Parent Newsletter

December 2019

From the Principal

Dear Parents,

I have a love-sometimes like relationship with social media. I love seeing my long-distance friends’ children growing up from afar, having easy access to yummy recipes and sharing exciting news about SJA. On the other hand, I often don’t like when I’ve sometimes spent the better part of an hour or even an afternoon thumbing through Facebook when I could have been doing many other things. In case you aren’t aware, social media influencers are part of it.

According to, a social media influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. They often have access to large audiences and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach. We see these pop up in our feeds on a regular basis, and so do your daughters. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) on social media were all about “showing the perfect life.”  Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2015) is “an inclusive, open-minded generation, and vulnerability is social currency.” Our students might not always understand the intention of influencers and the fact that their main objective could be and probably is about “more followers, more likes and more comments.”  

A new term I discovered is sadfishing, which is the act of making exaggerated claims about one’s emotional problems to generate sympathy. This sympathy can often lead to “more followers, more likes and more comments.” These new followers do not always have the best intentions. The article’s suggestion to parents is not to take social media away; rather, it advises that parents (1) know who her social media friends are and to use privacy settings; (2) urge your daughter to state her intentions (for example, “I’m looking for words of encouragement.”); and (3) let your daughter be your guide, and when you speak to her, lead with a question such as, “I heard a new term, sadfishing. What is that?”

You can read the entire Wall Street Journal article here

As we approach the end of the first semester, please encourage your daughter to use good study habits. Remind her that her teachers will have specific, listed office hours and that the Learning Center is available.  

On Wednesday, December 4, we will have a school-wide Hour of Code as part of our continuing program of STEM initiatives. Ask your daughter about her coding experience!

We hope that you can join us for one or more of our many Christmas events, including band and choir concerts, the Immaculate Conception Mass and more. Please reference the school calendar on our website for times, dates and locations.

We wish all our families a very Merry Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. We look forward to the start of a new year and a new semester that begins for your daughter on Tuesday, January 7. We will kick off 2020 with our annual school science fair on January 8. All are welcome to visit and see the amazing projects our students have been working on and researching for a year-and-a-half. We hope to see you around campus soon!

I love what I do, I love who I do it with and I love that we do it together in the name of our patron, St. Joseph.  


Stacia B. Andricain


Late November Events

Thanksgiving holidays

Monday-Friday, November 25-29. No school for students or teachers. The Main Office will also be closed. School resumes Monday, December 2. 

The Help Desk will be open Monday and Tuesday, November 25 and 26, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. If your daughter has a problem with her computer, please encourage her to leave it at the Help Desk before the holiday begins, and she will be issued a loaner. Please direct questions to

The Mission Advancement, Alumnae, Admissions, Human Resources and Communications offices (Mother Alice Hall) and the Finance Department (Thollot House) will be open Monday and Tuesday, November 25 and 26, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., and closed the rest of the week. 

December Events

A Swingin’ Christmas Concert

Sunday, December 1, beginning at 9:45 a.m. in the Academy Student Center. We will follow Sunday, December 1, 7 p.m., St. Joseph Cathedral. Featuring the CHS/SJA Percussion Ensemble and Jazz Band.


The sacrament of reconciliation will be offered to students several times outside of class throughout Advent. Please encourage your daughters to take advantage of this sacrament on campus during one of the following times:

  • Tuesday, December 3, SJA Chapel during Professional Learning Community early dismissal time (2:07-3 p.m.)
  • Thursday, December 5, SJA Chapel during Special Privilege early dismissal time (1:43-3 p.m.)
  • Monday, December 9, SJA Chapel during all three lunch periods (10:15 a.m.-1 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, December 11, SJA Chapel during all three lunch periods (10:15 a.m.-1 p.m.)
  • Friday, December 13, SJA Chapel during all three lunch periods (10:15 a.m.-1 p.m.)
Early Dismissal

Tuesday, December 3, for Professional Learning Community. Students are dismissed at 2:07 p.m. Please note that the library will remain open until 5:30 p.m. and that resource teachers (math, science and English) as well as the Writing Center will be available.

Fall Champions Assembly

Wednesday, December 4, 7:30 a.m., Academy Student Center.

Hour of Code

Wednesday, December 4, 1:48-2:47 p.m. Hour of Code is a global initiative designed to create a fun environment in which students can learn about computer science and programming. As more careers and fields are expecting students to have at least some programming experience, Hour of Code will help students in their future endeavors.

Pre-Calculus and Pre-Calculus Dual Enrollment Midterm Exam

Thursday, December 5, SJA Activity Center, 7:30-9:30 a.m. (extended time 7:30-10:30 a.m.). Students in pre-calculus and pre-calculus dual enrollment will report to the Activity Center and will miss first- through third-hour classes. For additional information, please contact Lauren Morris (

Special Privilege Day

Thursday, December 5. We will follow Schedule 3. Students are dismissed at 1:43 p.m.

Mass during Advent

Additional opportunities to celebrate Mass will be offered during Advent in the SJA Chapel at 6:45 a.m. on Friday, December 6, and on Friday, December 13. Parents are welcome to join us.

Student Council Fun Day

Friday, December 6. The theme is Disco HoHoHo. Students are invited to dress in ’70s disco attire with a Christmas theme. Dress guidelines will be sent to students.

Lessons and Carols Christmas Concert

Sunday, December 8, 5 p.m., Activity Center. Featuring the SJA/CHS Symphonic Band, Concert Bands and Choral Program.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Tuesday, December 10, 9:45 a.m., Academy Student Center. We will follow Schedule 4. Dress uniforms are required; parents and friends are invited to join us. Parking is on Broussard Street, Kleinert Avenue, the Mother Alice Hall circle drive or in legal parking spots on the streets surrounding campus. Please do not park in the lawyers’ client lot or on the grass near the lawyers’ lot.

Eucharistic Adoration

Thursday, December 12, SJA Chapel, during all three lunch periods (10:15 a.m.-1 p.m.). Parents are welcome to join students in prayer during this time.

SJA/CHS Candlelight Christmas Concert

Friday, December 13, 7 p.m., LSU Union Theater. Featuring the SJA/CHS Wind Ensemble and SJA/CHS choirs.

Christmas Concert

Monday, December 16, 9:45 a.m., Academy Student Center. Featuring the SJA/CHS 6th hour Chamber Singers singing a medley from their Candlelight Christmas Concert. Dress uniforms are required. Parents are invited to join us. Parking is on Broussard Street, Kleinert Avenue, the Mother Alice Hall circle drive or in legal parking spots on the streets surrounding campus. Please do not park in the lawyers’ client lot or on the grass near the lawyers’ lot. We will follow Schedule 4.

Midterm Exam Schedule

Tuesday-Friday, December 17-20
1st Bell: 7:55 a.m., Prayer/Pledge
Exam: 8-9:30 a.m.
Exam: 10-11:30 a.m.
Extended library hours: Tuesday-Thursday, December 17-19, until 2 p.m.; Friday, December 20, until 11:30 a.m.
Office hours during exams: Tuesday and Wednesday, December 17 and 18, 7 a.m.-2 p.m.; Thursday, December 19, 7 a.m.-12 p.m.; Friday, December 20, 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, December 17
1st exam: Spanish I, II, III, IV; French I, II, III, IV; Latin I, II, III, IV
2nd exam: Civics, Civics H, US History, US History H, APUSH, W. History, W. History H, WHAP

Wednesday, December 18
1st exam: English I, English I H, AP Psych, APGAP, AP Comp Sci A, Conflicts
2nd exam: English II, III, IV; English II, III, IV Honors; English III AP, English IV AP (no English DE exam)

Thursday, December 19
1st exam: Physical Science, Physical Science H, Biology, Biology H, Biology AP
2nd exam: Chem, Chem H, Chem II, Physics, Physics H, Physics AP, Environmental Science, Conflicts

Friday, December 20
1st exam: Theology I, II, III; Theology of the Body
2nd exam: Algebra I, Geometry, Geometry H, Algebra II, Algebra II H, Pre-Calculus H, Calculus, AP Calc AB, Adv. Math: Functions & Stats

Six-Month Reunion

Friday, December 20, 12-1:30 p.m., in the Dining Hall. Sponsored by the SJA Alumnae Association. Our 2019 graduates are invited back to campus for a pizza party and to pick up their yearbooks. Contact Alumnae Director Katie Jeter Valenciano (; 388-2244) for details.

SJA’s Christmas Holidays

Monday, December 23, through Monday, January 6. School resumes on Tuesday, January 7.

The Main Office will be closed for the two weeks. 

The Mission Advancement, Alumnae, Admissions, Human Resources and Communications departments (in Mother Alice Hall) and the Finance Office (in Mother Thollot House) will be closed the week of Christmas (December 23-27) and on December 30-January 1. They will be open Thursday and Friday, January 2 and 3. Hours on open days are 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

The Help Desk will follow the schedule above. If your daughter has problems with her tablet computer, please encourage her to leave it at the Help Desk during exam week before the Christmas holidays begin. A representative from the Help Desk will email your daughter when her computer is ready to be picked up. Please direct questions to

Campus Life

Absence During Exams

All students are expected to take their exams during their regularly scheduled time. If there is a serious conflict, special permission must be obtained from Dean of Women Erika Angarita (; 388-2269). All exams will be made up on Friday, January 3, and Monday, January 6, beginning at 8 a.m. Students who take more than one class in the same subject area must see Mrs. Bonnie Rader to schedule a conflict exam during exam days.

Negative Balance Midterm Exams Policy

It is the policy of SJA that all tuition, fees and SAGE Dining Hall balances must be current prior to midterm exams. Parents will be notified if a student is to remain home on examination days because an account is not current. Delinquent payments made after Wednesday, December 11, must be paid by cash, cashier’s check or money order to be deemed received by SJA so the student will be allowed to take exams. Please direct questions to Accounting Clerk Jane Pardi (; 388-2234).

Midterm Grades

First-semester transcripts and report cards will be posted on NetSJA in January. You will receive an email to notify you when they are published. Please direct questions to Registrar Kristen Belanger (; 388-2236).

Drop-Off and Pick-Up Reminders

Campus gates open at 6:30 a.m. every morning. Students should not be dropped off before that time. Please also be reminded that students cannot be dropped off on Broussard, Parker, Kleinert or South Eugene. Students cannot be picked up from the Medaille Hall circle until 4 p.m. or later. We also ask that you remember that our surrounding streets are school zones. Please observe the school-zone speed limits.

AP and Dual Enrollment Seminar

The administration and Academic Counseling Department will host two scheduling seminars for the parents of current freshmen, sophomores and juniors to present information about college prep, honors, dual enrollment and advanced placement courses. If your daughter plans to enroll in an AP or dual enrollment course for the first time for the 2020-2021 school year, at least one parent must attend one of the seminars. If a parent attended last year, you are not required to attend again. If your daughter has already taken an AP or dual enrollment course and you did not attend last year, we strongly encourage you to do so this year. The seminars will be held on Wednesday, February 12, 12-1 p.m. and 6-7 p.m. Please direct questions to Assistant to the Deans Bonnie Rader (; 388-2280).

Maternity Leave

Dean of Academics Aubrey DeJohn is on maternity leave through mid-February. If you have academic questions, please contact Assistant to the Deans Bonnie Rader (; 388-2280), who will put you in contact with the administrator who can address your issue.

Summer PE

There are six sessions of Summer PE offered to students considering this option. Students must choose one session and may not attend other sessions to fulfill the requirements. Students must attend 12 of the 16 classes offered during the selected session and must complete home health assignments by the end of the last week of class. 9th period PE will not be offered this year. 

Session 1: May 26-June 18, 7-9 a.m. 
Week 1: Tuesday-Friday
Weeks 2-4: Monday-Thursday

Session 2: May 26-June 18, 9-11 a.m. 
Week 1: Tuesday-Friday
Weeks 2-4: Monday-Thursday

Session 3: May 26-June 18, 5-7 p.m. 
Week 1: Tuesday-Friday
Weeks 2-4: Monday-Thursday

Session 4: June 22-July 16, 7-9

Session 5: June 22-July 16, 3-5 p.m.

Session 6: June 22-July 16, 5-7 p.m.

Additionally, please note that students who take Summer PE will not be permitted to schedule an unstructured period the next academic year. Also, students are not eligible to take summer PE for half-credit electives. Students who sign up must be physically capable of completing the session. If a student must enroll in summer school, she cannot take summer PE and would need to change her schedule.

The course fee is $200 and will be posted on ShopSJA in early April. Instructions for enrolling, paying and choosing sessions will be emailed to parents and students after course selections are made. 

Please direct questions to Assistant to the Deans Bonnie Rader (; 388-2280).

Custody Information

St. Joseph’s Academy abides by the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) with respect to the rights of parents and, in the event of divorce, the rights of custodial and noncustodial parents. In the latter case, absent a court order to the contrary, the school will provide the noncustodial parent access to academic records and other school-related information regarding the student. If there is a court order specifying that no information is to be given, it is the responsibility of the custodial parent to provide the school with a copy of the court order. We do not need the complete court order, only the part dealing with custody. Please direct questions to Principal Stacia Andricain (; 388-2240). 


Click here for a list of important dates for 2019-2020.

Holiday Office Closings

The main office is closed on these holidays. Please plan accordingly.

December 23-January 6


January 20

Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday

February 24-28

Mardi Gras

April 10-17



Office Hours

Hours for the Main Office in St. Joseph Hall are 6:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. Hours for the Help Desk are 6:45 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. each weekday.

After-School Library Hours

After-school library hours are 2:50-5:30 p.m. If a student is not picked up by 5:30 p.m., this will be reported to Dean of Women Erika Angarita, and a plan will be made. Students waiting to be picked up must report to the library by 4 p.m. After-school library rules can be found in the School Handbook under the Students and Parents portals. Please direct questions to Librarian Rebecca Stagg (; 388-2235).

Online Student Directory

The student directory is available on our website under the Parents portal, Useful Links. To access the directory, you will need your NetSJA login information. For assistance, please contact Registrar Kristen Belanger (; 388-2336)

Electronic Communications 

In our ongoing efforts to be responsible stewards of the earth’s resources, we feel strongly that electronic communications should replace paper communications whenever possible. Please note that if you choose to unsubscribe to any electronic message you receive from us, you are unsubscribing to all electronic communications. 

Please note that we must have one valid, regularly checked email address on file. If your email, phone number or physical address has changed since last time you updated our records, we ask that you let us know. Please address questions to Assistant to the Registrar Stacy Rennhoff (; 388-2318). 

Emergency Procedures 

SJA generally follows the same procedures as the East Baton Rouge School Board and Diocese of Baton Rouge. School closures due to weather and other circumstances are announced via our phone/text messaging system. If your phone number has changed since you last updated our records, or if you would like to add additional phone numbers to those we call, please contact Assistant to the Registrar Stacy Rennhoff (; 388-2318).

To improve the efficiency of our phone alerts, we ask that parents add St. Joseph’s Academy – (225) 383-7207 – to their contacts and to listen to voice messages before hitting their phone’s call-back button. When we receive a large number of calls from parents before they listen to the voice message, it results in busy phone lines. Thank you for your cooperation as we strive to keep you informed.

SJA Telephone System

The school’s main number is 225-383-7207, but you are encouraged to call faculty and staff directly. Faculty members do not have physical phones; rather, their phone numbers connect directly to a voice mail box. Click here for the faculty/staff directory.

Tardies, Absences, Illness and Doctors’ Visits

Students are expected to be on time for every class. A student who arrives on campus after the tardy bell must report to the Students’ Receptionist’s office for a tardy slip before entering class. If she comes in during the day, she must bring a note from her parent to the Students’ Receptionist and sign the check-in register. A checklist will be issued upon the fourth unexcused tardy and for each additional unexcused tardy to school or class. 

Students are expected to be at school every day. If the student and/or parents know in advance that the student will be missing class, they must notify Dean of Women Erika Angarita ( in writing or via email at least one day before the absence in order for it to be considered excused. Once a decision has been made regarding the absence, the student must bring the note to the Students’ Receptionist. A checklist will be issued if the absence is deemed unexcused. 

If your daughter is sick and will not attend school, please contact Students’ Receptionist Erin McLean (; 388-2256) by 8 a.m. If a student becomes ill during the day and must leave campus, she must report to the Mrs. McLean’s office, and her parent will be called. Any student who checks out during the day must bring a note from her parent when she returns to school.  

Most routine visits to the doctor should be scheduled outside of school hours. If a student knows in advance she must leave early for a doctor’s appointment, written parental permission must be presented to the Students’ Receptionist. When the student returns to school, she must present a note signed by the physician to the Students’ Receptionist in order to receive an excused absence. If you set a doctor’s appointment for your daughter during the school day and will be arriving to check her out, please call Mrs. McLean before arriving so your daughter can be notified of your arrival time. 

College Visits

Students are encouraged to visit colleges of interest during school holidays. Seniors are allowed three excused absences for college visits during the academic year. Juniors and sophomores are allowed two excused absences for college visits during the academic year. Written notes from a parent or guardian must be given to Dean of Women Erika Angarita ( at least one week prior to the college visit. Seniors invited to attend university spring testing events, including LSU Spring Invitational, are allowed an additional excused absence(s) if they have followed proper check-out procedures. No college visits will be approved during the month of December or after April 15 of the student’s senior year.

Yearbook Orders

If you have not yet purchased a 2019-2020 yearbook, click here to order. If you are unsure if you have already purchased a yearbook, select the Find Existing Order green bar, then enter your email address. The system only recognizes email addresses, not students’ names. Once your order is placed, you will receive a confirmation email from Herff Jones Yearbooks. Please direct questions to moderator Sara Rounds at

The yearbook staff wants your pictures. If you have photographs from SJA sporting events, concerts, drama productions, afterschool events or other activities, we invite you to submit them for consideration and use in the 2019-2020 yearbook. Pictures should be uploaded to The school code is SJA.

Sweatpants Reminder

Sweatpants can only be worn on dates determined by the administration. Students are allowed to wear either red or navy uniform sweatpants available for purchase in the Sticker Shop.

School IDs/Lanyards

Students are expected to wear their school ID on the school-issued lanyard at all times. The ID must be worn on the outside of the uniform so it is visible. Students not wearing their ID will be required to purchase a new one for $2 and/or receive a checklist. Replacement IDs can be purchased in the Deans’ Office before or after school or during the student’s lunch period.


Each Wednesday at 7 a.m., Chapel at SJA. Parents, family members and Catholic High School students are welcome to join us. Please park on Broussard Street.

Community Coffee UPC Bar Codes

We collect the UPC bar codes from Community Coffee products. Please send them with your daughter to Librarian Rebecca Stagg.

Mission Advancement

SJA ANnual Fund

Season’s greetings from St. Joseph’s Academy! We hope this holiday season brings you plenty of new memories, joy and happiness. 

We would like to invite you to join other SJA parents, friends and alumnae and make your 2019 year-end charitable gift in support of St. Joseph’s Academy. We understand that you have many options when it comes to charitable giving, and we hope SJA will be at the top of your list.

Your participation and support are the biggest gifts you can make this year, no matter the size of your contribution.

Your gift to the SJA Annual Fund will help enhance the girls’ educational experience by funding improvements all around our beautiful campus. The Dining Hall, eLibrary, Innovation & Design Lab and Andrea Clesi McMakin ’74 STEM Lab are magnificent changes made to the campus because of donors like you. 

Please take a moment to consider a gift that will benefit your daughter and current students. It’s easy! You can send a check made payable to SJA Foundation, or click here to give today. Or use your Paypal account by texting SJA1868 to 41444. Your gift will have an impact on our students and campus. 

Thank you for your consideration in supporting St. Joseph’s Academy. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season! 

Pave the Way Bricks

Make your mark on SJA’s campus by purchasing a brick for your daughter. Engraved brick pavers are placed outside the Sister Agatha Dining Hall. For more information, contact Mission Advancement Assistant Wendy Coniglio (; 388-2336). Click here to purchase your brick today.

Parent Clubs

Have you joined the SJA Mothers’ Club? There are lots of wonderful events and moms to work alongside throughout the year. Come meet other moms and serve the SJA community. Additionally, your membership dues are needed. Mothers’ Club dues pay for all the events we plan throughout the year for our students and the SJA community. It’s easy to join. Please direct questions to Mothers’ Club President Lissa Weston at

It’s not too late to join the SJA Dads’ Club. The Dads’ Club works in partnership with the school on a variety of events throughout the year. Some of the highlights of our involvement are class retreats, seniors’ last day, Open House and exam snacks, to name a few. Your membership dues, in combination with the profits from Dads’ Club-sponsored events such as Father-Daughter Day and The Sticker Scramble, benefit our daughters through the various events. Click here to join the Dads’ Club today.

Sticker Shop

Santa is coming early this year! Sticker Shop has new handmade clay ornaments and clay plaques, new retro-style t-shirts and hooded sweatshirts, SJA handmade jewelry, pocket rosaries, monogrammed fleece blankets, fleece pajama bottoms, Comfort Colors sweatshirts, stadium seats and foam cushions for winter and spring sports, pompom hats, trucker-style hats, visors, Under Armour long-sleeve/dri-fit/polo-style shirts, new Under Armour short-sleeve/polo-style shirts, quarter-zip sweatshirts for dads and even baby- to tween-sized SJA applique t-shirts. Many great stocking stuffers like car decals, notepads, coffee mugs, stainless steel water bottles and headbands are in stock, so come visit us and we’ll help you shop.

We will have two special holiday shopping days in the Sticker Shop: Saturday, December 7, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Thursday, December 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Our normal hours are Tuesday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The last day we will be open in December is Thursday, December 12.

The Sticker Shop accepts all major credit cards, cash and checks made payable to SJA Mothers’ Club. We are located in Mother Alice Hall, room 116. Please direct any questions to


Sticker Scramble Save the Date

The 8th Annual Sticker Scramble will be held on Monday, April 6, 2020, at TopGolf. 


We will assist in hosting the Denham Springs Tournament December 5-7. Games will start 4:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday. SJA will play Mandeville on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; St. Katherine of Drexel on Friday at 6 p.m.; and East Iberville at 11:30 a.m. and Kentwood at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Please direct to questions to coach Mina Williams (

Down Syndrome Awareness Basketball Game

Monday, December 9, at St. Michael. The JV game starts at 5:30 p.m., with the varsity game to follow. Proceeds benefit Down Syndrome awareness.

SJA Holiday Basketball Tournament

We will host our basketball tournament Friday-Saturday, December 27-28, in the Academy Student Center. Times TBA.

Support the ’Stickers

See the athletic pages of the SJA website (under Student Life, Athletics) for fall sports schedules. Come out and support the ’Stickers!

Please direct questions to Athletic Director Dorinda Beaumont (; 388-2290).

Campus Ministry

Spiritual Formation

SJA students can grow in their faith through monthly mass, monthly Eucharistic adoration, annual retreats, weekly rosary, weekly Bible study, opportunities for reconciliation during Advent and Lent, mission trips and service opportunities. Various ministry clubs are available, including Student Ministry (juniors and seniors), Liturgy Committee, Praise & Worship Band, Liturgy Choir and Respect Life Club.

Student Retreats

Participation in retreats is required for graduation. Please plan accordingly. For additional information, contact Campus Minster Alise Alexander (; 388-2255).

Remaining Class Retreats:
Junior Retreat: Monday, March 23, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Brusly
Freshman Retreat: Monday, March 9, SJA

Required Service Program

Service is an integral part of the SJA curriculum. Important information about this year-long program can be found on the SJA website under the Faith tab. The SJA Moodle service page has information about service requirements, limits, approved agencies and a list of service opportunities.

The deadline for completing service requirements is April 1, 2020. There will be checkpoints throughout the year to ensure timely completion of the service requirement. 

Service hours completed during the first semester should be entered into X2vol by December 20. Students login to their X2vol account using their SJA ID and password. They can add service hours and fill out the activity log, remembering to check the box under the star before submitting. 

Students needing assistance should contact Service Program Coordinator Sister Chris Pologa (, stop by her office in Mother Alice Hall (room 212) or see her in the Dining Hall on Tuesdays before December 20.


Learning Center 

St. Joseph’s Academy is pleased to introduce a new program for the start of the 2019-2020 academic year. The Learning Center will provide free-of-charge assistance to any student needing extra help with math, science, English or writing. Also offered is peer tutoring in foreign languages and social studies by members of the National Honor Society and Beta Club. These student-led sessions are offered during lunch hours on Monday through Thursday in the library.

Math Resource

Math Resource is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays during all three lunch hours and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Learning Center classroom in the library. 

Science Resource

Science Resource is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays during all three lunch hours and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Learning Center classroom in the library. 

English Resource

English Resource is available Monday, Wednesday and Thursday during all three lunch hours and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Learning Center classroom in the library. 

Writing Center

The Writing Center provides instruction, resources and support. Trained peer consultants help students gain competence and confidence as writers through one-on-one sessions.

After-school workshops are offered on a variety of topics. The Writing Center is modeled on university writing centers and is a place for all writers at any stage of the writing process.

Counseling Center

The Counseling Center provides students the resources and support they need to be successful. Grade-level counselors support students during all four years at SJA. Two full-time college-advisors assist students with scholarship and college applications and provide each girl with as many choices for her future as possible.

Counselors hold quarterly grade-level meetings to discuss students who may need additional assistance and to identify those students who deserve special recognition for accomplishments. All teachers in each grade level collaborate on determining the practices which will best reach all students. In addition, counselors meet with every student at least twice a year to discuss college and career readiness.


Allison Hipwell Bruton ’95
Counseling Center Director
College Advisor (A-K)
(225) 388-2299

Ellen Smith Frazier
College Advisor (L-Z)
(225) 388-2251

Mary Beth Elfert
Class of 2020 Counselor
(225) 388-2281





College Application Deadlines

Due to the large volume of college application requests processed, we must adhere to specific deadlines. Because the Counseling Center is closed during the Christmas holidays, noon on December 20 through January 6, students must follow the policy below.

All official transcript requests with a January postmark deadline must be received by Ms. Bruton or Ms. Frazier no later than Wednesday, December 4, for processing before the office closes for Christmas break. Classes resume on January 7, but a number of colleges have submission deadlines of January 1 or 2. Students should check the status of their requests for application documents through Naviance Student. All supporting documents for schools with deadlines of December 15 through January 10 will be submitted prior to December 20.

Exam Preparation

Exams are right around the corner. Please have your daughter check her exam schedule closely to help manage her time.

Please see the exam schedule included under the Events tab of this newsletter.

FAFSA Information

Mrs. Elfert must receive an emailed copy of the official email confirmation that verifies a successfully submitted and processed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) from all seniors. Remember, FAFSA is the application for TOPS, as well as for financial aid at colleges and universities. To apply for TOPS, SJA recommends parents file the FAFSA by May 1, 2020. In order to fill out the FAFSA, you must first apply for an FSA ID, which consists of a user-created username and password. It allows users to electronically access personal information on Federal Student Aid websites as well as to electronically sign a FAFSA. Applications for the FAFSA are available for the class of 2020 at Again, don’t forget to email a copy of your submission confirmation to Mrs. Elfert once it is completed.


Requirements for members of the class of 2020 to qualify for the TOPS Opportunity Award are a cumulative 2.5 grade point average in the required 19 core units as well as an ACT composite score of 20. The TOPS Performance Award (TOPS + $400/year) requirements are a 3.0 GPA and a 23 ACT score. The TOPS Honors Award (TOPS + $800/year) requirements are a 3.0 GPA and a 27 ACT score.

A qualifying score on the ACT must be achieved by the April 4, 2020, national test date. An initial qualifying score achieved on the June 13, 2020, national test date will be accepted; however, the student will be penalized one semester of eligibility. In addition, June ACT scores cannot be used to upgrade an Opportunity Award to an Honors or Performance Award.

When registering for the ACT or SAT, a student may request that her official scores be sent to any college or university. Additional score reports to colleges or universities can be requested online at through the student’s account. The SJA code for testing is 190235.


On February 19, 2020, all seniors are required to job shadow someone for six hours in a profession in which they may be interested. An email will be sent to all seniors in December giving them the link to the Job Shadowing Form that parents must sign. Forms must be given to Mrs. Elfert by January 15, 2020. Please contact Mrs. Elfert at if you have any questions about job shadowing.



Letters of Acceptance for College Admission and Scholarship Offers

Seniors must submit a copy of their letter or email of acceptance for college admission and scholarship offers to Ms. Bruton or Ms. Frazier in the Counseling Center upon receipt to ensure that accurate information is included in the graduation program.

SJA Transcript and Test Score Policy

SJA requires student signatures for each transcript request. Official transcripts cannot be given to a student or parent; they must be mailed directly to the college, university or scholarship agency. Standardized test scores are not included on the transcripts sent to colleges or universities. Students must request that the testing company send official ACT or SAT scores. When registering for the ACT or SAT, a student may request that her official scores be sent to any college or university. Additional score reports to colleges or universities can be requested online at (ACT) through the student’s account or online at (SAT). The SJA code for testing is 190235.


Niki Banta
Class of 2021 Counselor
(225) 388-2283

I have met with all of your daughters to discuss college and career planning. All colleges look at high school transcripts and standardized testing scores as part of their admission decision. During our meeting, we explored colleges that were either safety, match or reach schools. We also researched potential careers and corresponding majors. Please ask your daughter to see the plan we discussed.  

Midterm Exams

Exams are quickly approaching. After the Thanksgiving break, the girls have three weeks before exams. In this season of Advent and preparation, it is important for the girls to take care of themselves by getting enough sleep, eating well, studying nightly and taking time for quiet reflection and prayer.

Please see the exam schedule included under the Events tab of this newsletter.

PSAT Test Results

PSAT test results should arrive before the Christmas break. The students will receive their scores online. Please take time to review the PSAT score with your daughter. Some students perform better on the SAT rather than the ACT. To compare her SAT (PSAT) score to the ACT, you can go to


I went into the classrooms to help the students register for a spring ACT. Please check with your daughter to make sure she has registered. Registration isn’t complete until she uploads her picture used for identification and admission to the testing center. To ensure that the TOPS Office receives a copy of her ACT score, the student will need to select the TOPS code as part of her registration or send the scores separately. The TOPS Office Code is 1595.


Test Date Registration Deadline Late Fee Required
February 8, 2020 January 10, 2020 January 11-17, 2020
April 4, 2020 February 28, 2020 February 29-March 13, 2020
June 13, 2020 May 8, 2020 May 9-22, 2020
July 18, 2020 June 19, 2020 June 20-26, 2020



Juniors and their parents are invited to the College Planning Seminar. The seminar will be held on Wednesday, January 29, from 6 until 7 p.m. in the Activity Center.


On February 19, 2020, all juniors are required to job shadow someone for six hours in a profession in which they may be interested. An email will be sent to all juniors in December giving them the link to the Job Shadowing Form that parents must sign. Forms must be given to Mrs. Banta by January 15, 2020. Please contact Mrs. Banta at if you have any questions about job shadowing.


Amy Scheurich House '97
Class of 2022 Counselor
(225) 388-2295
Standardized Test Results

PSAT scores will be available online on December 9. I will be in the classrooms in January to go over the results of both the PSAT and the PreACT. 

Students will also receive their test booklet along with an answer key. These booklets and the test results are a great way for the girls to begin their preparation for the standardized tests that they will take in the fall (PSAT) and the spring (ACT) of their junior year.

Midterm Exams

It is important for your daughter to be planning her study time and organizing her materials for exams. It is also important to get enough rest and eat healthy in the coming weeks. Students can leave after their exam is over but not between exams.

Please see the exam schedule included under the Events tab of this newsletter.

Helpful Hints

How can you help your daughter get through exam stress? Feeling stressed can be normal and beneficial. Stress can be useful in motivating us to accomplish tasks. However, too much stress or long periods of stress can be counterproductive. How can you tell the difference?

Good Stress: better mental and physical performance; increased immune system; bursts of energy                

Bad Stress: inability to concentrate or complete tasks; weakened immune system; feeling tired; trouble falling asleep; irritable, angry.

The following are ways to help manage stress: 

  1. Exercise reduces stress and gives the body endorphins to improve mood and give us energy. 
  2. Get adequate sleep. 
  3. Be realistic about what you can accomplish, and manage your time well. Try to focus on one thing and avoid multitasking. Commit everything to a calendar to help prioritize your work.
  4. If you see signs of stress, reach out and talk to someone.


Lindsay Carlino '02
Class of 2023 Counselor
(225) 388-2225

It may be hard to believe, but the first semester of your daughter’s freshman year is about to come to a close. When we return from the Thanksgiving holidays, there are nine school days and two dead days before exams begin on December 17. Teachers may not give tests or quizzes on dead days, as these days are set aside for review. During the dead days, the girls will take the listening and speaking portions of their foreign language midterm and take the writing portion of their English midterm. This is done to help alleviate some of the stress the girls feel during the regular exam time for those subjects.

Exams count as 20 percent of the semester grade. It is important that the girls spend an adequate amount of time studying for exams. Please see the tips below to help your daughter keep stress at bay and work to her fullest potential during this busy time.

  • Help your daughter set realistic goals.
  • Help your daughter set up a quiet place to study.
  • Let her know that you trust her to do as well as she can.
  • Encourage your daughter to finish her exam review guides early.
  • Remind her to talk with teachers about anything she does not understand.
  • Encourage her to be prepared for in-class review sessions.
  • Keep her schedule balanced. Encourage time for exercise as well as studying.
  • Remind her to take breaks from studying when she gets tired.
  • Remind her to eat well. Limit sugary foods while studying. Limit the amount of caffeine. Large amounts of caffeine intake can make her feel even more stressed and anxious.

Please see the exam schedule and library hours schedule included under the Events tab of this newsletter.

Extended Time

If your daughter receives extended time, she has received a form to indicate which exams she wants to take with extended time. If she chooses to opt out of using extended time for a certain class, you will be required to sign the form for each subject for which she has opted out. This form is due to me by Tuesday, December 3. 

I highly recommend that students who qualify sign up to use extended time for every exam. It is also important to note that the times listed on this form are different than the exam schedule included in this newsletter. Please be sure that your daughter is aware of the scheduled time of her exams. All extended-time exams will be given in the Activity Center. If your daughter has any questions regarding her exams, please have her ask her teachers for clarification.

Leadership, Volunteer and Summer Programs

The counselors and college advisors receive information on many leadership, volunteer and summer programs available to high school students throughout the year. The information received on each program is posted to your daughter’s Counseling Center Moodle page. There are already more than 25 programs posted. The Counseling Center in no way endorses any of the programs listed but is merely passing the information along to students. All of the information received on each program is provided. Please contact the program directly with questions and for more information.

ACT Prep Courses

As your daughter prepares to take the ACT take this fall, we would like to provide you with information about test preparation classes. SJA does not promote any particular course; rather, we are sharing opportunities should your daughter want or need additional test-taking help.  

SJA math faculty member Kevin Landry offers ACT prep courses on campus. Faculty members Cindy Downs, Brianna Sommers and Rhonda Baird are also on the teaching staff. Students may take individual content courses or the full program. Visit The Extra Point at

Additional ACT prep opportunities are as follows: