GPA (Qn),” with “n” representing the current quarter. It also is the GPA that displays in the Power School App on mobile devices.It does not appear on the transcript.This is the method by which we calculate both the Quarterly and Yearly Grade GPA:

  • The grade for every class is included in the GPA.
  • We add the grade for every class and divide by the number of classes.Every course carries the same weight; quality points for honors or A.P. courses are not included.

At the end of each semester and the end of the school year, we recalculate the Transcript GPA.This is the student’s GPA for his or her entire career at Prep, and it is listed on the student’s transcript.The Transcript GPA changes only when a course is successfully completed.It is located at the top of the Grades and Attendance screen on the Parent Portal as “Current Transcript GPA.”This is the method by which we calculate the Transcript GPA:

  • The grade for every class is included in the GPA.
  • Each grade is weighted by the number of credits it carries.For example, English 9 is a 1-credit class, so the grade for that class carries its full weight: 90 x 1.0 = 90.Physical Education 9 is a half-credit class, so that grade is counted half: 90 x 0.5 = 45.
  • Every honors class receives 4 quality points added to the average for that class; each A.P. class receives 6 quality points.These extra points are reflected in the Transcript GPA but do not appear in the final grade on the report card or transcript.For example, a student who earns 92% in English 9 honors will have 96% added into the calculation for his or her GPA; 92% will appear as the final grade for English 9 honors.
  • We add all these numbers together and divide by the number of credits (not courses) to compute the student’s Transcript GPA.

YEARLY HONOR ROLL (different from Quarterly Honor Roll)

Students who were on the Honor Roll based on their Yearly GPA for the 2016-2017 school year received certificates acknowledging this achievement in Cor during the third week of October. Congratulations. Keep up the great work. 

Campus Ministry

Saint Francis Prep Student Leaders Respond to Catholic Charities Challenge to Help Puerto Rico

Student leaders at Saint Francis Prep loaded their donations into their school bus and headed to Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston on Friday, October 20th.  For the past few weeks, schools and parishes have been conducting collections on behalf of Catholic Charities.  However, all the donations needed to be organized and sorted in order to be flown to Puerto Rico by JetBlue, which volunteered to transport all donations free of charge.  "We received a call from Mr. Richard Slizeski, Vice-President for Mission at Catholic Charities, asking if we could send student volunteers in addition to the supplies being donated," explained Mr. Sempowich, SFP Campus Minister for Service Learning.  "Within two days, we were able to find a volunteer bus driver, faculty chaperone, and 13 students willing to respond to the challenge to help with the sorting." 

The community thanks Mr. Andy Kotowicz, our volunteer bus driver, Mr. Stephen Gennario, our faculty chaperone, and our 13 student volunteers listed below. Special thanks also go out to everyone in our community who responded to the call of our brothers and sisters in need and showed their generosity with their donations.  

Student Volunteers: Ava Brattoli, Kelly Burke, Victoria Devine, Priscilla Estevez, Kelly Ke, Eunbin Kim, Darian Lee, Thomas Nagle, Christine Nash, Christian Spallino, Olivia Sudol, Kayla Terry, Christina Zouvelos.

World Mission Sunday-Prep Honored for Mission Work in Kenya

SFP was recognized by The Pontifical Mission Societies for our outstanding mission work in Kenya.  Last year, SFP donated $11,750 to our twin school, St. Francis Secondary in Lare.  In addition to the monetary support, two members of our alumni, Dr. Kamica Lewis, '99, and Dr. Joseph Pantaleo, '03, led a group of health care volunteers to Lare in August.  The doctors and dentists provided dental and medical care to the school community and will return in approximately six months.  SFP Student Council representatives: Glenn Fiocca (Vice President), and Maria Chimarios (Treasurer); Dr. Sullivan, Director of Campus Ministry; and Fr. Mark Simmons, Chaplain accepted the award on behalf of the school.

Art Department

NY Botanical Gardens Class Photo Shoot

On October 20th, during a day blessed by sunny skies, Mr. Biondolillo's Fashion Design class and Mrs. Buccino's Digital Photography class embarked on a trip to the Bronx Botanical Gardens. The students had the opportunity to view glass art work by artist Dale Chihuly. His breathtaking glass sculptures were placed throughout the gardens. The fashion students were charged with a single, broad subject: Autumn Foliage. After a seminar on the styling profession and creating an inspiration board full of thematic ideas, the students styled themselves as models in the theme of their choosing. Once at the Botanical Gardens, the group explored the stunning grounds. The photography class took part in a class photo walk, practicing camera modes and techniques. Mrs. Buccino led the photography students in a lesson on shooting fashion in outdoor spaces, while Mr. Biondolillo's fashion students prepared themselves for the shoot and designed two floral-themed garments. The students were then paired for the remainder of the trip to complete the fashion photo shoot, the results of with will be displayed in the near future. A fulfilling day was had by all!


On October 18th, Michael Barry, admissions counselor from PRATT, visited our Art Department. Michael is an accomplished jewelry designer. He spoke about careers in the arts and PRATT’s course offerings. Michael stayed for several hours reviewing students’ art works and portfolios. He was very impressed with our art department and our wonderful students! The students were grateful and enthused to receive positive feedback from an accomplished designer!

Music Department

Prep's Music department hit the ground running this fall. So far, four of our ensembles have already had major performances. Our Honors Percussion Ensemble, led by Dr. Silvagni, performed at our annual Walk-A-Thon, as did our Jazz Band, led by Dr. Corbino and Mr. Karaca.On October 7th, our Chamber Choir, Chamber Orchestra, Music faculty, and special guest artists, conducted by Mr. Johnston and Dr. Kobayashi, performed for the Franciscan Brothers' Jubilee Mass at Immaculate Conception Center. Among the honorees were our own Brother Leonard and Brother Robert, who are celebrating their 50th year as Franciscan Brothers. Then, a week later, the Orchestra, Choir, and Jazz Band performed for our annual Open House. 

Chamber Choir Video HERE .

Coming up in November, the Music department will have our Middle States visit to renew our Music Program of Distinction.Prep was the first school EVER to earn this honor, which "is aimed at recognizing only those schools with the most sophisticated programs and the highest goals in music education."

Terriers Visit the NYSE

Daniel Ryan (SFP Class of 1986) provided a comprehensive tour of the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to several Prep seniors from the Varsity Football Team. They witnessed the ringing of the Opening Bell and were introduced to the inner workings of the floor operations. Along the way they met with many professionals-- ranging from traders to broadcasters -- who are all involved the business of Wall Street. They even met some other alumni, including Matt Roberts, Class of 1980, who dropped by to say hello after recognizing the young men in their red sweaters! In addition to the tour of the Exchange, they made a brief stop for breakfast (and tour) of the former site of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the former headquarters of First National City Bank, which is now known as the Cipriani Club. Coach Rich Carroll, SFP Class of 1986, and Assistant Coach Robert Waegelein, SFP Class of 1978, accompanied these students and provided information on the historic significance of the buildings in the area.

FaceBook Gallery

Terrier Basketball’s Emily Engstler ‘18 committed to Syracuse

After the last class bell sounded on October 19th, throngs of students poured into the Prep’s gym. There was a palpable buzz of excitement as a crowd of more than 100 friends, classmates, teammates, coaches, and family stood in excited anticipation of learning what the athletic and academic future of Emily Engstler ’18 would hold. Engstler, a 6-foot-2 forward, has racked up scores of Division I offers, including her top three -- Syracuse, Ohio State, and Miami. She is recognized as one of the most versatile prospects in the 2018 class. With her mom and dad seated at her side, Emily spoke of how her Prep experience helped her grow. “I look in the crowd and I am so happy to be here because I am surrounded by the people I love.” A true team player, Emily also reminded the growing and excited crowd, “This day isn’t only about me; it’s about athletes who work hard to succeed each and every day.” She continued by saying, “Everyone in this gym I am grateful for… whether my coach or my friends or family, because without you I don’t think I would be here today. I love St. Francis Prep and have only had wonderful experiences.” Building up to climatic moment in which she finally revealed her school of choice, Emily said, “I will still be fighting everyday to challenge myself, work hard, and get better. This decision wasn’t easy, but was well thought out. This opportunity I was given as a student athlete will forever leave me humble, confident, happy and grateful. Thank you again everyon.” Her next sentence was met with raucous and near deafening cheers: “I am proud to say that for the next 4 years I will be attending SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY!” Congratulations, Emily!!!

FaceBook Gallery

Girl’s Tennis

Congratulations to Coach John Brennan and the Girls Varsity A Tennis Team on winning their 20th consecutive LICHSAA Championship by defeating St. Anthony's 5-2.Not only is it the 20th straight Championship; the team has also been undefeated in league play for the past 20 seasons. 

Tennis A Slideshow HERE

Girls Volleyball

Breast Cancer Walk at Jones Beach and Senior game:

So proud of our Seniors at their last home game. A win against Molloy!

Thanks to New York City Council Member Paul Vallone for supporting our girls and presenting them with a Citation from the NY City Council for excellence!

Walk for a Cure! Well done ladies!

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