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Message from Mr. Jim Fornaciari 9/10/18

Posted on Sep 09, 2018

Dear SJF Parents,

As we move into the heart of September, I continue to be impressed with the efforts of our faculty and student body. Our teachers are teaming up with their colleagues in an effort to improve their craft. Our students benefit when teachers have an opportunity to work alongside “like-minded” professionals. 

Despite the difficult conditions this past week, SJF students demonstrated the ability to overcome the challenges of learning in warm classrooms. I appreciate the efforts of all of our students and staff as they worked to find a way to partner in a challenging environment. As my career as an Advanced Placement teacher progressed, I came to put great stock in helping students develop “academic calluses”. Undoubtedly, the earlier our SJF students develop academic resilience the longer that trait can benefit them. 

As adults, most of us have observed a few coworkers who seem to consistently overcome challenges in an effort to succeed. These resilient teammates do not waste time pointing fingers or balking at taking responsibility. In fact, they often seek a good challenge. So, what caused these coworkers to develop this impressive trait? At some point I am sure they were influenced by a teacher, coach or parent that set a great example for them. If you are interested in helping your children develop a little “grit”, psychologist Angela Duckworth might be worth listening to. Please take a few minutes to watch Duckworth’s brief Ted Talk which can help parents begin to explore this important trait.


There is no better time to reflect on resilience or “grit” as the week ahead. On Tuesday, our students will be commemorating the September 11th attacks with a Patriotic Dress Day. Students and families are also asked to do their part by donating to the 9/11 project at nearby Lockhart Park. SJF is partnering with other nearby schools and Alderman O’Shea’s office to contribute to this worthy cause. Monday is the final day for students to bring donations to homerooms collections. 

It will be another busy week at SJF. Students are excited to join friends and families at Fisher Fest! Please take a few minutes to check out our web site for important updates!

Jim Fornaciari

Principal SJF