WELCOME TO ST. PIUS X HIGH SCHOOL
This web page will be a reference for you as needed. Its intent is to serve as a resource for you as a parent now that your child is entering high school. Hopefully, It will function as an avenue and bridge, given that your child is embarking on a vastly different, busy, and constantly-changing journey through high school.
I will consistently read over and update this page (as needed), so you might bookmark it and visit it regularly. There are links at the bottom of this page which are very helpful. Check them !
St. Pius X has two counselors -- one full time (Mr. Murphy) and one part time (Mrs. Mariza Cascone). Mrs. Cascone works primarily with the freshmen. Likewise, Ms. Krista Daniels, the Inclusive Education Teacher, assists students who have special learning needs; in addition, she coordinates efforts with students taking the "Education Practicum" course; these students serve as a resource on a daily basis for those with IEP's, accommodations' plans, and other learning needs.
There is a S.I.T. (Strategic Intervention Team) that acts as a bridge between struggling students and parents; should an intervention be needed for a student, teachers collaborate to assist the student in going forward to be more successful.
How does one prepare your child for high school?
A few suggestions:
1) you and your child should set some
mutual goals that are realistic and measurable
2) encourage a way to
in high school--sports, cheerleading, dance team, Student Council, FCA, debate, art, community service, drama, yearbook, art club, online newspaper, ministry team, Eco-Warriors, Pro-Life, Letters of Compassion, S.A.D.D., etc.;
visit the St. Pius X website
familiarize yourself with its contents
HOW DO YOU AS A PARENT PREPARE FOR THIS EMOTIONAL ADVENTURE THAT CONSTANTLY DEMANDS TIME AND ENERGY ON YOUR PART?
1) KNOW that each day will brings its share of highs and lows, sunshine and storms, and that teenagers never have problems, only
2) Make it a
priority to contact teachers
if you have some concerns about their class;
3) Pay very little attention to what you hear about a troubling situation at school until you seek the proper person(s) to clarify or resolve; your child's story is only one side, and it is often incomplete.
4) Know that parents' involvement with your children's life in high school will not be as "close", most likely, as it may have been in middle school;
willingness to listen
and be involved in your child's life is critical to their success, decision making, and adjustment. Communication will remain important, and parent-child communication is the most important way of staying in touch.
Know where your kids are on weekends
. Call and check! You are not their friend, and they don't need your approval!
7) Your kids will be confronted with choices about alcohol, drugs, sexual activity, dishonesty, internet use -- appropriate and inappropriate, undermining parental authority -- frequently and regularly. Talk to them about how to make wise choices.
8) If your child has a conflict with a peer or teacher, first encourage your child to resolve the conflict;
teach them how to cope
. Do not "rescue" them or try to resolve it yourself. One of the greatest gifts you can teach your children is how to be self-advocates; they will have to learn this in life, and high school is a good time to start!! Your kids have to learn coping skills and conflict resolution skills NOW so they can do it on their own when they leave home in a few short years.
Be your child's parent, not their friend.
They have plenty of friends. They need your guidance, direction, and discipline. They need you to help them set parameters.
10) Regarding homework and regular study,
your child should have regular homework
, but some of this routine may not occur consistently until semester 2; this is such because semester 1 is frequently a time when teachers are trying to get all students on the same page in their academic discipline. Hence, a fair amount of material that is covered may be review.
On each school day that has a regular schedule (Mon, Tues, Fri), there is a 25 minute study hall that coincides with period 5 and lunch [there are 4 lunch periods -- A,B,C,D -- and they rotate every three weeks]; however, that study hall time may not, and most likely, will not be enough time to complete all homework assignments. Friday is consistently a test and quiz day.
Mon & Tues normally have periods 1,2,3,4,5 (lunch & study hall), 6, and 7 that are 47 minutes long, beginning at 7:50; Fridays have periods 1-7 with a Mass after period 4 that shortens class periods about seven or eight minutes each. Wednesdays start at 8:30; periods 1,2,3 and 4 are 75 minutes long with lunch period 3. Thursdays begin at 8:30; periods 5, seminar (one hour), 6, and 7 are 75 minutes long with lunch period 6. We dismiss 15 minutes earlier on this day. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays dismiss about 2:40.
"Block days"-- Wednesday and Thursday -- are
late start days
that are useful for students to make up tests, get extra help from teachers, use the library and computer lab, attend extracurricular activity meetings, etc. Thursdays also have a "Seminar" period for study, ministry team meetings, student ambassador training, visits from college recruiters, opportunities to work and/or do research in the library, availability of academic resource rooms, peer tutoring, using library computers, using the computer lab, assemblies, and socialization.
Four other schedules we have entail classes ending before 2:40. One (Early Dismissal Schedule) comprises periods 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 with dismissal at 12:20. A second is the Thursday half day "block day" schedule: school begins at 7:50, classes are 75 minutes long, there is no seminar or lunch, and school dismisses about 11:55.
Fridays are a common day for a Pep Rally schedule: classes are 3 minutes shorter, and students may go to the gym for a pep rally, short assembly, or they may be dismissed at that time so the faculty can meet as a group.
Mass Days and Mass Schedules
Continuing this year, St. Pius will have, once a week, usually Friday, a "Mass Schedule" day when we have Mass after period 4 as noted above (about 10:30 am), depending upon the availability of St. Patrick's Church across the street. On that day, classes are 40 minutes long. Sometimes on Tuesday mornings at 7:00 am, and on Thursday mornings at 7:30 am, SPX has Mass in the chapel for interested students and teachers.
Parents are always welcome to come to this. Likewise, we have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on thursdays during the seminar period from 9:55 am to 10:55 am.
The Learning Center
Parents are advised about the
SPX "Learning Center."
This is in the library during the day-- students come here during their study hall (period 5). The Learning Center, operating before and after school is in the Library as well. When students miss assignments, teachers place their name on the 'DIAL' (Daily Incomplete Assignment List) list. Students who miss assignments must report to the center during study hall the day of the missed assignment, after school, or before school the following morning; if they do not, they receive a learning referral for the next day at 7:00 am--at which time the student meets with assistant principal Mr. Lee. If they do not report, a detention is issued. In any event, cooperation with this policy is an expectation. Students have two weeks to complete assignments without the penalty of Friday Night School (where the student must complete the assignment before leaving the building); after that, no credit is given, but the assignment must still be completed. Students cannot opt out of an assignment.
Tutors and Other Assistance
is a great website for math help. It is user-friendly. Some parts require a fee, but there are plenty of free resources.
Another excellent resource for multiple subjects, but mostly math and science, is
There are other online resources you can access; click Mr. Murphy's name and look for "Free Online Resources / Tutorials for Students."
8th Grade HIGH SCHOOL PLACEMENT Exam; 9th Grade PLAN test
The High School Placement Test has its own website now. You might wish to visit it, especially if you wish to take some practice exam questions OR if you have questions about the score your child earned. SPX's aspiring students take this exam early in January at St. Pius X.
There is some additional information about this test on the "Testing" section of the COUNSELING page.
Freshmen, beginning in 2015, will take the PLAN test sponsored by the Cambridge company. This is the 8th and 9th grade version of the ACT; the results of this test will give students and families a solid picture of skills and needs as the freshman year commences. This will take place on this year on November 2, 2016.
You can always call either counselor about any concern: Mr. Murphy, at 453-3450 x 249, Mrs. Cascone's at 453-3450 x 121. Ms. Krista Daniels, 816-453-3450 x 126, is a good resource for students who might need extra assistance on a daily basis in the classroom. Please do not hesitate to call if you need to.
An increasing concern for kids in high school is Internet safety. The organization
I-SAFE has extensive information and resources about keeping children safe from predators and adults who use the internet as a vehicle of contact with children. Go to their web site:
Another site is
I encourage you to visit one or both of these regularly.
After semester 1 ends, sit down with your freshman and talk about semester 2 goals. Whatever grades have been earned, and whatever habits have been formed, all represent a "benchmark" that the student has established. There is always room for improvement and establishing new benchmarks.