Academic teams at SFHS are offered to students who seek an intellectual challenge, personal growth, and the benefits of team membership. Most teams are one year, two-credit courses that meet after school. Attendance, participation in team events, positive attitude and support for team members are used for student assessment. Some teams hold try-outs and/or require applications. For all others, students may sign up in August.
Using the links to the left or the pods below, visit each individual Academic Team page for details and applications.
Benefits of Membership
Participants develop academic and professional skills and knowledge beyond the classroom. They practice team building and cooperative planning, build friendships and camaraderie with classmates, and interact with motivated and positive students from other schools. Full commitment over a period of two to four years also adds to a student’s resume for college, and many teams exist in some form at the university level, often with scholarships. Finally, academic teams provide opportunities for new experiences and fun activities!
New Members Encouraged
We invite new freshmen and new and returning students to join any of the Academic Teams, typically at the beginning of the school year. No background or previous experience is required, however applications and auditions and/or interviews are held for many teams.
Students must have a 2.0 GPA, no F, and no more than 1 D on the previous semester’s transcript.
Membership and Responsibilities
Team membership commits the student to attending and participating in the meetings, practices and competitions just as an athletic team member would attend her sports practices and games. If the student has an excused absence from school on the day of a practice, that absence will be excused; however, the coach may need to drop that student if her absences are hindering the progress of the team or it becomes too difficult to catch up.
Students receive 1 academic credit per semester for each semester that they participate in an academic team. Letter grades will be based on regular attendance at team practices, and preparation for and participation in practices and competitions, per the team syllabus. Grades appear on the transcript and count towards unit requirements, but not towards students’ semester or cumulative GPAs. For the purpose of college applications, we currently recommend that academic teams be listed as extra-curriculars.
Parent Help Expected
Parent support is expected and may include: mentoring in areas of expertise, helping with competitions, providing healthy snacks, and/or transportation. All parent volunteers must have appropriate fingerprinting and driving forms, etc., on file with the front office. Information about parent volunteer requirements can be found at Parent Volunteer Program
The school provides entry fees for local, regional and state competitions (and national when possible). Out-of-town competitions, expenses for travel, lodging, and meals are the primary responsibility of the student and her parents. Most teams will purchase a T-shirt, sweatshirt or jacket, also a student expense.
Conflicting Events/ Teams
The athletic, fine arts, and academic team directors work together to resolve scheduling conflicts as much as possible in the best interest of the student and the team. However, it is the responsibility of the student and her parents to carefully evaluate her availability for tournaments, competitions, and performances to assure that overlap is avoided or is cleared by the coach/director well in advance.
Teams typically hold one or two weekly practices and additional practices, including weekends, prior to events. Each team coach will issue a calendar at the beginning of the season. This is similar to an athletic team.
The “Aca Deca” experience offers students the opportunity to gain a broad understanding of a new topic each year, e.g. the French Revolution or the Great Depression. The team competes against other local high schools across a variety of areas (Economics, Art, Music, Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science, and Social Science) in an annual competition including subject tests, speeches, essay, and the Super Quiz. Students from all GPA ranges needed! Interested students should contact coaches in April or May, as some meetings are held over the summer.
Academic Decathlon wrapped up their season this week. The theme this year was India. Competition was last Saturday, February 6, and the banquet where results were announced was last Tuesday, February 9. Overall, we placed 11th out of 21 teams in Sacramento County.
The Certamen (ker-ta-men) team prepares students for competition at Junior Classical League events. Students learn all aspects of classical society, history and mythology, and test their knowledge against high school teams from across the state. Events include: academic tests (e.g. history, mythology, grammar, vocabulary, Roman daily life); speech events; catapult and chariot; essay and story writing. The premier event is the Certamen, a team quiz contest. Sign up in August.
Mathletes meets weekly to practice problem solving techniques and general math principles. The team puts this practice to use at monthly competitions against other Sacramento area high school teams, including Jesuit, Christian Brothers, and Mira Loma. Competitions include problems from a variety of math levels. No prior experience necessary!
Congratulations to Katie Freitag, Jessica Walke, Lindsey Porter, Clarisa Bautista, Kiki Velez, Catherine Sutarjo, Jennifer Gilbert, Hannah Prehoda, Abby Prichard, Melody Goodall, Rose Conlin, Kate Olario and Anna Burns for participating in the Mathletes competition this past Thursday, Oct.13 at Florin High School! They completed varying challenge math tests against about 20 Sacramento area high schools. Great Job Mathletes! #sfhsmathletes
Coached by faculty and parent attorney mentors, Mock Trial students prepare to prosecute and defend a single case, serving as pretrial counsel, trial attorneys, witnesses, defendant, court clerk, reporter, bailiff, and artists. Students compete against area teams in six rounds of simulated trial at the Gordon D. Schaber courthouse. Auditions held in August.
Congratulations to our Mock Trial team for an excellent season! The team placed 8th in the Gordon D. Schaber Competition this weekend. A special congratulations to the following students who received top marks over the course of the competition:
Hannah Smith – Outstanding Pretrial Defense award
Leslie Young – Gordon D. Schaber Outstanding Attorney award
Elizabeth Griffin – Mock Trial Team MVP award
Congratulations to the St. Francis Mock Trial team for their win in Round 2 of the Mock Trial competition. The defense team was able to successfully defend their client, Evan Shem, leading to an acquittal.
A special congratulations is also presented to Frances Barbour and Kayla Hall who won the MVP awards for their rounds respectively.
The competition continues on Monday, February 23rd.
Constitutional Rights Foundation annually creates and produces a new set of Mock Trial materials based on an important issue facing America’s youth. The materials include a hypothetical criminal case (including summaries of case law, witness statements, official exhibits, and simplified rules of evidence), lesson plans on the central issues in the case, and competition rules and guidelines.
MUN simulates the crucial business of the United Nations assembly. Students represent assigned countries as UN delegates and become versed in their history, economy, politics and culture. Large-scale university MUN conferences field topics facing the international community. At these conferences, students serve on various committees (e.g. world Trade organization, Security Council.) Preconference research and position-paper writing culminates in these weekend-long diplomatic simulations scored by the university students who chair the committees.
Congratulations to the SFHS MUN team! During Veteran’s Day weekend the team attended the Stanford Model United Nations Conference. With both veteran and rookie members in attendance, the girls presented their research and perspective on specific topics, negotiated with other delegations, and met high school students from a variety of schools in California and beyond.
Additional congratulations to Kayla Wehner ‘17 for winning the distinction of Best Delegate in the Arab League, and to Anisha Rao ‘19 for an Honorable Mention in the International Council of Museums. Go Troubies!
Members of SFHS’ FIRST Robotics Team 692, one of a few all-girls teams in the United States, specialize in project engineering, program management, electronics, computer programming, animation, web design and public relations. As participants in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), students respond to challenges, work collaboratively as a team, master time management, strengthen communication skills, and practice “gracious professionalism.”
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The St. Francis Robotics Club, aka “The Fembots”, will compete in the Sacramento Regional FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21 at the UC Davis ARC Pavilion in Davis, Calif.
The Sacramento Regional robotics event has 55 teams from across northern California scheduled to compete. Teams will load in the facility on Wednesday with scheduled build sessions set for Thursday. The competition starts at 8:30 a.m. each day and runs until 4:30 p.m. Each winning alliance has three teams.
The team is always seeking members with the following attributes: reliability, motivation, willingness to learn new skills, a love of adventure, a drive to have fun, and a desire to show the world (and colleges) that “We Can Do It.” Students interested in joining are encouraged to contact our coaches at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Science Olympiad team competes in a series of individual and team events that encourage learning in biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, problem solving and technology. While some events require knowledge of scientific facts and concepts, others rely on science processes, skills or applications. All events involve teamwork and collaboration.
The Speech team provides opportunities for students to develop public speaking abilities while furthering their critical thinking and analytical skills. Through a variety of speaking opportunities to choose from, students may write original pieces, interpret published scripts or speeches, respond to prompts about world events, or compete impromptu. Students who want to improve presentation skills, enjoy drama/theater, have a passion for world events and can choose or write scripts are encouraged to audition! The team participates in 4 tournaments per season, mostly on Saturdays.