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The topic of this email is one of great importance: school safety. As SJA’s principal, I have had many sleepless nights after tragedies like the one in Uvalde, Texas, this summer. The goal of this communication is to make you aware of the safety measures currently in place and to inform you of our upcoming Safety Day on Thursday, September 29.
Our safety plan is laid out in the Parent/Student Handbook, which can be found on our website under the Parents and Students tabs. Over the years, SJA has committed time and resources to upgrading our safety measures and planning for future needs.
Current Safety Measures
• A Baton Rouge Police Department officer is on campus daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. During this time, the officer checks the parking lots and surrounding streets, monitors students walking between SJA and CHS for class, checks gates and the perimeter of campus and is a visible presence.
• Perimeter fence and gates: Gates are magnetically locked throughout the school day. Employees have access with a key fob. All students and guests to campus entering after 7:45 a.m. must use the call button on the gate to gain access. Our entry gates are equipped with a camera so we can speak with and see the person requesting to enter.
• In addition to wearing name tags, every employee, chaperone, coach, substitute teacher and recurring volunteer complete fingerprint and background checks.
• Classrooms: Each classroom can be secured by a lock on the inside of the door. All windows have closeable blinds and, if a door has glass in it, a covering. Each classroom has a phone with one-button dialing to reach either the main office, school nurse, the cell phone of our on-duty security officer or 911.
• We have a new visitor check-in policy and kiosk. Visitors to campus must scan their driver’s license and wait for clearance to receive a visitor’s badge and must also check out when the visit is over.
• School Messenger alert system: This system allows SJA to quickly communicate by phone with parents in case of emergencies (for example, a lockdown, weather emergency or unplanned early dismissal). Coming soon will be text alerts. More details follow.
Safety Day: Thursday, September 29
This summer and at the beginning of the school year, time was dedicated to attending workshops and seminars to ensure that SJA’s safety plan is up to date with the most recent recommendations from law enforcement and school safety advocacy groups. Plans can look great on paper, but putting those procedures (calmly) into action during an actual emergency is the goal. That is why preparation and training are so important. On September 29, we are dedicating time during each class period to train and prepare our school community for emergency situations. During each class period, your daughter’s teacher will explain the procedure to be followed if a fire, tornado, yellow lockdown (issue near but off campus) or red lockdown (intruder on campus) happened during that period. This includes how and where to evacuate, where to hide or take shelter, remaining calm and quiet and more. During some class periods, we will have safety videos; other class periods will entail going over procedures and plans. During four periods of the day, we will run each of the four emergency drills listed above. This will allow us to make corrections to the plan and gather important feedback from faculty, staff and students.
In addition to our phone call alert system, we will begin using text alert. On Safety Day, we will test the system by sending text alerts to employees and students. After September 29, we will notify parents of a specific date and time to expect your first text alert. All parents/stepparents/guardians listed on the student’s record will receive a text from SJA. Information on how to opt-out of receiving emergency text alerts from SJA will be provided. If you need to update your parent contact information, please contact Registrar Dana Schlotterer at email@example.com.
I hope the information provided in this communication brings you at least a small bit of comfort amidst the challenges schools face. Our dedicated faculty and staff will do everything we can to make the best decisions possible to keep your daughters safe if faced with an emergency. We thank you for entrusting your daughters to us, and I invite you to reach out to me if you have questions, concerns or suggestions about Safety Day or our plan.
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
Healthvacs will be on campus on Thursday, September 29, to administer flu vaccines. Only the injection form of the vaccine will be available this year. The vaccine is for ages 4 and up. Cost for students and parents is $30. Vaccines will be given between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the concession area of the Activity Center. You will enter through the door near the Medaille Hall circle driveway.
Please bring the completed questionnaire and payment with you on September 29. Cash or checks made payable to Healthvacs are accepted. Please direct questions to Nurse Marie Vukovics at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parents, we ask that you be aware that September 29 is our Safety Day. Depending on the time you are on campus, we may be involved in one of the safety drills described in the From the Principal message. We thank you in advance for your patience.
Thursday, September 29, during all lunch periods in the Chapel at SJA.
Friday, September 30, Academy Student Center. We will follow Schedule 4. Dress uniforms are
required. Parents are invited to join us for mass beginning at 9:45 a.m. Father Trey Nelson will be our celebrant.
Monday, October 3, Orchard, 6:30 p.m. This traditional ceremony is part of the Big Sis/Little Sis program. Families of freshmen and seniors are invited to join us. More information has been shared with students in their classes. In the case of rain, the event will be moved to the Activity Center.
Questions? Parents of seniors should contact senior class moderators Alexandra Arceneaux (email@example.com), Aimee Cronan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Emily Peavy (email@example.com). Parents of freshmen should contact freshman class moderators Allie Mitchell (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Brooke Haigler (email@example.com).
CATHOLIC LEADERSHIP ENCOUNTER
Parents of freshmen, sophomores and juniors are invited to an informational meeting on Tuesday, October 4, at 6 p.m. in the Brother Donnan Berry Student Center at Catholic High School. You will learn about next summer’s Catholic Leadership Encounter, set for May 27-June 5, 2023, in Estes Park, Colorado. This 10-day experience for SJA and CHS students will focus on increasing a student’s awareness of Catholic identity and discipleship; teaching skills to enable leadership and decision making; learning-by-doing experiences; and utilizing the Colorado outdoors for challenging environmental awareness and hiking activities.
Please direct questions to CLE Director Charles Jumonville at firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 505-3763.
BALFOUR REPRESENTATIVE ON CAMPUS
Wednesday, October 5, outside the Dining Hall during all lunch hours and again at 5-7 p.m. in the Dining Hall. Juniors are invited to order their school rings, and seniors are invited to order graduation announcements. Parents are encouraged to attend the evening session with their daughters.
LETTER JACKET SIZING
Thursday, October 6, during all three lunch periods. The Recognition Company will be in the concession area of the Activity Center to measure students for jackets and collect order forms. More information, including order forms, will be emailed in advance to those students who are eligible to purchase a jacket.
Friday, October 7, 1:51 p.m., Academy Student Center. We will follow Schedule 3. Parents and guests are welcome to attend with viewing on the upstairs mezzanine.
Sunday and Monday, October 9 and 10, Tall Timbers Baptist Conference Center in Forest Hill, Louisiana. Faculty, staff and friends of SJA will help staff the retreat. Please keep the class of 2023 in your thoughts and prayers as they experience this sacred time.
Seniors will load the buses at St. Joseph’s Academy on Sunday at 8 a.m. and return to SJA at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Monday. Because Monday is a regular school day for grades 9-11, seniors may not leave their cars on campus during the retreat. Seniors must be dropped off and picked up at SJA. If a senior has an extenuating circumstance in this regard, she must contact Dean of Women Christina Myles (email@example.com; 388-2278).
Please note that all SJA retreats are mandatory. For more information, contact Campus Minister Jade Spears (firstname.lastname@example.org; 388-2296).
GRANDPARENTS DAY FOR FRESHMEN
Grandparents of freshmen should have received their invitation to join their granddaughter during her assigned lunch period on Monday, October 10, in the Academy Student Center. Each lunch period is 50 minutes long. Because of limited parking, we ask grandparents to arrive no earlier than 20 minutes before their granddaughter’s lunch period. Parking will be available in the Academy Student Center parking lot on Parker Street as well as in legal spots on Broussard and Parker streets.
Grandparents are asked to RSVP by Monday, October 3, to Assistant Director of Advancement Cydney Morris at email@example.com or (225) 388-2270.
Tuesday, October 11, for Professional Learning Community. Students are dismissed at 1:46 p.m. (Schedule 3). 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.
SENIOR SERVICE DAY
Wednesday, October 12. Please note that Senior Service Day is mandatory. For more information, please contact Assistant Campus Minister/Service Coordinator Chelsea Colomb at firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 388-2221.
GEAUX PINK VOLLEYBALL MATCH
Wednesday, October 12, Academy Student Center. The Redstickers will host the annual Geaux Pink volleyball match against Zachary High, with the freshman team playing at 4 p.m., the JV at 5 p.m. and the varsity at 6 p.m. All proceeds from the gate, concessions and t-shirt sales benefit Mary Bird Perkins. Tickets are $5 (season passes not valid for this match) and are available at slocaltix.com and at the gate.
Sophomores, juniors and invited freshmen will take the PSAT/NMSQT on Wednesday, October 12. The PSAT/NMSQT serves as practice for the SAT and determines eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship Program for high school juniors.
No formal classes are held at SJA on this day. There will be no afterschool supervision available, so please make arrangements to have your daughter picked up at the dismissal times listed below. If there is a serious conflict which would prevent your daughter from testing on October 12, please contact Dean of Women Christina Myles at email@example.com or (225) 388-2278 for permission to be absent. If you have any questions, please contact your daughter’s counselor.
All students arrive at school at the regular time and go straight to their assigned classroom.
Breakfast in Dining Hall (optional) will be served from 6:50 to 7:20 a.m.
9th Grade: 7:25-11 a.m. Freshman Wellness Day
7:25-11 a.m. PSAT for invited freshmen (no lunch provided)
10th Grade: 7:25-11 a.m. PSAT Test; dismissal at 11 a.m. (no lunch provided)
11th Grade: 7:25-11 a.m. PSAT Test; dismissal at 11 a.m. (no lunch provided)
12th Grade: Senior Service Day
Thursday, October 13, during all lunch periods in the Chapel at SJA.
OPTIONAL ACT TESTING FOR SENIORS
Tuesday, October 18, is an ACT testing day for those seniors who purchased the test by the August 28 deadline. Testing begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 11:15 a.m. Testing will be in the Activity Center gym. Students who take the test will not have a regular school day; they will be dismissed after the test.
Thursday, October 20, for 6th, 7th and 8th grade girls and their parents. SJA students are dismissed at 1:46 p.m. (Schedule 3). All students not assisting with Open House must be picked up by 2 p.m. The library will not be open for after-school hours. Students remaining on campus and working Open House will be provided refreshments. They must wear dress uniforms.
Friday, October 21. School is closed.
Tuesday, October 25, for Professional Development. Students are dismissed at 1:30 p.m. (Schedule 8). 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.
Thursday, October 27, during all lunch periods in the Chapel at SJA.
Saturday, October 29, on SJA’s campus. 10K, 5K, One-mile and Half-mile runs are available. Register at stickerstampede.org. For more information, contact Alumnae Director Cori Martone Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
STUDENT COUNCIL FUN DAY
Monday, October 31. The theme is StickOR Treat on Broussard Street. Full details and costume guidelines will be emailed to students.
UPDATE TO SCHOOL HANDBOOK
We have added the following clarification in italics to our failure policy found in the online School Handbook. This addition can be found in the Academic Excellence section under Grading System and Report Cards.
Failure Policy: If a student fails a course for the first semester, in order to pass the course for the year, she must earn at least a “C” average for the second semester final mark.
In such cases, on the student’s final transcript in the Student Transcript System (the transcript database for the Louisiana Department of Education which is used for TOPS eligibility and college admissions), the student is assigned one letter grade for the entire course. A letter grade of “D” will be assigned if the student earns a “C” in the second semester. A letter grade of “C” will be assigned if the student earns an “A” in the second semester. If the student earns a “B” in the second semester, the semester numerical averages from the first and second semester will be averaged to determine the final letter grade. However, the student would not be assigned a letter grade lower than a “D” in any case.
If she earns a “D” for the second semester, she does not pass the course and must make up the half-credit from the first semester in summer school. If she earns an “F” and fails the second semester, she must earn the whole credit in summer school. Students who pass the first semester and fail the second semester must make up the second semester in summer school. Students may not attend summer school to remediate a course if they did not fail the course. For example, if a student makes a D in a class, she will not be allowed to attend summer school in order to raise or replace that course grade.
Students taking summer school courses must do so at Catholic High School unless special permission has been granted by the Dean of Academics. Students attending summer school may not take summer P.E.
Students who fail three or more subjects during the fall semester may be asked to leave St. Joseph’s Academy. Students who fail more than four semesters cannot return to SJA the following school year or graduate from SJA.
Please address questions about these updates to Dean of Academics Aubrey DeJohn at email@example.com.
ACT TEST PREP PROGRAM FOR 2022-2023
Gear Up for the ACT: SJA will offer a four-hour session for each subject-specific test of the ACT during the fall (before the October 2022 ACT date) and spring (before the March 2023 ACT date for juniors). These sessions will focus on strategies and practice techniques for that content-specific ACT test. The cost is $55 for ACT Math, Science, Reading and English; ACT Writing will cost $25. Your payment includes an ACT practice book for that subject. Space is limited to 50 students per session. Each session can be paid for on SchoolCash Online.
English: January 7 (8 a.m.-12 p.m.)
Science: January 28 (8 a.m.-12 p.m.)
Writing: January 29 (1-3 p.m.)
Math: February 4 (8 a.m.-12 p.m.)
Reading: February 12 (1-5 p.m.)
ACT Diagnostic Testing: SJA will offer ACT Diagnostic Testing in the fall and spring of the 2022-2023 school year. Students will practice taking a full-length ACT test in a test setting and receive specific feedback on the areas in which they need to work to improve their scores. Each student will receive a detailed report of her test results, stating specific skills and content areas to focus on to achieve a higher score. The test will simulate a real ACT test, with the setting and timing and using an ACT-released test. The cost is $15.50. Extended time is offered. Each session can be paid for on SchoolCash Online.
October 8 (8-11 a.m.)
January 21, 2023 (8-11 a.m.)
March 4, 2023 (8-11 a.m.)
Please direct questions about the Test Prep Program to Dean of Curriculum and Instruction Aimee Urdiales (firstname.lastname@example.org).
AFTER-SCHOOL RULES AND REGULATIONS
After dismissal, students remaining on campus must be in designated areas* only (Dining Hall, courtyard or library), where an afterschool monitor is present. Students may remain in or in front of the Dining Hall or in the courtyard from 2:50 p.m. until 4 p.m. At 4 p.m., an announcement will direct students to make their way to the library to sign in. Students may not leave campus after dismissal to roam the neighborhood. The library is open until 5:30 p.m. Our security officer is on campus until 5:30 p.m. each school day.
If a student is not picked up by 5:30 p.m., this will be reported to Dean of Women Christina Myles, and a plan will be made. After-school library rules can be found in the School Handbook under the Students and Parents portals. Please direct questions to Linda Hall at email@example.com or (225) 388-2420.
*Once the Fife Student Commons, this space will be added to our after-school program. We will share additional information as it becomes available.
Please be reminded 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, please let us know. Questions should be addressed to Assistant to the Registrar Stacy Rennhoff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 388-2318.
ILLNESS, DOCTOR VISITS, TARDIES
If your daughter is sick and will not attend school, please email Student Life Coordinator Cristina Benigno at email@example.com by 8 a.m. If a student becomes ill during the day, she must report to Nurse Marie Vukovics’ office, and her parent will be called.
Most routine visits to the doctor should be scheduled outside of school hours. If a parent knows in advance that a student must arrive late or leave early for a doctor’s appointment, parental permission must be emailed to the Student Life Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. When the student returns to school, she must present a note signed by the physician to the Student Life Coordinator in order to receive an excused absence.
Students are expected to be on time for every class. A student who arrives on campus after the 7:28 a.m. tardy bell must report to the Student Life Coordinator’s office for a tardy slip before entering class. An infraction will be issued upon the third unexcused tardy and for each additional unexcused tardy to school or class.
2022-2023 SCHOOL CALENDAR
Click here for important dates for the 2022-2023 school year. Please note that all dates are tentative and subject to change.
HOLIDAY OFFICE CLOSINGS
The main office is closed on these remaining holidays. Please plan accordingly.
October 21: Fall Holiday
November 21-25: Thanksgiving
December 19-January 3: Christmas
January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday
February 20-24: Mardi Gras
April 7-14: Easter
NATIONAL TEST DATE FOR ALL JUNIORS
All students in the junior class will be required to take the ACT on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. This will take place during the school day. It will include the writing portion. This date is a nationally recognized district test date, and the scores can be sent to colleges, LOFSA and other agencies. SJA will register the students for this test; registration on ACT.org is not permitted for this test. Parents will be required to pay for the test on SchoolCash Online. The cost is $67. Payment is due by November 15, 2022. Testing details will be sent in the February and March parent newsletters.
Students will be 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 SJ105 before or after school.
WEDNESDAY MORNING ROSARY
Every Wednesday at 7 a.m., the rosary is recited in the Chapel at SJA. Parents are invited to join us.
The 2021-2022 yearbooks will be distributed to students in early October. Plans for distribution will be emailed to students once they are finalized.
The SJA yearbook captures once-in-a-lifetime memories in a single place. Click here to purchase your copy today at a discounted price of $65. There are only three more days to take advantage of this discount. The price will increase to $70 on October 1. A receipt will be emailed to you once your purchase is complete.
If you have more than one daughter attending SJA, please purchase a copy under each student’s name.
SAVE THE DATE: 10TH ANNUAL STICKER SCRAMBLE
On Monday, November 7, the SJA Dads’ Club will host its 2022 Sticker Scramble at TopGolf of Baton Rouge. The Sticker Scramble is now in its 10th year and has raised more than $100,000 for enhancements to SJA. The tournament offers men’s, women’s and mixed teams all vying for the top prize.
If you are interested in playing or supporting this great event with a sponsorship, please click here or contact Dads’ Club Moderator Meg Gerald at email@example.com or (225) 388-2254. You can also visit www.stickerscramble.org for more information.
Our goal is to raise $10,000 this year. All sponsorships, gifts and services are tax deductible. Rain or shine, we hope to see you on November 7 at TopGolf!
DAD VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR FRESHMEN RETREAT
This year’s Freshman Retreat is set for Monday, November 7, and the Dads’ Club will provide lunch for the girls. We need approximately 8-10 dads from 10:45 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the cafeteria to help serve lunch. We are providing hot dogs, chips and cookies.
If you are interested in volunteering for the Freshman Retreat, please click here.
SAVE THE DATE: MISSION TRIP PARENT MEETING
On Thursday, November 10, parents with daughters in the classes of 2024 and 2025 are invited to an informational meeting regarding the mission trip program at SJA. We will gather at 6 p.m. in the Academy Student Center. Please direct questions to Campus Minister Jade Spears at firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 388-2296.
SAVE THE DATE: THE SOIRÉE
Mark your calendars for Thursday, November 17, for The Soirée, a fun night of live music, great food and drinks from some of Baton Rouge’s best restaurants, plus live and silent auctions, live music and more. The party happens in the Academy Student Center. There are many ways to be involved, and we welcome your help in making this event a success. If you would like information about joining the planning committee, volunteering, sponsorship opportunities or donations, please contact Assistant Director of Advancement Cydney Morris at email@example.com or (225) 388-2270.
SAVE THE DATE: SIX-MONTH REUNION
Friday, December 16, 12-1:30 p.m., in the Dining Hall. Sponsored by the SJA Alumnae Association. Our 2022 graduates are invited back to campus for a light lunch and an opportunity to catch up with faculty, staff and friends. Yearbooks will be available for pickup. Contact Alumnae Director Cori Martone Jones ’10 (firstname.lastname@example.org; 388-2244) for details or to RSVP.
“The Sister of St. Joseph moves always towards profound love of God and love of neighbor without distinction.” (Excerpt from the Consensus statement of the Sisters)
I sent an initial message a few weeks ago explaining a little about the office of Mission Integration, our formation goals for the school and the formation plan for the faculty and staff. Moving forward, monthly communications from this office will be included in this newsletter. Below I share some take-aways from our Charism Day. Further insights will be shared in the next newsletter.
Rooted in the Charism: Some Insights from the Faculty and Staff Charism Day
In building a culture of encounter, we discussed the danger of being stuck in the 6th day of Creation. God invites us to order all our work and activity towards rest, the 7th day. Another way of understanding rest is relationship. The devil is stuck in the 6th day of Creation because he refused to enter the 7th day, into God’s rest, to be in relationship with God. This constitutes a sin against unity, a rejection of love and treating relationships like a waste of time. Along these lines, we can examine the way we approach relationships and community. Amid many competing goods for our time, do we make time for relationship? We always want to communicate to your daughters that they are not a waste of time, which means the faculty and staff must model this among co-workers. True joy comes from being ordered to life-giving relationships.
A major portion of the Charism Day explored the connection between Sanctity, Joy and Action and a corresponding relationship between fasting, prayer and almsgiving. In fasting, we recognize our interior emptiness, which reveals our call to sanctity, to holiness. Holiness means to be set aside, and we are set aside for love. God creates us for love, and anything less will ultimately fail to satisfy. And as we strip away the false self and embrace our authentic, God-created self, we open and prepare ourselves to receive God. In prayer, we recognize that joy comes from the relationship with God who also brings us into deeper communion with each other. In almsgiving, we recognize that the love of God and our corresponding joy should flow into action by which we participate in the love of God by loving each other. Love empowers us to engage in the works of mercy. Sanctity, Joy and Action informs the rhythm of the spiritual life, of our participation in prayer and sacraments like the mass, and of our encounter with each other.
Reflections on the Maxims: There’s a Maxim for That!
Translated from French: “Take it as a general rule for your inner being, for your virtues and for your actions that ‘you must be made perfect just as your God is perfect’ (Mt. 5:48); that is to say, embrace in all things what will bring about the greater glory of God, be more conformable to God’s holy will and be more pleasing in God’s sight.”
Simplified: “Seek what pleases God most.”
Updated: “You are made in God’s image. It’s a pretty spectacular heritage. Live up to it!”
It’s one thing to say we want to be healthy. It’s quite another thing to embrace all the things that will make us healthy. Things such as a dedication to a proper diet, adequate rest, regular exercise, social life, outlets for emotional stability, etc. Likewise, it’s one thing to say we want to love God and those entrusted to us. It’s quite another thing to embrace all that helps us practically do this.
We are made in the image of God. God is love. We are made in the image of LOVE. This is our heritage. Love compels us to not just want what is good for the other, but to challenge ourselves to choose to do the concrete things that bring about and protect the good of the beloved. This maxim highlights that we need to embrace the things that bring unity and life to our relationship with God. In doing this, we live up to our heritage, and we become perfect just as our God is.
But what does it really mean to be “perfect”? Surely this isn’t possible? Scripture doesn’t use this word the way we tend to use it, and this can create an unhealthy expectation of the spiritual life. This also creates a false view of ourselves and even the saints: that somehow, the saints at a certain point never made mistakes, or they came to a point in the spiritual life where they were no longer tempted, weak, broken and in need of mercy and forgiveness.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus challenges us to love our enemies even if they don’t deserve it. In this context, the call to be “perfect” involves us embracing the generosity of God’s merciful love towards ourselves and others; to persevere in love and never give up on the relationship. Jesus calls us to grow, which means embracing the messiness of holiness, which is the messy process by which we grow in love and mercy. As long as we are communicating, asking forgiveness, never giving up and staying in the relationship, we live out our call to sanctity. This doesn’t mean we have to pretend to be better than others or have everything under control or to have no brokenness or moral weaknesses. But this does mean embracing our heritage of love and dedicating ourselves to choose what is good for God and others.
Lay Associate: For those interested in becoming a Lay Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph, you can read a brochure here and contact the director here.
Virtual Retreat: Know, Love & Follow is a six-week virtual retreat by Becky Eldridge (October 3-November 13, 2022) based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Learn more and register here.
The Counseling Center provides students with resources and support they need to be successful. Grade-level counselors support students during all four years at SJA. The Counseling Center collaborates with teachers and administrators to identify and discuss students who may need additional assistance and to determine best practices to reach all students both academically and socially. In addition, counselors meet with every student at least twice a year to discuss college and career readiness. Two full-time college advisors assist students with scholarship and college applications. A wellness educator designs programs in support of SJA’s social emotional wellness program.
|LINDSAY CARLINO '02
Class of 2023 Counselor
|Allison Hipwell Bruton ’95
Counseling Center Director
College Advisor (A-I)
|Ellen Smith Frazier
College Advisor (J-Z)
Please contact Ms. Carlino if you have questions about your daughter pertaining to academic or personal concerns.
Please contact Ms. Bruton or Ms. Frazier if you have questions pertaining to college admissions, including applications, scholarships, recommendation letters and transcript requests. Any college/scholarship application, including the Common Application, that asks for the counselor’s name is to be completed with the name of your daughter’s college advisor, not Ms. Carlino.
Academic and Social-Emotional Wellness Check-Ins
Ms. Carlino has been meeting with seniors individually to check in with them regarding academic and social-emotional wellness. She is also reviewing their core grade point averages and answering questions regarding TOPS.
College Advising Meetings
Ms. Bruton and Mrs. Frazier are meeting with seniors individually to discuss college admission and scholarship applications. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Ms. Bruton (A-I) or Mrs. Frazier (J-Z).
On Friday, September 30, parents will receive an email with information about completing the FAFSA. All students must complete the FAFSA to be awarded TOPS in the state of Louisiana and other financial aid in all states, including scholarships, student loans and work study programs. The FAFSA will be available on October 1 and may be completed using 2021 tax information. Detailed information is available at www.fafsa.gov. The confirmation email of FAFSA completion must be emailed to Ms. Carlino. Please note that this is one of the items on each student’s graduation “check-out list” in May. It is highly recommended that parents get this done prior to the Christmas break. The reason is that it can take a while to process, and colleges are beginning to package financial aid and scholarship offers early second semester.
The requirements for the class of 2023 are as follows:
|TOPS Awards||Award Amount||Core GPA and ACT Requirements|
|TOPS Opportunity||Tuition||2.5 core GPA & 20 ACT|
|TOPS Performance||Tuition + $400/year||3.25 core GPA & 23 ACT|
|TOPS Honors||Tuition + $800/year||3.5 core GPA & 27 ACT|
The last date for your daughter to take the ACT to qualify for TOPS for a full four years is April 2023. The highest ACT composite received by the LOSFA office by this testing date will be used to determine the award.
Click here to view the SAT National Saturday test dates and to register, if interested. Registration for the SAT is completed through the student’s College Board account using the same link.
TOPS code: 1595
NCAA code: 9999 (for those students registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center for college athletics)
Please note that students should have record of their passwords. This is not information that is kept on record at SJA. Last spring, your daughter saved her password to a reference sheet for future use. Should she not remember her password, she should reference this list or reset her password so that she can regain access to her account.
SJA Test Score Policy
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 www.act.org through the student’s account.
On Thursday, January 26, all seniors will be required to job shadow a professional in a career area that they are interested in pursuing. Just as last year, seniors must shadow the professional for a minimum of six hours to fulfill the requirement. Please note that the student cannot shadow a parent or sibling. The shadow experience must also be in person; no virtual shadowing will be approved. Also, seniors cannot shadow the same person as last year. Students received details of the requirements through a class visit in August and subsequent emails. Ms. Carlino will be holding “help sessions” during all lunch periods on Monday, October 17, and Monday, November 14, for students who need assistance finding someone to shadow. The deadline to turn in the Job Shadowing Plan to the Counseling Center is Tuesday, November 29, which is right after SJA returns from the Thanksgiving holidays. Please encourage your daughter to take advantage of this time if she needs help finding someone to shadow.
Community Counseling Resources
While Ms. Carlino can be a great resource to your daughter at school, many students benefit from counseling services in the community. If you are interested in seeking counseling services for your daughter, please do not hesitate to reach out to Ms. Carlino for help figuring out a few clinicians who may be a good fit. We know that looking at a list of counselors who accept your insurance can be overwhelming. Ms. Carlino also has six pages of resources available on the Counseling Center Moodle page that can be accessed through your daughter’s account. The Resource list is updated once per semester.
Connecting with Colleges
We encourage students to schedule college visits during fall break if possible. Also, seniors are allowed three excused absences for college visits.
SJA Handbook: Email notification of a student’s college visit must be sent to the Student Life Coordinator at least one day before the scheduled absence. If notification is not received, this will be marked as an unexcused absence. No college visits will be approved during the month of December or after April 15 of a student’s senior year.
Additionally, representatives from colleges and universities around the country are visiting SJA. The list of visitors may be found in Naviance Student. The sessions are informational and demonstrate the student’s interest to the college representative. Students are emailed, and reminders of the visits are announced in our daily announcements.
NACAC held its in-person college fair in Baton Rouge in September; however, it will continue to host virtual college fairs throughout the fall. These are great ways for students to connect with admissions reps that they have not had a chance to speak with already. A complete list of the NACAC Virtual College Fair dates is available here.
|MARY BETH ELFERT
Class of 2024 Counselor
When colleges receive your daughter’s transcript, they will see grades through her junior year. We ask that you be aware of her cumulative GPA as well as her core GPA. Colleges differ in which GPA they use.
The end of the first nine weeks is rapidly approaching. Please take time to review your daughter’s grades on MySJA. Each junior also received a worksheet to calculate her core GPA. I recommend that you ask your daughter to share her core GPA worksheet with you.
Free Tutoring Available on Campus
The Learning Center is in the library and provides free tutoring to students in all levels of math, science and English. Tutoring is offered weekly both during lunch periods and after school. The weekly schedule is emailed in the daily announcements.
Peer consultants are available to students by appointment on a weekly basis. The Writing Center serves students of all levels of writing ability in any stage of the writing process. Your daughter can make an appointment via the Writing Center Moodle page. Please encourage your daughter to take advantage of this valuable resource. She can get assistance with writing assignments in all classes, not just English.
All juniors will take the PSAT on Wednesday, October 12. The PSAT is the test that juniors take to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program and is a practice for the SAT test. It includes tests in reading, writing and language and math and is scored 320-1520. Your daughter took this test last year as a sophomore so that she could acclimate to the format of the test. Some students perform better on the PSAT than they do on the ACT. If your daughter performs well on the PSAT, it is recommended that she register for a spring SAT test date.
All juniors will take the ACT at SJA on March 28, 2023. Our testing coordinator will assist them with registering for this test. More information will follow. In addition, I will hold help sessions for students on October 19 during all lunch periods to assist any student needing help in registering for any other ACT testing date. ACT recommends that students take the ACT in the spring of their junior year.
On Thursday, January 26, all juniors will be required to job shadow a professional in a career area that they are interested in pursuing. Students must shadow the professional for a minimum of six hours to fulfill the requirement. Please note that the student cannot shadow a parent or sibling. The shadow experience must also be in person; no virtual shadowing will be approved. Students received details of the requirements through a class visit in August. I will be holding help sessions during all lunch periods on Monday, October 17, and Monday, November 14, for students who need assistance finding someone to shadow. The deadline to turn in the Job Shadowing Plan to the Counseling Center is Tuesday, November 29, which is right after SJA returns from the Thanksgiving holidays. Please encourage your daughter to take advantage of these help sessions if she needs help finding someone to shadow.
College Rep Visits
Throughout this school year, many college reps will come to SJA during the school day. This is a great opportunity for your daughter to meet with reps of schools that she is interested in possibly attending. Juniors may attend these meetings if they are scheduled during an unstructured hour, during lunch or if they have their teacher’s permission to leave class. All college rep visits are posted on the school calendar. The girls also receive email reminders so that they can plan accordingly. This is another way to gather information about college fit and a form of demonstrated interest when they visit with the representatives and ask questions about their school.
Class of 2025 Counselor
Sophomores will take the PSAT on Wednesday, October 12. The PSAT is the test that juniors take to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program and is a practice test for the SAT. It includes tests in reading, writing and language and math and is scored on a scale of 320-1520.
The SAT is accepted by all colleges for admissions. If your daughter performs better on the SAT than the ACT, this may be a viable test for her to take for college admissions purposes.
Sophomores will also take the Pre-ACT in the spring. The Pre-ACT is a valuable test as it is an official practice test for the ACT. It includes tests in English, math, reading and science and is scored on a scale of 1-36 just like the ACT. The biggest different between the Pre-ACT and the ACT is that the Pre-ACT has fewer questions and will take less time to complete. This test also provides students with a predicted ACT score range based on their performance.
The first quarter of the school year will end on Friday, October 7. Report cards will not be mailed home, but students can access their report cards on MySJA. You will receive an email notifying you when report cards have been published.
Tips for Parents of Teenage Drivers
Some sophomores are lucky enough to turn 16 during the first semester. Getting a driver’s license is a pivotal point for a teenager. It is similar to when she first started walking around the house. She bobbed and weaved as she refined her walking skills. Now she is mobile again. New drivers have new freedom but don’t always understand the responsibilities that come with that privilege.
1. Talk to your daughter about cell phone use while driving.
2. Don’t let her drive with other teenagers in the car until she is more experienced.
3. Have her always let you know when she is coming and going and to where.
4. Always be vigilant in watching for signs of alcohol or drug use.
5. Have a curfew.
6. Have a plan for a flat tire, accident or any other vehicular emergencies.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me via phone or email.
Class of 2026 Counselor
It is hard to believe that the end of the first quarter is quickly approaching! I want you to know that I am enjoying meeting with your daughters on an individual basis. In addition, it was great visiting with your daughters in their theology classes to review my Welcome to SJA Presentation. The students were engaging and asked plenty of questions. The class of 2026 is already making their mark on SJA in such a positive and fun way, and I look forward to working with them over these next four years.
If you have any concerns about your daughter, please reach out to me. The adjustment to high school can be tough, but there is plenty of support on campus to help you and your daughter during this time.
Help with the Transition
• Recognize the changes your daughter has gone through and will continue to go through this year.
• Ask your daughter about the best parts of her day at school. Keep the talk positive.
• When trying to find out information from your daughter, open-ended questions can be beneficial rather than ones that can be answered with a quick “yes,” “no” or “fine.”
• Listen. Sometimes your daughter just needs to vent. Change is scary for everyone, and the transition to high school is a big step.
• Encourage her to get involved in clubs and/or athletics. In addition to this being a great way to make new friends, it also assists with time-management skills. Club meetings are scheduled right after school and are posted on the school calendar.
• Meet the parents of any friends your daughter has made. These connections are important.
• Make sure she gets enough sleep. Removing all electronic devices, including computer and phone, from her bedroom at night helps to facilitate a good night’s sleep.
Top 10 Things Recommended During Freshman Year
1. Don’t procrastinate.
2. Watch what you post on social media.
3. Get involved in activities/clubs.
4. Keep your grades up.
5. Always do your homework. It helps!
6. Stay organized with a planner/to-do list/sticky notes (whatever works).
7. Develop relationships with your teachers.
8. Dress up for Fun Days.
9. Make friends with those who sit next to you in class.
10. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
With the end of the first quarter on October 7, this is a great time to sit down with your daughter to discuss her academic progress. It is very important for your daughter to know that you are aware of her progress and are her cheerleader along the way. If you have any concerns or would like to discuss her academic progress, please contact me. Updated grades can be found in MySJA.
Extra Support Offered
The Learning Center is in the library and provides tutoring to students in all levels of math, science and English. Tutoring is offered weekly both during lunch hours and after school. The weekly schedule is posted on the Learning Center Moodle page and emailed in the daily announcements.
The Writing Center is in the lobby right outside the library in Medaille Hall. Peer consultants are available by appointment on a weekly basis. The Writing Center serves students at all levels of writing ability in any stage of the writing process. Your daughter can make an appointment via the Writing Center Moodle page. She can get assistance with writing assignments in all classes, not just English.
The Learning Center provides free-of-charge assistance to any student needing extra help with math, science, English or writing. Also offered is academic counseling. Peer tutoring in foreign languages is provided by members of the National Honor Society and Beta Club. These student-led sessions are offered between 3 and 4 p.m. on Wednesday in the library. No appointments are necessary for any tutoring.
Math Resource is available Monday through Thursday during all three lunch hours and from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Learning Center classroom in the library. Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Science Resource is available Monday through Thursday during all three lunch hours and Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Learning Center classroom in the library. Email email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
ENGLISH RESOURCE AND ACADEMIC COUNSELING
English Resource is available Monday through Thursday during all three lunch hours and Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Learning Center classroom in the library. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Writing Center provides instruction, resources and support. Trained peer consultants help students gain competence and confidence as writers through one-on-one sessions. Students schedule appointments through the Writing Center Moodle page. 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. Email email@example.com.
SJA students can grow in their faith through various opportunities to pray, receive the sacraments and serve the dear neighbor. All students attend a monthly schoolwide mass or prayer service and an annual class retreat. The sacrament of reconciliation is offered to students biannually. Additionally, students may choose to participate in a weekly rosary, weekly Bible study, bimonthly Eucharistic Adoration, mission trips and various ministry clubs, including Student Ministry (juniors and seniors), Liturgy Committee, Liturgy Choir, Praise & Worship Band and Respect Life Club.
Participation in retreats is required for graduation. Please plan accordingly. For additional information, contact Campus Minister Jade Spears (firstname.lastname@example.org; 388-2296).
Dates and locations are subject to change.
Senior Retreat: Sunday-Monday, October 9-10, Tall Timbers Retreat Center, Forest Hill
Junior Retreat: Monday, March 27, Sacred Heart of Jesus Church (Baton Rouge)
Sophomore Retreat: Monday, February 6, SJA
Freshman Retreat: Monday, November 7, SJA
Required Service Program
As a reminder, our service policy states that freshmen and sophomores are required to complete 15 hours of service during the 2022-2023 academic year while juniors and seniors must complete 20 service hours.
To support and encourage service as a regular part of the lives of our students, we recognize those girls who go above and beyond the required service hours. Students completing 50 hours of service in one school year will receive special recognition at the end of the year. Students who complete 50 hours of service all four years are recognized at the Honors Convocation for seniors in May.
All service hours must be done through a non-profit agency or through a for-profit business, with prior written approval, that serves those most in need. Service performed through a for-profit business must be non-clerical in manner. Tasks such as filing, answering the phone, etc., will not be permitted as part of the service program. Visiting with patients in nursing homes or hospice facilities does not need prior approval. All service hours must be done outside of normal school hours. Donations of any kind, including Sticker Sacks, are not eligible for the service program. However, SJA may offer a schoolwide donation opportunity for service hours. SJA reserves the right to limit the number of hours earned on mission trips; hours earned on SJA mission trips will be determined and applied after the trip is complete. This will ensure students receive accurate credit for the number of hours served.
The Freshman and Sophomore Service Directory and the Junior and Senior Service Directory can be found on MySJA and the Service Hour Project Moodle page. These directories include approved agencies. Students may only participate in opportunities outside of those included in the service directories after receiving written permission via email from the Assistant Campus Minister.
Service hours are tracked electronically through MobileServe. All theology classes will be visited in the first six weeks of school to set up accounts. Students will also receive information about logging their summer hours at this time.
Assistant Campus Minister/Service Coordinator Chelsea Colomb is available during all lunch periods to answer questions about service and to help students with service entries. Students may also email her at email@example.com or stop by the Campus Ministry office in Mother Alice Hall, room 206.
Service hours are due Friday, March 31, 2023. Please direct questions about service to Assistant Campus Minister/Service Coordinator Chelsea Colomb at firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 388-2221.
Service Directory Clarifications (effective immediately)
• St. Vincent de Paul and other shelters: Only time spent within the soup kitchen or shelter can be counted as service hours. Any time spent buying or preparing food outside of the agency’s facility cannot be counted as service hours. This would be a donation and is in direct violation of the service policy.
• Baton Rouge General: The only hours that can be counted at Baton Rouge General are those working with the Healthy Kids Project. All other volunteer opportunities at the hospital must receive prior approval.
Please note that these changes will not affect service hours already logged and submitted. They will be in effect moving forward.
Please consult the service policy and the appropriate directory for your grade level prior to completing and logging hours.
SJA ANNUAL FUND
We are truly one! Our Parents Annual Fund is off to a great start. Thank you to all the parents who have already sent in their pledge or donation. If you have not made your pledge, please do so.
The deadline for making your Parents Annual Fund pledge is September 30. Gifts to the Annual Fund support the people and programs that make SJA special, including vital and inspiring academic, athletic and arts programming; a talented faculty; and personal attention.
We hope that you will take this opportunity to partner with us in the mission of the school and give a meaningful gift that expresses the value that you place on the educational experience at St. Joseph’s Academy. Each gift makes a difference in the school life and learning of a student. Contributions to the Annual Fund are tax-deductible and may even be matched by your employer.
The SJA faculty and staff reached 100 percent giving for the 11th year in a row! We as parents are striving to reach 100 percent participation for the first time ever. Please consider making a gift to SJA, no matter the size.
The only gift that is too small is the one that is not made at all.
Pave the Way Bricks
Make your mark on SJA’s campus by purchasing a brick for your daughter. Engraved brick pavers are placed in front of the new Fife Student Commons. For more information, contact Mission Advancement Assistant Wendy Coniglio (email@example.com; 388-2336). Click here to purchase your brick today.
SJA Mothers' Club
Do you want to know about SJA Mothers’ Club events, meet other moms and support your Sticker daughter? Then join the Mothers’ Club! Our Mothers’ Club membership drive is under way. Your membership dues and volunteer service are crucial. Both enable us to support our girls and the SJA community throughout the year. Join now on SchoolCash Online. Look for information soon on the Mothers’ Club Fall Social. We hope to see you there!
The Mothers’ Club supports our community with prayers through the Parents Who Pray initiaive. Please submit your special intentions requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. Prayers can be requested to be confidential.
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. Are you ready to join for the 2022-2023 school year? Sign up now on SchoolCash Online to join the best group of guys on campus.
SJA CROSS COUNTRY INVITATIONAL
Saturday, October 1, Highland Road Park, 8 a.m.
SJA JV CHALLENGE VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT
Saturday, October 8, Academy Student Center
Tickets are available on sLocaltix.com.
GEAUX PINK VOLLEYBALL GAMEWednesday, October 12, Academy Student Center
All proceeds go to Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Research
SJA vs. Zachary
Freshmen 4 p.m.; JV 5 p.m.; Varsity 6 p.m.
Tickets are $6 and are available online at sLocaltix.com.
Please direct questions regarding the SJA athletic program to Athletic Director Erin Hart at email@example.com or (225) 388-2260.
The Sticker Shop is your one-stop shop for all spirit apparel, uniform sweats and accessories and is the perfect place to start your Christmas shopping for the special Redstickers in your life.
We are so excited to announce the new, custom acrylic and gold ornaments, keepsake box, block with crest and glass vase designed by local artist Becky Maher. These are gifts for any occasion.
Another new item in the Sticker Shop are SJA Pop Sockets. Bling out your phone with this fun little addition. And they’re back: Pom bar earrings are available now.
We now carry XS sweatpants, so come by the shop and see if this is the size you’ve been waiting for. Cooler days are just around the corner.
We offer the following ways to shop for your convenience:
• Have your daughter shop during her lunch period by visiting the Sticker Shop window.
• Click here to shop online
- Online orders may be picked up by a student during her lunch period or through our curbside pickup.
- Curbside pickup is available when the shop is open. Park in the circle drive in front of Mother Alice Hall (3080 Kleinert Ave.) and call the Sticker Shop at (225) 388-2237. A Mothers’ Club volunteer will bring your items to your vehicle.
• Sticker Shop Store Hours
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.*
*We are not open on days when campus is closed.
Thank you for continuing to support SJA and the Mothers’ Club by shopping at the Sticker Shop. We look forward to helping you show your Sticker pride!