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St. Francis de Sales High School Work Study Program Statement: May 2020

Dear SFDS Alumni, Friends and Families,  


We know that many in our school and community are directly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Our prayers go out to all our students, staff, families and community members during this most difficult and unprecedented time.


We are writing to share an important update.


The St. Francis de Sales Work Study program planned for August of 2020 will begin instead in August of 2021. This change is due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on businesses both locally and nationwide. Since the economic impact felt by businesses may last through the winter, and the need for social distancing is expected to continue in different forms over the months ahead, we have an obligation to our students, teachers, staff, job partners, community, and all stakeholders to make and communicate this decision now.


Our current and potential job partners understand and appreciate this decision given the crisis, and are intending to support the Work Study program in 2021 as their circumstances allow. We will go forward with Work Study in 2021 and use the additional lead-in time to continue to prepare our students for the workforce through training, workshops, presentations and business-related field trips.


In the fall of 2020, St. Francis de Sales students will continue to receive an authentic Catholic education, preparing them for college, work and life. We continue our 80 year tradition of educating well-rounded and compassionate young men and women. St. Francis de Sales students are part of the Pioneer family, a school community full of caring and committed educators working to give students the opportunities and the education they need to be successful in life. Our students have a 100% graduation rate and, because we are a small school, our students have great opportunities to participate in many sports and clubs of interest during their four years. Additionally, during the 2020-2021 school year, students will engage in experiential learning through added monthly workshops, presentations and field trips. 


We will work with all families in need to make sure that tuition rates stay affordable for the 2020-21 school year, asking every family to apply for financial aid if they have not done so already. We will provide financial aid to keep tuition for families in need close to what it would have been with work study, which is well below our published tuition rate and the cost to educate. 


We continue to work with our largest funder and partner, the Big Shoulders Fund, and the Archdiocese of Chicago to make the 2020-21 school year successful and to move into Work Study in 2021. We know that you may have additional questions regarding this change and we are here to answer them. You may email Principal John Kimec (jkimec@sfdshs.org) or Director of Community Relations Mary Kay Ramirez (mramirez@sfdshs.org) to address any specific questions.


We are excited to finish this academic year strong for our students and to be fully prepared for the opening of school this fall. We look forward to welcoming our rising sophomores, juniors and seniors back to SFDS and to welcome our new freshman class of 2024 - already a strong group of Pioneers!

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Why is Work Study beneficial? This editorial from Chicago Business written by past CPS Superintendent Paul Vallas details the benefits that come from Work Programs during high school. Read it here: ht

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mramirez@sfdshs.org

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