In the spirit of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, St. Mary's High School is dedicated to academic excellence and to the preparation of each student for secondary education. The progressive academic program at St. Mary's derives its energy from an expert professional faculty and a challenging college-preparatory curriculum. With a student-teacher ratio of 15:1 and an average class size of 25, St. Mary's students enjoy access to 32 professional faculty, 80% of whom possess advanced degrees in their subject areas. In order to prepare these students for success in college and in life teachers at St. Mary's employ a curriculum that is rigorous in its challenge to students of varying abilities. Whether through our innovative teaching faculty, our full-time Office of College Advising, or our Office of Campus Ministry, St. Mary's is committed to nurturing each individual student on the journey toward personal achievement.
A College-Preparatory Approach
One of the ways St. Mary's High School assists in that journey is through a unique scheduling format. At St. Mary's, students participate in four 85-minute classes daily. Exploring four subjects, rather than the traditional six or seven, allows students to work with teachers at significantly greater depth and intensity, experiences critical to future success in college. Students are encouraged to engage more directly, more meaningfully, and more successfully with teachers and with fellow students toward the assimilation, analysis, and mastery of complex subject matter. Within this college preparatory framework teachers routinely address individual learning styles, employing a variety of teaching techniques within a student-centered classroom. In short, the St. Mary's learning experience is a communal endeavor and a shared goal in which teachers work closely with fewer overall students for a longer period each day. Additionally, this framework allows St. Mary's students to earn a total of 32 credits prior to graduation, significantly more than they would earn at traditional schools. Eight of these courses are elective credits chosen by students. This increase in credits earned through elective courses is designed to allow students to specialize their studies in the junior and senior years. For example, a student may opt to take five years of Spanish or French, or two years each of two different languages. Students have the opportunity to advance in Fine Arts, English, Science, Math, and Social Studies while earning college credit by taking one or more of the ten Advanced Placement courses offered in these areas.
The culture of challenge and learning that is actively pursued at St. Mary's High School continues to reap impressive rewards. Recent graduates have gone on to become leaders at many of the strongest colleges and universities in the United States, including Boston College, Dartmouth, Harvard, Cornell, Stanford, Williams, Duke, Johns Hopkins, and Notre Dame. Recently the United States Naval Academy reported 22 St. Mary's High School graduates within the ranks of its four resident classes. The Class of 2010 submitted applications to 682 colleges and universities, an average of 5.3 applications per student. Students, on average, were admitted to 3.5 colleges each. Fifty-one percent of the senior class were admitted to every college to which they applied. The class of 2010 earned a total of $10,437,900 in scholarship funding.
Leading the Way with Technology
At St. Mary’s, technology enhances teaching and learning. Teachers are ever evaluating emerging technologies and their impact on learning, productivity, communication, and critical thinking. Latest-model laptop computers are purchased on a three-year cycle, providing the most up-to-date access for teachers and students as they explore content and refine skills. Additionally, students in foreign language classes enjoy access to skill-enhancing apps and opportunities to collaborate with others using iPads. Every teacher at St. Mary’s develops and maintains a course website on which students have access to robust digital resources related to course content, out-of-class communication with teachers and peers, and the opportunity to upload and download electronic assignments. Every freshman at St. Mary’s receives a school email account for communication and course submissions to be used over his or her four years of instruction. Moreover, freshmen are required to complete a technology course to prepare them for integrated technology requirements in other classes. The school is committed to maintaining the network and its resources; wireless access points and multi-media projectors are standard in every classroom. Finally, the school is continually improving features of NetClassroom to further seamless communication among students, parents, and teachers. St. Mary’s High School realizes the power of relevant and meaningful technologies to transform learning experiences and therefore provides opportunities for students and teachers to access information, think critically and creatively, and communicate authentically with appropriate technology tools.
As a Roman Catholic high school, St. Mary's remains a community in context. At the heart of our instruction and achievement is a steadfast regard for the sacred dignity of each individual as a person created in the likeness of God. Our greatest mission is to mold young men and women who are more deeply human -- people of faith, sensitivity, and integrity. St. Mary's seeks to guide each student on the path of service to family, school, parish, community, and nation. Our identity remains rooted in these ideals. One of our greatest blessings has been to celebrate our graduates as highly successful professionals and leaders in their communities, spiritual people and spirited people who continue to be shaped by their experiences at St. Mary's and the deep friendships that have been fostered here.