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We began the week with the unprecedented prospect of two hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time. We are grateful that Marco dissipated, and we now carefully watch the updates on Hurricane Laura’s ultimate path. The last several months have entailed making decisions in a world of 24-hour news cycles and immediate internet updates. Yet, we are challenged with how best to keep our community safe. I want to say a heartfelt thank you for your patience and understanding as we have had to make decisions that are rapidly changing week to week and even day to day.
To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak. Have no fear before them, because I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. (Jer. 1:7b-8)
It is vitally important that you ensure your daughter is taking her temperature each morning and reporting accurate information when completing the COVID symptom monitoring questionnaire. As a result of students and employees staying at home when they are sick – as well as other critical measures, including face coverings, social distancing in the classrooms and during lunch and handwashing/sanitizing practices – we have had very few cases and have found that they are due to exposure away from school. In the case of a positive COVID-19 test result, we will undertake contact tracing. If evidence points to possible exposure for your daughter while at school, we will contact you by phone. SJA’s leadership continues to ask that parents and students do their part while away from school. Students who are found to be attending events and parties where a positive case has been sited and adherence to mandates regarding face coverings and social distancing were not followed may be asked to remain away from SJA for 14 days and continue classes remotely.
Now that school has started, we want to give you the opportunity to learn more about your daughter’s teachers and the classes she is taking this semester. Each teacher will create a short introductory video that we will post on the school’s website for you to view at your convenience. We will email parents when the videos are available. In the meantime, please visit our Faculty and Staff Directory (under the About tab on our website) should you need to contact your daughter’s teacher.
Your daughter’s counselor is also an important part of your daughter’s school day. Our counseling team is focused on the social, emotional and mental well-being of our students. Adolescents face many pressures, and the partnership between school and parents plays a great role in guiding our girls. Helping them understand the difference between healthy stress and anxiety are key. In February, we have invited author, therapist and executive director of the Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls, Lisa Damour, Ph.D., to speak to our students, faculty and parents. Her talk will center around her findings in the book, Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls. Pick up a copy of the book now, and make plans to join us for this talk!
Again, thank you for your continued support during these unprecedented times. We will persist in our diligence to keep the school clean and your daughter safe. Administration and moderators are working hard to bring fun and safe activities back to campus to ensure that the social environment SJA is known for can be enjoyed by all.
Prayers to all our families, and please continue to pray for our teachers and staff members that they can remain healthy and educating our young women.
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
Eligible students will be presented with their academic award in class on Monday, August 31, for students with last names beginning with A-K or Tuesday, September 1, for students with last names beginning with L-Z. Academic Letters are awarded to students who attain a cumulative GPA of 3.5, and academic bars are awarded to students who maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5. AP scholars will also be honored in classes.
Liturgy of the Word
On Tuesday, September 1, we will observe World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation with a prayer service modeled after the Catholic Liturgy of the Word. This will be our first Liturgy in our hybrid learning environment. The service will be videoed in the chapel and streamed to the classrooms and to remote students. Even though we cannot be physically together, we are always connected as the Body of Christ. To symbolize this connection, we will light a candle in the chapel and in each classroom as we begin. We invite our remote students, along with parents and alumnae, to join us in lighting a candle at their homes during the service, 10:05-10:39 a.m.
The candles will continue to be part of our services until we are able to gather as a school community to celebrate the Eucharist.
National Honor Society Virtual Induction Ceremony
Wednesday, September 2, 1 p.m. Juniors and seniors eligible for induction, as well as their parents, were notified via email. The induction ceremony will take place via Microsoft Teams.
Labor Day Holiday
School is closed on Monday, September 7, in observance of Labor Day.
Change to Calendar
Tuesday, September 8, is a regular school day, not a Faculty Professional Development Day as previously scheduled.
Class of 2021 Ring Ceremony
We will celebrate the traditional Ring Ceremony for the class of 2021 after school on Wednesday and Thursday, September 9 (last names A-K) and September 10 (last names L-Z), beginning at 3:15 p.m. on the Batchelor Terrace and in the Orchard. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, we will not be able to welcome parents to campus. We will send information closer to the dates regarding how to watch the ceremonies via live stream.
Participation in the ring ceremony is mandatory for all seniors. If a student cannot participate, she must submit a letter from her parents to Dean of Women Erika Angarita (email@example.com). Dress uniforms are required.
Please keep in mind that all students must use an official SJA graduation ring in the ceremony, either purchased from Balfour or borrowed from an SJA alumna. Students may also use a state championship ring, either their own or borrowed from a current SJA student or alumna.
Testing Prep In-School Session
Part of SJA’s Testing Prep Program is an in-school portion that will give students the skills and strategies they need as well as individualized practice for ACT and SAT testing. We will have nine 50-minute sessions (five in the fall, four in the spring) of ACT/SAT prep that occur during the school day. These sessions are part of a grade-specific curriculum that focuses on the main test that occurs during that grade year as well as on general testing tips and anxiety tools. We will follow Schedule 10 on these days.
Dates are as follows:
- Thursday, September 10
- Friday, September 18
- Thursday, September 24
- Tuesday, October 6
- Friday, November 6
First quarter mid-quarter grades will be current on MySJA at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, September 11. Please direct questions regarding your MySJA account to Assistant to the Registrar Stacy Rennhoff (firstname.lastname@example.org; 388-2318). Questions about grades should be directed to your daughter’s teacher(s) or the Counseling Center (388-2282).
- Second quarter mid-quarter grades will be available on November 11.
- Third quarter mid-quarter grades will be available on February 3.
- Fourth quarter mid-quarter grades will be available on April 16 for seniors and April 23 for grades 9-11.
Wednesday, September 16, for Professional Learning Community. Students are dismissed at 1:50 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.
Big Sis/Little Sis Program
On Monday and Tuesday, September 21 and 22, freshmen “little sisters” will meet their senior “big sisters” as part of SJA’s traditional Big Sis/Little Sis program. The event will be held from 3:15 to 3:45 p.m. and will follow all COVID-related mandates. The program’s purpose is to welcome incoming freshmen to our school. Each freshman will be randomly matched with a senior group to foster new relationships with their peers and establish connections with their new classmates.
Several SJA-sanctioned activities and events occur throughout the year, all on campus: Candlelight Ceremony, Sweet Tooth Day, Hat Day, Senior Mass flowers and Senior Goodbye letters. Due to COVID and the limitations on social gatherings, we are asking that seniors, freshmen and their parents refrain from any Big Sis/Lil Sis events off campus and outside of school time (such as sleepovers, parties, dinners, etc.) in order to minimize the risk to all.
Questions? Parents of seniors should contact senior class moderators Aimee Cronan (email@example.com) or Angelle Saia (firstname.lastname@example.org). Parents of freshmen should contact freshman class moderators Cristina Scott (email@example.com) or Allie Mitchell (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Student Council Fun Day
Friday, September 25. Students will be provided details closer to the date.
Face Coverings Update
According to recently released guidelines, gaiters and masks with valves are less effective in stopping the spread of COVID. Students, faculty and staff may not wear these types of face coverings. Please see the graphic below.
Online Health Information Form
We are finalizing the new Health Information Form to be completed and submitted through MySJA. Please look for instructions sent via email next week.
If you have not yet provided us with an official, up-to-date immunization record, please obtain a copy and fax it to 344-5714; scan and email to email@example.com; or mail to St. Joseph’s Academy, ATTN: Nurse Marie Vukovics, 3015 Broussard Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70808. We will also accept records faxed directly from your doctor’s office. Please note that a photographed or printed copy from MyChart does not fulfill the state requirement.
We ask parents of juniors and seniors to note the following: The State Department of Health and Hospitals’ immunization requirements have changed. All students 16 years of age and in the 11th grade are required by state law to show proof of having received a second dose of the MCV4 (Meningococcal) vaccine. Therefore, we need an up-to-date record for all juniors and seniors.
Until the 2019-2020 school year, the meningococcal booster was a recommended vaccine. Therefore, your daughter may have already received it; you can check with her doctor. If she has received the vaccine, a copy of the record can be faxed to SJA at (225) 344-5714. If she has not, you will need to schedule an appointment, as soon as possible, for her to catch up.
Please direct questions to School Nurse Marie Vukovics (firstname.lastname@example.org; 388-2208).
ACT Test Site Update
Due to current COVID-19 school guidelines, we will be a private ACT testing site for SJA students only through the end of 2020. School-day procedures for social distancing and cleaning will be followed during the test. We will offer the ACT on September 12, September 19, October 17, October 24 and December 12. If you have already registered for the ACT, no action is necessary. If you would like to register, please visit http://www.act.org/. During the registration process, the system defaults to search by zip code. You will need to choose the Change Location option and enter the test center code listed below that is associated with the test date you choose. Please direct questions to Assistant to the Deans Cristina Benigno at email@example.com.
Test Center Codes
- 09/12: 161060
- 09/19: 161067
- 10/17: 161069
- 10/24: 161060
- 12/12: 161060
Important Dates 2020-2021
Click here for a listing of important dates for the upcoming school year. Please be reminded that with the uncertainty of evolving COVID-19 restrictions, this calendar is subject to change.
Holiday Office Closings
The main office is closed on these holidays. Please plan accordingly.
- September 7: Labor Day
- October 16: Fall Holiday
- November 23-27: Thanksgiving
- December 21-January 4: Christmas
- January 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday
- February 15-19: Mardi Gras
- April 2-9: Easter
Office Hours/Visitors to Campus
Following recommendations of healthcare officials, we are not allowing visitors to campus at this time. We ask anyone who needs to conduct business with the school to please call the person with whom they need to talk or the main line at (225) 383-7207. Office staff are available to assist you from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Illness, Doctor Visits, Tardies
If your daughter is sick and will not attend school, please contact Students’ Receptionist Erin McLean (firstname.lastname@example.org; 388-2256) 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. 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.
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.
On the days when your daughter is learning from home and logs into her classes at the start of each class period, her teachers will record her as “remote” using MySJA. She is considered present but not on campus. Due to glitch in MySJA, students see themselves with an unexcused absence. Please be assured that these “unexcused absences” are not calculated into your daughter’s attendance record. We apologize for any confusion this may cause.
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 3 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. 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. After-school library rules can be found in the School Handbook under the Students and Parents portals. Please direct questions to Librarian Rebecca Stagg (email@example.com; 388-2235).
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org; 388-2240).
Free Heart Screenings
The Louisiana Pediatric Cardiology Foundation provides free heart screenings to high school student-athletes. The SJA Athletic Department recommends that each athlete undergo this free screening. Please visit the LPCF website for more information and to schedule your appointment.
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 (email@example.com; 388-2318).
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 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 Stacy Rennhoff (firstname.lastname@example.org; 388-2318) in the Registrar’s office.
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.
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 the Deans’ Office before or after school or during the student’s lunch period.
We want to make the carpool lines as painless as possible for our parents. We ask that you refrain from using your cell phone if possible while in line, especially when the line is moving. Many students and faculty members are using crosswalks that pass through the carpool lines, and we need everyone paying attention to the teachers and security officer working the carpool line. Please pull up as far as possible to allow for a maximum numbers of students to load at one time.
Also remember that students cannot be dropped off on Broussard, Parker, Kleinert or South Eugene. Students cannot be picked up at the Medaille Hall circle until 4 p.m. or later. Our security officer will ask you to move to the carpool line if you arrive before 4 p.m. We also ask that you remember that our surrounding streets are school zones. Please observe the school-zone speed limits.
The 2020-2021 yearbooks are currently on sale. Please note that the price increases to $65 on September 1. Click here to purchase your copy today. 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.
Each Wednesday at 7 a.m., outside of the Chapel at SJA. In case of inclement weather, we will move inside the chapel. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, participation is limited to SJA students and faculty/staff members only. Please remember that face coverings and social distancing are required.
8th Annual SJA Sticker Scramble
On Monday, October 26, the SJA Dads’ Club will hold its 2020 Sticker Scramble at TopGolf of Baton Rouge. The Sticker Scramble is now in its 8th year and has raised almost $80,000 for enhancements to SJA.
If you are interested in playing or in supporting this great event with a sponsorship, please contact Dads’ Club Moderator Meg Gerald (email@example.com; 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 October 26 at TopGolf!
Register Now for Sticker Stampede
Registration is now open for the 2020 Sticker Stampede presented by Varsity Sports. This year’s race is set for Saturday, November 21. We will start the day at 8 a.m. with runners and walkers of all ages and abilities participating in our half-mile, one-mile, 5K or 10K runs. After the race, runners and spectators alike are invited to stick around for our Finisher Festival, sponsored by Drs. Jimmy Lalonde and Elise Scallan, featuring free food and beverages, music and kids’ games.
Anyone looking to build up to or improve their 5K race is welcome to join us, along with race sponsor Varsity Sports, for a free, three-week training program, kicking off Thursday, October 15, at 5:30 p.m. on campus.
Sponsorship opportunities for the event are still available starting at $250. For more information, to register or to volunteer, contact Alumnae Director Katie Jeter Valenciano ’04 (firstname.lastname@example.org; 388-2244) or visit www.stickerstampede.org.
Save the Date: Grandparents Week for Seniors
Grandparents Week for Seniors is tentatively set for the week of January 25, 2021. Grandparents of seniors will receive an invitation to join their senior granddaughters for lunch during that week. Seniors and grandparents will dine together in Mother Alice Hall during one of the days of the week, which will be indicated on the invitation. Seniors will then take a photograph with their grandparents and lead them on a tour of campus. Grandparents should look for “SJA Event” signs posted around campus which will indicate parking spaces. Grandparents are asked to RSVP by Tuesday, January 19, to Assistant Director of Advancement Cydney Morris (email@example.com; 388-2270).
Soirée Rescheduled: Save the Date
Mark your calendars for Thursday, March 4, for The Soirée. Join us for live music, silent and live auctions and great food and drinks in the Academy Student Center. If you would like information about serving as a committee member, volunteering or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Assistant Director of Advancement Cydney Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org; 388-2270).
Grandparents Day for Freshmen
Grandparents Day for Freshmen will be held during the spring semester. Once the date has been set, we will notify parents, and grandparents will receive an invitation. Please direct questions to Assistant Director of Advancement Cydney Morris (email@example.com; 388-2270).
Save the Date: Mother-Daughter Brunch and Style Show
The 2020-2021 Mother-Daughter Brunch and Style Show has a new look! The Mothers’ Club is excited to announce that the 2020-2021 Mother-Daughter Style Show, An Evening Under the Sea, is set for Friday, April 30, 2021, at the Raising Cane’s River Center. Please join the Mothers’ Club and support this wonderful event. We are looking forward to fun-filled evening this spring.
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.
Allison Hipwell Bruton ’95
Ellen Smith Frazier
Class of 2021 Counselor
September is a busy month for the Class of 2021, and we are here to help! Some important updates are listed below followed by a special message from Ms. Banta regarding mental wellness during the pandemic.
Although some colleges have gone “test optional” for admissions because of COVID-19, most have not done so for scholarship consideration. We strongly encourage our seniors to take the ACT (or SAT) if they haven’t already done so and retake as needed.
Due to current COVID-19 school guidelines, we will be a private ACT testing site for SJA students only through the end of 2020. School-day procedures for social distancing and cleaning will be followed during the test. We will offer the ACT on September 12, September 19, October 17, October 24 and December 12. If you have already registered for the ACT, no action is necessary. If you would like to register, please visit http://www.act.org/. During the registration process, the system defaults to search by zip code. You will need to choose the Change Location option and enter the test center code listed below that is associated with the test date you choose.
Test Center Codes
- 09/12: 161060
- 09/19: 161067
- 10/17: 161069
- 10/24: 161060
- 12/12: 161060
Upcoming SAT Test Date
Late Fee Required
September 15 (mail registration)
NACAC Virtual College Fairs
NACAC Virtual College Fairs (virtualcollegefairs.org) is a new service designed to replicate much of in-person college fairs experience, which the association has offered for more than 45 years. Because of the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing health concerns surrounding large gatherings, college fairs were cancelled this year. In their place, NACAC’s virtual fairs, powered by VisitDays, provide a dynamic new digital meeting space for students no matter where they live or what their situation. Virtual fair dates are (currently) set for September 13, October 12, October 18 and November 8. Since the colleges participating vary across the different dates, be sure to check the college list for each date to find the schools in which you are interested. Click here for more information.
College representatives will be visiting with our students virtually this semester. As usual, emailed announcements will be sent ahead of time, and the visits will be announced in our morning announcements during the school day.
Additional College Information
We will invite students to one-on-one appointments with us this month to discuss college selection. We will be conducting these appointments over the next several weeks, but students can always email us, stop by or Team chat anytime they have questions or require a meeting with us before they receive the invitation for their personal one-on-one meeting. We are emailing students links to some very helpful presentations related to the college selection process. These presentations do not replace their individual one-on-one appointments with us, but they do contain very important information regarding the first steps in the college application process. The first two presentations are entitled: Creating a Common Application Account and The College Application Process.
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
The FAFSA application must be completed to qualify for TOPS and other financial aid. The application will be available on or after October 1, 2020, and may be completed using 2019 tax information. Please see https://fafsa.ed.gov for additional details.
Your daughters will average their estimated TOPS GPA during small groups with Ms. Banta. Remember that the TOPS core GPA is not the SJA GPA. Please take some time this month to discuss your daughter’s TOPS GPA with her.
TOPS award amounts are funded at the 2016-2017 tuition levels. Any tuition rate increases by individual colleges are not covered by TOPS funding. Please click here for current amounts for each college.
For additional information about the TOPS program, click here.
A Message from Ms. Banta
My goal is to continue to work with your daughters to keep their senior year as fun and exciting as possible amid the unexpected. I will be visiting with your daughters this month to discuss the topics of senior year expectations and some suggestions for handling the changes we are all experiencing. Adolescence is a developmental transition of individuation/separation in which your daughters are trying to achieve autonomy. Of course, this is the parents’ goal as well: teaching their birds to fly so they can leave the nest. Adolescents are still going through physical and brain growth. This is a time for self-discovery and working through their thoughts, feelings and emotions independent from their parents. This is why peer interaction is so important to them, especially now that their social interaction has been interrupted by the pandemic.
It is important that parents be aware of normal teenage moods versus behaviors that are harmful. Be aware and attentive to the behaviors below, and please let me know if you notice any unusual change(s) in your daughter.
- school work suffers
- isolating from friends
- lack of motivation
- oversleeping or sleep disturbances
- changes in eating
- chronically worried
- loss of interest in activities
AMY SCHEURICH HOUSE '97
Class of 2022 Counselor
My maternity sub, Mrs. Dana Schlotterer, was in classes to discuss your daughters’ junior year and to talk about wellness and mental health during the pandemic.
As always, our role is to continue to assist and encourage your daughters to be successful as students and young women at SJA.
The focus of junior year is college readiness. There will be events along the way to help with this process. Although these events will look different this year and will likely be virtual, I wanted to provide you with a list of what the juniors can look forward to this fall:
- National College Fair
- PSAT testing
- Individual appointments
NACAC Virtual College Fairs
NACAC Virtual College Fairs (virtualcollegefairs.org) is a new service designed to replicate much of the in-person college fair experience, which the association has offered for more than 45 years. Because of the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing health concerns surrounding large gatherings, college fairs were cancelled this year. In their place, NACAC’s virtual fairs, powered by VisitDays, provide a dynamic new digital meeting space for students no matter where they live or what their situation. Virtual fair dates are (currently) set for September 13, October 12, October 18 and November 8. Click here for more information.
PSAT: The pandemic has created some uncertainty about how and when the juniors will take the PSAT in October. Parents will be notified when a plan is solidified. The PSAT is the test that is used to qualify students for the National Merit Scholarship Program and is a good predictor for how they will perform on the SAT.
ACT: SJA will have all juniors take a district ACT test in March. This will be held at SJA.
LINDSAY CARLINO '02
Class of 2023 Counselor
During the week of August 17, I met in person with all sophomores through their theology classes. During my meeting, I reviewed the differences in their weighted, unweighted and core GPAs. Students and parents need to be aware of this since every college uses its own standards for granting admission and awarding scholarships. These GPAs vary depending on the courses your daughter takes.
For instance, the Taylor Opportunity Program (TOPS) requires a core GPA of 2.5 in the 19 courses in the TOPS curriculum and a 20 on the ACT to be awarded scholarship money toward tuition to in-state colleges and universities. Your daughter’s TOPS GPA is not included on her transcript as it is calculated separately by the state. Some helpful links about the TOPS program are listed below.
The requirements for the SJA honors diploma were also reviewed during these meetings. For a complete list of the requirements, please click here.
All sophomores will take the Pre-ACT on Tuesday, October 13. The Pre-ACT is a valuable test in that it is an official practice test for the ACT. It includes tests in English, math, reading and science and is scored 1-36 just like the ACT, but it has fewer questions and will take less time to administer. This test also provides students with a predicted ACT score range based on their performance.
All sophomores will take the PSAT on Wednesday, October 14. 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, language and math and is scored 320-1520. Providing our sophomores with the opportunity to take this test will give them an advantage in that they can familiarize themselves with the timing and question format for this high-stakes test junior year.
I explained these two tests during my classroom visits in August. Your daughter can find test prep information for both the Pre-ACT and PSAT on her Counseling Center Class of 2023 Moodle page. Students will receive results along with an explanation during classroom visits early in the spring semester.
Balancing Life and Mental Health
Being a high school student is tough enough, but throw in all the changes over the last seven months due to COVID, and students’ stress levels are higher than usual. A large portion of my classroom visit was discussing the importance of maintaining a good balance among the various areas of the girls’ lives (family, spiritual life, physical health, emotional health and social/community). It is important that your daughter can recognize when things are out of balance and implement some reflection and relaxation techniques so that she can think clearly to problem solve. I discussed the following indicators that can help her identify when she is stressed and struggling:
- Negative self-talk
- Reactions that are exacerbated
- Drastic changes in sleep patterns
- Drastic changes in eating habits
- Isolation from friends, family and activities she once enjoyed
- Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches and feeling jittery
While many of these can be considered typical in the short term for your daughter’s stage in development, they can be problematic if prolonged. I discussed several examples about how she can tell if she needs to reach out for help to deal with an issue she is going through. In addition, I gave her many examples of stress-relief techniques so that she can deescalate herself to calm down and think clearly. A few I shared were:
- Communicate with parents, school counselor and other mentors
- Avoid doom scrolling on social media
- List things to be thankful for
- Take quiet time to reflect
- Keep established routines
- Check-in with a friend
- Be active
- Guided relaxation/imagery (mindfulness)
Community Counseling Resources
While I 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 me for help in figuring out a few clinicians who may be a good fit. I know that looking at a list of counselors who accept your insurance can be overwhelming. I also have six pages of resources available on the Counseling Center Moodle page that can be accessed through your daughter’s account. I update this list at least once per semester.
MARY BETH ELFERT
Class of 2024 Counselor
I will be in Theology classes getting to know your daughters. We will talk about many aspects of transitioning to high school, including the importance of time management, academic and personal responsibility and how their decisions and grades as freshmen directly impact their ability to get into the college they want to attend. In addition, I will talk to them about how to maintain their emotional health and strive for balance during this time of transition.
If you have any questions or concerns about your daughter at any time during the year, please feel free to contact me at 388-2281 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I am happy to help!
Please check your daughter’s grades regularly. If you see that your daughter needs additional assistance, SJA has a Learning Center available to provide extra help at no charge during lunch periods and after school. The Learning Center can also provide you with a private tutor list.
- September 1: Liturgy of the Word, dress uniform
- September 7: Labor Day, no school
- September 11: Mid-quarter grades due
- September 21 and 22: Big Sis/Lil Sis Reveal, after school
- September 30: Liturgy of the Word, dress uniform
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 and social studies is provided 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 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. Email email@example.com.
Science Resource is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during all three lunch hours and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Learning Center classroom in the library. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
ENGLISH RESOURCE AND ACADEMIC COUNSELING
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. 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. 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.
ACT Prep Courses
As your daughter prepares to take the ACT 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 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 https://extrapointtestprep.com/
Princeton Review: www.princetonreview.com
Mastery Prep: https://masteryprep.com/
Best in Class BR: https://bestinbr.com/act-prep/
Magnolia Prep: www.magnoliaprep.com
Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/join/T5BB5SDJ
Sylvan Learning Center: https://locations.sylvanlearning.com/us/baton-rouge-blue-bonnet-la/act-prep
Materials found on the ACT website: www.act.org
Faith development is a key component in the lives of our students, and we will do our very best to safely facilitate ways for our girls to encounter Christ. Our new Campus Minister, Kathleen Peek Evans, will continue to offer weekly rosary, adoration, Bible study and retreats following COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Currently, class retreats are scheduled on the following dates but are subject to change.
- Senior Retreat: March 8-9, 2021
- Junior Retreat: February 1, 2021
- Sophomore Retreat: Monday, March 8, 2021
- Freshman Retreat: Monday, November 9, 2020
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 Service Directory can be found on Moodle. Please read this information so you are aware of requirements. The deadline for completing service requirements is April 1, 2021. There will be checkpoints throughout the year to ensure timely completion of the service requirement.
The x2vol program for tracking service hours has a smart phone app. Go to your app store, search x2vol and follow the prompts.
Summer service hours completed during the months of May, June, July and August need to be entered into x2vol by Wednesday, September 9, to count for this year. Sister Chris Pologa is available on Tuesdays during all lunch periods to answer questions about service and to help students with service entries. Students may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by her office in Mother Alice Hall, room 212.
There is also a tutorial video on the x2vol app which discusses how to enter hours.
Please note that failure to turn in service hours by the deadline will result in a checklist. Seniors must complete their service requirements in order to graduate from SJA, and underclasswomen must complete their service hours in order to return to SJA the following year.
Each year, our parents learn about the importance of SJA’s Annual Fund during our Back-to-School Night gatherings. Due to restrictions currently in place because of COVID-19, we are unable to welcome parents to campus this fall. To provide you with information about the 2020-2021 Parents Annual Fund, we will email a link to a video during the week of September 14. Additional information, including your Annual Fund commitment form, will follow in the mail. You can also check out the Giving page on our website.
We look forward to partnering with you as we educate your daughters in the spirit and charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph.
For additional information, please contact Mission Advancement Director Meg Gerald (email@example.com; 388-2254).
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org; 388-2336). Click here to purchase your brick today.
SJA Mothers' Club
The SJA Mothers’ Club membership drive is officially under way for the 2020-2021 school year. The first 100 moms to join were entered into a raffle for free tickets to our annual Mother-Daughter Brunch & Style Show. Congratulations to Angel Mader Heath ’96, mother of junior Madison Heath! We can’t wait to see you at this year’s exciting event in April.
If you are not yet a member of the Mothers’ Club, there is still time to sign up. Through a system of active committees, the Mothers’ Club hosts several events and is generously available to support the administration, faculty and students in day-to-day activities of the school. Click here to register today!
Calling all freshman moms! New to the school and have questions? Don’t worry, we have all been there! Join the SJA Mothers’ Club Executive Board on Thursday, September 10, at 6:30 p.m. as they host a virtual Meet and Greet. This event, typically held in August, was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. Click here to register for the virtual get-together. You will receive a Zoom invitation at a later date.
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. Sign up now!
The first 100 dads to join will have their names put into a drawing to receive two complimentary tickets and t-shirts for Father-Daughter Day. Save the date of Sunday, April 18, 2021, and join us for a day of fun and fellowship with your daughter and other SJA dads and daughters.
Track & Field Virtual Information and Organizational Meeting
Wednesday, September 9, 3-3:45 p.m. Coach Charlie Daigle will host a virtual meeting. More information will be provided to students via email closer to the date.
SJA Invitational Cross Country Meet
Saturday, October 3, Highland Road Park, 8:30 a.m.
Please direct questions to Athletic Director Dorinda Beaumont (email@example.com; 388-2290).
New Virtual Shop
The SJA Mothers’ Club is excited to announce the new Virtual Sticker Shop is up and running! The new online retail store has all of your back-to-school essentials, including uniform sweatpants, sweatshirts, rain jackets and face masks.
Check out all the new colors of our Comfort Color sweatshirts. These are always a favorite with the girls. We have a new full-zip red hoodie that we are continuing to restock as they fly off the shelves. Our Marucci shorts, monogramed with SJA, are perfect for PE class. We are now restocked and have them available in all sizes. We have the perfect solution for virtual learning days: two styles of PJ pants and new soft lounge shorts for when the girls only need to be in uniform from the waist up!
Curbside pickup will be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. from the circle driveway in front of Mother Alice Hall (3080 Kleinert Avenue). When you arrive on campus, call the Sticker Shop at (225) 388-2237, and a Mothers’ Club volunteer will bring your items to your vehicle. Additionally, students can pick up pre-purchased items on Tuesdays and Thursdays during their lunch periods through the Sticker Shop window.
We look forward to helping you show your Sticker Pride! Please email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.