St Francis is a wonderful school that cares. All of our children graduated from St Francis and either have gone to college or graduated from college. St Francis prepared them very well for college and careers. Their college dual enrollment gave valuable experience that AP courses just can't provide. The Principal cares and is an outstanding administrotor of the school. I am both pleased and proud that St Francis is there for my children.
Sending my children to the public high school was NOT going to happen and being Catholic, SFXHS seemed the wisest choice. We visited the school when our oldest child was in 8th grade and decided then and there that he would attend SFXHS as a freshman. When the decision was needed for our other child, it was easy. We got exactly what we expected, plus a little more. Sure, there are some drawbacks to a small enrollment, but the benefits overshadow the drawbacks. The emphasis on education, discipline, values and community service is what I wanted for my children. The low tuition is a bonus, but I would easily pay more to affect an improvement in facilities and overall quality of some of the instructors. More enrollment would hopefully equal more parent involvement, which unfortunately is lacking currently.
This school placed me at a disadvantage. Self touted as "college prep", I can attest that this institution failed to provide me with the knowledge base to allow me to succeed at the college level. I found that throughout my college career, I credit myself far more than my high school with any success I have had. The largest problem with this school is the lack of AP classes offered. AP classes provide the most gifted of high school students to enter into college with a number of credits already earned. Another problem the school faces is it's size in general. This school is small, even by private school standards. Throughout my time here, there was anywhere from 40-50 students at most. While the school will be quick to recite how the ratio of staff to students leads to more one on one interaction, there is an issue here that won't be recited. One of the best things about having a large student body is that a student will be able to find a place to fit in, and a group if not several groups of friends. At such a small institution, a single disagreement carries throughout the entire school, and the typical high school drama gets condensed. Overall, there are better options.
I am a parent of five children. Our oldest four all graduated from St. Francis Xavier High School. Our youngest is now a student there. Our oldest children have all gone on to college and YES...they went on to large colleges: USC in Columbia, Marquette University, and the College of Charleston. They have gone on for master's degrees and been commissioned as officers in our military...with college educations financed by ROTC scholarships earned by their work at this great school! Size means nothing if a student becomes a number, or a another seat filled in a classroom. At St. Francis Xavier HS, they are individuals, with unique personalities, dreams, needs, and desires. Their uniqueness is appreciated and celebrated. They gain self-confidence because they do have to participate in class, they do assume leadership roles...all under the guiding eyes of caring faculty. Sure, the building is old but is a high tech new building worth it if your child's teacher doesn't have the time to help your child and the counselor doesn't even know your child exits....? The families at this school truly care about education, children and each other...what more could you ask for.
St. Francis Xavier is definitely a family of students, parents, and teachers. SFXHS has small class sizes, teachers which enable the teachers to capitalize on student strengths by challenging them more, and also able to provide more individualized attention to the students who need it. The staff really knows" each student as an individual. This helps to create a "school home" where the students can feel comfortable. I truly like the fact that students are held to a strict dress and disciplinary code. Students are held accountable for their work, or lack thereof, as the case may be. Communication from teachers and staff with parents/guardians is constant. Community service and volunteerism is also a large part of what makes this school successful. Students are taught the value of giving their time and talent to the community and volunteer in different ways with the school. This is truly one of the best kepy secrets in Sumter
St. Francis Xavier is a school paying utmost attention to academic, spiritual, personal, and physical growth. Offering personalized atmosphere with individualized attention. Striving to strengthen student morale and help them realize their intellectual and personal potential. St. Francis Xavier High School encourages community involvement, helping insure our students become responsible, productive members of society. Mrs. Lavergne (principal) and teachers all have open doors to students for any help they may need, weather school related or personal. I could not have found a better place for my son.
St. Francis Xavier is a remarkable school! Our daughter graduated in 2010 and is in her Senior year at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, on a full scholarship. She was very well-prepared for college after four years at SFX HS, and participated in three different sports for the Padres. We recently hosted two European high school students who very much enjoyed a year of study at St. Francis. Our son just began his first year of high school at SFX HS. We love the family atmosphere and genuine, caring investment that the teachers make in each student. Classes are small with plenty of time for individualized instruction. Our teachers are very high caliber, very devoted to academic excellence. All students have the opportunity to engage in athletics; the emphasis is on learning about sports and anyone can join the team. It is also nice that everyone is welcome, you do not have to be Catholic, all children are valued and made to feel that they belong. We have two younger daughters and plan for them to attend St. Francis Xavier in the future. We will be a part of the Padres for many years to come. We hope to see SFX HS continue to grow; it is a wonderful place!
Do NOT let the class sizes or building appearance steer you away from this school! Unlike other private schools in Sumter, St. Francis Xavier is truly a family of students, parents, and teachers.This is our son's 8th school in 10 years of military moving. By far the smoothest transition EVER!!! He was embraced from day one and has had the opportunity to participate in Varsity cross country, basketball (amazing coaches!), student council, and various clubs-all as a new freshman. The students in his class, while all very different, have each others' backs, and respect for all is a given. St Francis, while small, is a very diverse group of students; surprisingly, many are not Catholic, and they all fit right in. The teachers have the time and resources to provide very individualized attention at a college prep level (or higher), and the principal is a gem! I am astounded at the amount of scholarships she helps her seniors obtain. In addition to all of this, our son is experiencing a faith-based education in a safe environment. This is the high school experience all students deserve!
Love St Francis for my son. We are not Catholic, but that is not a prerequisite for attending the school. It is a small school, which gives teachers plenty of time to focus on the individual. The classes are College Prep and challenge the students to expand their minds. The teachers are always ready to tutor by staying after school, during lunch, or coming in early to help. Their basketball team is awesome! The Coach is the best. The school doesn't offer all the niceties that other schools offer, but much of that is all fluff that most students don't utilize anyway. St Francis is a family led by the matriarch/principal (Susan Lavergne). Best choice we made for our kid was to take him out of Sumter School District!!
SFXHS is the most caring and supportive school with which I have ever been associated. The staff is excellent and dedicated. If a child is having problems, they are there to tutor or guide. Even the kids who are not the best at athletics play varsity sports. They religious - not just Catholic-values are encouraged and reinforced. Check it out!