Shadow Day: 5 Reasons to Experience Holy Family Catholic High School

Life is full of big decisions. At the time, none seems more important than deciding where’s the right place for your student who’s ready to make the leap to high school.  While that decision may be a critical turning point in your student’s success, it doesn’t have to be difficult, frustrating, nerve-racking or exhausting. In fact, that is exactly why Holy Family Catholic High School has made its Shadow Day program a realistic reflection of a day-in-the-life of a Holy Family student. No red carpet. No showering with expensive gifts. No formal tours.

Just a real-life experience of what it’s like being part of “The Family.”

“We are taking the whole idea of learning what a school is about to a very real experience,” says Scott Breimhorst, Holy Family Executive Director of Admissions. “We want to provide an experience that is as identical to a day at Holy Family as you can possibly get.”

This seeing-is-believing approach allows shadow students to “walk a mile” in another Holy Family student’s shoes. They get to see the daily routines of students just like them, with similar interests, hopes, dreams and goals.

Shadow Day visits begin in late September (this year, it starts September 22 to coincide with the FIRE 22 theme for the Class of 2022) and continue until mid-May. It’s easy to schedule a visit. Just contact Holy Family. Don’t forget to check out what you need to know before you visit.

Before you make that phone call or send us an e-mail, here are the five must-see-to-believe Shadow Day experiences your student will enjoy at Holy Family Catholic High School.

  1. PERSONALIZATION: No Student’s Visit is the Same

Every Holy Family student has unique interests, abilities and personal gifts. (We have more than 60 extracurricular activities to check out.) That’s why each Shadow Day is personally tailored to meet the needs and expectations of each prospective student.

  • What are your interests? When you schedule a shadow visit, our admissions team will ask your student about his or her academic and extracurricular interests. Why? That way we can best match prospective students with a student host.
  • Interested in robotics? Get paired with a student on our world-qualifying robotics team.
  • Nordic ski? Play hockey? Love performing arts? We’ll team you up with a student who will introduce you to others with the same interests. You’ll be able to ask questions and get answers from students just like you.
  • Passionate about singing? Play an instrument? Bring your talents and join in.
  • Can You Request a Shadow Host? Absolutely. If you have a friend or neighbor you want to shadow, just let us know. And if your interests are somewhat different, that’s okay. You’ll still meet students, teachers or coaches who will make your high-school experience memorable.
  • Time Challenged? While we recommend experiencing a full day at Holy Family, we know sometimes busy schedules make it difficult. Partial-day visits can be arranged. And if you want to bring a friend, we’ll make sure both of your interests are addressed.
  1. REAL-LIFE: A True Holy Family Day

It’s important that prospective students get a realistic feel for what their own Holy Family day might be like. That’s why we team 8th grade shadow students with freshmen, in most cases. Transfer students from other high schools are matched with students from their same grade. How do we make our Shadow Day as real as can be?

  • Follow Actual Class Schedules. Shadow students follow their host’s daily schedule, including attending their classes. Shadows experience typical freshman-year classes, including Biology, Sacred Scripture, World History and Geography, World Literature and more! Want to experience band, chorus, or an art class? Let us know!
  • What’s Convocation? Any Holy Family school day isn’t complete without our student-led Convocation. Each day, we hold an all-school gathering that anchors our students and teachers in faith, celebrates our accomplishments, and keeps everyone in the loop about school news and upcoming events.
  • What About Lunch? Read on…that one deserves a shout-out all its own.
  1. MEET & GREET: Students, Teachers and Coaches

With almost 150 shadow students visiting Holy Family Catholic High School each year, our Holy Family students are accustomed to seeing prospective students in the halls, sitting among them in classes, or visiting clubs or athletic teams. “Hey, Shadow!” greetings, followed by high fives are not uncommon. We want to make sure you meet as many students as possible.

  • The Inside Scoop. We’re proud to say that our students really know each other—who plays what sport, who is passionate about particular subjects, who is a member of what club. This allows the student hosts to connect shadow students with other students who have similar interests.
  • Class Action. Our teachers enjoy meeting shadow students and involving them in class activities too. They won’t call you out—but if you want to jump in and participate, it’s all you!
  1. YOU DESERVE A BREAK: Lunch and Fun

There’s a lot to digest over the course of a school day, and shadow students and their hosts welcome a pause in the action. Time and again, we hear how prospective students say that the Holy Family lunch program is a Shadow Day highlight.

  • Lunch On Us! Shadow students can order the special entree of the day, cruise the fresh salad bar, tower their trays with à la carte items and, for dessert, they won’t want to miss out on our very own Carol Gestach’s freshly baked cookies. They. Are. Legendary.
  • Beyond the Classroom. Yup, it’s a real thing, with the acronym BTC. This is a chance for students to unwind after lunch. Students and, yes, sometimes teachers, compete in friendly ping-pong matches, organize pickup basketball games or just enjoy time to catch up with friends. It’s flexible and fun, and meant to be that way. If it is game day, students sometimes use this time as a study hall to get a jump start on homework.
  1. BE HEARD. We Want Your Feedback

Shadow Day doesn’t end once you leave Holy Family Catholic High School. We want to hear from you, both students and parents.

  • We want to know how the day went.
  • Answer your questions.
  • Hear your student’s thoughts.

Are there more areas of interest your student wants to explore? We can arrange that.

Schedule a visit.

Questions? If you or your potential student has additional questions before or after a Shadow Day visit, contact Scott Breimhorst, Executive Director of Admissions, or Rob Bell, Admissions and Financial Aid Officer, at (952) 443-1955, or e-mail admissions@hfchs.org.

60-Plus Holy Family Extracurricular Activities

We’ve all been there. We invest in all kinds of activities for our kids to pursue. It’s part of the growing process: developing the whole person, not just academically, but physically, socially and emotionally.

Then, as high school nears, that little voice sounds the alarm in the back of a parent’s head. Is my daughter or son good enough to make the team? Can they continue with music? Get a part in the play? Compete with other students? Is high school the end of the line?

“It’s interesting comparing Holy Family to other large schools in the area,” says Activities Director Nick Tibesar. “We have kids staying with programs longer than what I saw in public schools. So often, in other schools, kids come in playing ball with friends during their summers and evenings, sometimes for years, and all of a sudden they end up as a high school freshman and sophomore not on a team anymore.”

Not at Holy Family Catholic High School. Here, students get an opportunity to participate in the sports and many other activities they are most passionate about. Plus, they often discover a wide variety of other sports, academic teams, clubs and activities they never considered.

“We encourage kids to try new things and stretch limits,” Nick says. “We want them to be involved in multiple things to fight some of the outside pressure to specialize in just one of them.”

Smaller School Size, Big Opportunities

With a student body of 400 kids, Holy Family provides unlimited opportunities to explore new things. Students often participate in more than one activity, not just during the school year, but also during a single season.

“When looking at sports, there are students who were on the trap and lacrosse teams, or tennis, track and baseball,” Nick says. “But more common is a kid who participates in both a sport and one of our academic competitions.

“We had a player on our basketball team who also was on our varsity Math League team. As a coach, I recall a half dozen times he had to go to Math League. No one acted like that was strange or gave him a hard time. We said, ‘How did Math League go? And cool you’re doing so well.’

“It’s fun to be in a culture where someone is not ostracized for picking academics over athletics.”

Endless Opportunities

With over 60 extracurriculars to choose from, your Holy Family student is destined to pursue his or her talents, while trying new activities outside of the classroom.

“There are a lot of people who chose Holy Family for the right reasons—faith-based environment, college prep, joining a community where their student is known and cared for,” Nick adds. “All of those things extend to our classroom, lunchroom and after-school activities.

“We consider extracurricular activities the last class of the day. And, they provide the same values as everything else at Holy Family.”

QUICK FACTS:

92% of Holy Family students participate in extracurricular activities

90% of Holy Family students participate in multiple extracurricular activities in a school year

60+ Holy Family extracurricular activities are offered each school year

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