8th Grade Field Trip to Camp Hanes

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program Recognizing Great American Schools Since 1982 

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Every year the U. S. Department of Education seeks out and celebrates great American schools, schools demonstrating that all students can achieve to high levels.  The Franciscan School is a recipient of this coveted award.

Inspired by our patron Francis of Assisi, we seek to proclaim the reign of God by growing in Holiness through our experience of Christ in word, sacrament and one another, offering Hope to those who hunger for human dignity, and extending Hospitality to all.

Normal hours of operation:




Start Time
All Grades
8:00 a.m.
Release Time
2:40 p.m.
2:50 p.m.
3:05 p.m.


Early Release:

Start Time
All Grades
8:00 a.m.
Release Time
11:40 a.m.
11:50 a.m.
12:05 p.m.


Founded in 2000, The Franciscan School is a fully accredited K-8 Catholic School with an enrollment of 700 students in 2015-16. The school was fully sized in the fall of 2008 with the addition of the third section of 8th Grade. Reflecting the unique charism of our patron, St. Francis of Assisi, TFS is dedicated to an education that fosters a Christ-centered way of living and celebrates the building of the Kingdom of God on Earth.

Pastor: Fr. Steve Patti, O.F.M.
Principal: Michael Watson, BS
Assistant Principal K-5: Michele Northington, M.Ed
Assistant Principal 6-8: Colette Dziadul, BA
Counselor: Laureen Wacenske, MS
Admissions: Lura Tysiac, BA

The Faculty and professional staff number 71. We believe teaching is a ministry, and our Faculty and Staff reflect this attitude. Our educators share their diverse talents, encourage growth, and recognize that relationships with students and families go far beyond the role of formal education.

Before and After School Care:
Our Bridges Program is offered on-site at additional cost.

Extra-Curricular Activities:
Art Club
Middle School Athletics
Odyssey of the Mind
Student Council

Academic Programs:

Elementary—K-Grade 5
Language Arts
Physical Education
Social Studies

Middle School—Grades 6-8
Math Computation Earth Science
Algebra Life Science
Geometry Physical Science
Pre-Algebra Health & Wellness
Language Arts Physical Education
Religion Art
Spanish Music
Social Studies Performing Arts
Technology Community Building

Student Success:
We believe that every child at The Franciscan School has the potential to achieve something wonderful and that our family-centered faith formation encourages all in our community to share their time, talent and treasure, and to recognize the value and significance of their gifts in God’s plan for the world.

We send forth children knowledgeable of self, rooted in faith, educated in mind, compassionate in heart, and deeply responsive in service to others, especially the poor and the oppressed of our world.

Contact: Lura Tysiac 919-847-8205×469


The Franciscan School is accredited by AdvancED and the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation. TFS is approved by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh and is a member of the National Catholic Educational Association. Additionally, TFS complies with the North Carolina Guidelines for Non-Public Schools.



The National Study of School Evaluation (NSSE) suggests that accreditation helps to focus a school’s attention on the critical attributes of schools of quality, attributes that are grounded in the research on high-performing systems of teaching and learning and; provides a meaningful and mangeable tool for schools to assess the quality of their work, assessment that promotes thoughtful reflection and stimulates purposeful action to the end of improving student learning.

With that goal in mind, TFS constantly focuses on “the critical attributes of schools of quality” and uses meaningful tools” to assess the quality of [our] work to the end of imporoving student learning” in every area of AdvancED quality assurance:  Educational Improvement; Beliefs and Mission; Governance and Leadership; Finances and Resources; Human Resources; Support for Student Learning; Library and Media Services; Facilities; Communication and Community Relationships; Curriculum and Instructional Design; Citizenship and Conduct, and; Assessment Measurement, and Effective Results.

Self-evaluation and re-accreditation by others helps us to see ourselves, to celebrate our strengths, and to embrace a five-year roadmap for ongoing school improvement as we seek to cement TFS’s place as a K – 8 Catholic school exemplar.

Campus Safety

Schools must be safe places for all children at all times and in all ways: physically, emotionally and psychologically, intellectually, and spiritually.In many ways the first and most obvious – providing a safe physical environment – would seem to be the easiest, but it requires planning, attention to detail, vigilance, and constant assessment and evaluation of both the external (beyond the campus) and internal environment (on the campus) by the Faculty and staff, administration, buildings and grounds personnel, and the custodial staff.

Playground fences are inspected, surfaces are mulched, and playing fields are carefully groomed. Classroom construction materials are chosen with care. Morning drop-off and afternoon pickup are conducted with precision following the design, safety, and flow recommendations of traffic engineers.

Fire drills are practiced monthly, with egress times carefully recorded so that, with practice, our evacuation times improve. Evacuation routes are reassessed with school growth, and emergency lighting and fire extinguishers are inspected and maintained. Water heater temperatures are set within carefully established parameters. Hallways and emergency exits are well-marked and kept clear.

Inclement weather drills are conducted every other month to train adults and students in how to take refuge quickly in safe interior spaces in case of tornado watches or warnings. A weather alert monitor remains on at all times in the administrative wing.

The school Crisis Plan is reviewed annually, forcing the TFS staff to ponder, and prepare for, the unthinkable: situations on campus that would require a “lockdown” to protect students and adults, a whole-campus evacuation, or a police response.

Creating a safe, attractive environment physically contributes directly to the emotional safety of this learning community. In the school design itself the scale of the buildings and the “profile” of the architecture was carefully executed to be warm, welcoming, and intimate for elementary and middle school students. Covered walkways and an embracing interior courtyard are reflective of the Franciscan Tradition at the Catholic Community of St. Francis.

Dry wall was used in interior spaces, not cinderblock, and neutral paints and baffled lighting are carefully chosen. Uniforms diminish peer pressure, add to a sense of school pride, and give a seriousness of purpose and comportment to our work together.

Faculty and staff create warm environments where all children are seen as gifts from God, and where those gifts are carefully nurtured each day. As professionals, the Faculty themselves work hard at leading balanced lives so that they can be present to the children each day, undistracted by pressures beyond school and giving their students the emotional stability that students need and that only stable, mature, professional adults can provide.

Beyond in-depth background checks, each Faculty and staff member – and now all of our volunteers – must take the Diocesan Safe Child program so that they can recognize the tell-tale signs of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse and know how to go about reporting and discussing them with the TFS administration so that we can move quickly to get children who are at risk or in distress help promptly.

Intellectually TFS must be a safe place to make mistakes, to stretch, challenge, engage, and try new things without fearing “failure”. That means learning to listen to each other in class and out, to develop the language and courage to engage in spirited debate, to develop strategies to disagree without being disagreeable, and to eschew bullying of any kind at all times – physical, intellectual, social, and electronic.

From a disciplinary standpoint, we work hard to help students learn from mistakes, to take the “teachable moment” and help them grow through a misjudgment or poor behavior without shaming or dunning. We are judged not so much by the mistakes that we make, but by how we handle the mistakes that we make, and we need to give our children the tools they need to grow through mistakes and to learn from them.

Finally, TFS is a safe place to pray, to worship, and to be and become spiritual beings in a secular society that so often does not seem Christ-centered. Whether joining our voices and hands in the Courtyard in Morning Prayer, at TFS Wednesday morning Praise, at class or monthly Mass, or seeking real-life ways to live and love daily as Jesus did, we praise and worship our God and see Christ in each other.

Even though accidents and bad things happen even with “zero tolerance”, constant care and planning, we know that providing the safest physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual environment that we can allows this intellectual and spirit-filled community to flourish

Safe Environment and Volunteers

Volunteers are central to our success as a school and community, and the school provides many opportunities for volunteerism. We greatly appreciate the services of our dedicated stewards and recognize the invaluable benefits that come to our school community through their investment of talent and time. We encourage mothers, fathers, grandparents, and members of St. Francis of Assisi parish to offer their many talents to help our children and enrich our education programs.

All stewards are required to sign in at the Steward’s Room and receive a Steward Badge. The tag must be worn during the entire stay on campus. Stewards should sign out and return their tags to the Stewards’ Room before departing.

All school stewards are required to submit a Personal Information Sheet and attend the Safe Environment Classes, which are given at the church periodically during the school year. Depending on the nature of the activity and the level of supervision, additional background checks may be necessary. All paperwork and verification must be on file in the school office prior to volunteering.

All volunteers go through training and orientation prior to beginning their duties in the school and must complete a Personal Information Form (for Volunteers) to be kept on file in the Principal’s Office. For volunteers assuming supervision of and in regular contact with children, a criminal background check must be conducted.

Volunteers must sign in and out of the school office when volunteering their services at TFS.

TFS Volunteer Levels & Requirements

The following safe environment for youth guidelines have been set by the Diocese of Raleigh and followed by St. Francis of Assisi and The Franciscan School. Below is a brief outline of the volunteer guidelines. Feel free to contact Donna Sincock at 847-8205 ext. 253 or donna.sincock@stfrancisraleigh.org with questions. The necessary forms can be found on the St. Francis website, www.stfrancisraleigh.org, under Stewardship as well as on the left hand side of this page.

Level A

Occasional (3 times per year or fewer) interaction with minors. Example: parent volunteer to assist in the Media Center or classroom guest reader.

Requirement: Level A application – personal information sheet. All families received this form in their family pack at the beginning of the school year. It’s a purple sheet of paper, copied front and back for both parents to complete and return to the school

Level B

Supervised interaction with youth on a regular or frequent basis with a Level C adult present. Example: Gospel Share, parent volunteer at centers.

Requirement: Level B application, including personal information sheet and 2 personal references

Level C

Unsupervised interaction with youth on a regular and frequent basis. Example: Field Trip Chaperone

Requirement: Level C application with complete background check and 2 personal references.

Safe Environment Training Classes

All Level B and C volunteers in the school MUST attend “Safe Environment Volunteer” training. This 90 minute training session is offered at St. Francis several times during the year. Click here for Safe Environment Volunteer training dates and times.  To register, call 919.847.8205 ext. 0.

New to the Franciscan School?

If you would like to get to know the Franciscan School, our activities, teachers, programs, tuition and more, Lura Tysiac is your first contact. She can answer questions pertaining to your child’s educational needs. You can reach her at 919-847-8205x469, or by email at lura.tysiac@stfrancisraleigh.org.

Schedule a TourTuitionApply to TFS Begins Nov 1

Applications for the 2017-18 school year
will be available beginning November 1st, 2016.

Schedule a Shadow Day

Locator Map

Locator Map4

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