• HS Academics Banner

      Homepage-1-126

School
Academics
High School

Curriculum

Core Values and Academic Grounding

As a Roman Catholic, parish high school, St. Mary's is committed to honoring the dignity of each individual as a person created in the likeness of God. St. Mary’s strives 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.

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. St. Mary’s boasts an expert professional faculty and a challenging college-preparatory curriculum. The student-teacher ratio is 15:1 and the average class size is 25. Fully 80% of faculty members have earned advanced degrees in their subject areas. Teachers strive to challenge students of varying abilities and learning styles.

List of 5 items.

  • The Academic Schedule

    St. Mary’s alumni continue to praise the particular block format utilized by the school and to rank it alongside quality teaching as the most significant factor contributing to success in college. St. Mary’s students attend four 85-minute classes each day. Courses (with the exception of one) take place over a single semester.

    Longer class periods at St. Mary’s create student-centered classrooms in which teachers address a variety of student learning styles and employ a variety of teaching techniques. Students work in greater depth in each subject area as they progress toward assimilation, analysis, and mastery of complex subject matter. A typical day at St. Mary’s includes extended laboratory time, structured writing and revision, guided internet research, and dynamic interaction during student presentations and discussions. Study takes on greater depth and focus under this schedule, emphasizing not only the mastery of important information but the development of critical and analytical thinking skills.

    Students at St. Mary’s earn thirty-two credits following four years of study. Eight of these are elective credits taken mainly in the junior and senior years. This elective system encourages students to expand and specialize their studies.

    • A student interested in medicine might select AP Biology, Zoology, and Honors Anatomy and Physiology.
    • A student contemplating a college major in Liberal Studies or English and Drama may take Honors Interdisciplinary Seminar, Honors Shakespeare, Cinematic Art, and AP Literature and Composition.
    • A future engineer might prepare by enrolling in The St. Isidore Cyber Program taking Cyber Literacy, Honors Cyber Science, Honors Physics and A/P computer science. The participants in this vibrant program in its inaugural year will culminate their experience with a 30-hour internship/field experience in their senior year. This unique component of St. Isidore is what makes this program an elite addition to any transcript.
    • Foreign Language specialists are able to advance by the senior year to AP French, AP Latin, and AP Spanish, or to begin study in a second language. St. Mary’s offers full immersion study abroad excursions and exchange experiences to European countries and occasionally Central America.
  • Technology Integration

    St. Mary’s is a wireless 1:1 iPad school employing a full-time Technology Department for support. All classrooms are equipped with multimedia projectors and Apple TVs, and students have access to robust digital resources related to course content and our-of-classroom communication with teachers and peers.

    All freshmen complete a Cyber Literacy course which prepares them to be responsible digital citizens with a creative, inquisitive and prepared mind for technology use in the future. Technology-inclined students also have the opportunity to participate in our St. Isidore Cyber Program.
  • Marking System

    The academic year consists of two semesters, each divided into two quarters. All courses but one are completed in one semester. Quarter grades are calculated as 40% of the final average. The course exam is calculated as 20% of the final average. The minimum passing grade for any course is 65%. To receive academic credit, the yearly average must be 65% or better. The following grade scale is used:

    A: 90-100
    B: 80-89
    C: 70-79
    D: 65-69
    F: below 65

    Qualified students may pursue individual subject areas to terminal levels as follows:
    • Math/Science:
      • Math through AP Statistics, AP Calculus AB, BC Science through AP Biology, AP Physics, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Computer Science
    • Humanities:
      • Fine Arts through AP Studio Art, English through Honors Shakespeare, Honors Creative Writing, AP Composition/Literature
      • Language through Honors French V, AP Spanish, Honors Latin V
      • Social Studies through AP Government
  • GPA and Class Rank

    The St. Mary’s High School grade point average (GPA) reflects only those grades earned at St. Mary’s. Grades for high school courses and college courses taken outside of St. Mary’s are not listed on the transcript and will not be included in the calculation of the St. Mary’s GPA with the exception of grades earned in summer school as makeup for failed courses.

    Rank in class is computed at the end of each semester for all grades. Grade points are used to determine class rank. Class rank is cumulative and each year the final number of grade points will be totaled in order to determine the new rank. Please consult the appendix of this handbook for calculation tables used to determine grade point averages and class rank.

    Students entering St. Mary’s High School before or during the freshman or sophomore year will enter the ranking system at St. Mary’s using only those grades earned at St. Mary’s. Students entering after the sophomore year will earn a GPA based on grades earned at St. Mary’s but do not enter the ranking system.
  • Academic Recognition

    Honors are awarded to students on a quarterly basis for superior academic achievement. Principal's Honors are awarded to students earning all grades of 93 or above in each of the four courses of any given quarter. First Honors are awarded to students earning all grades of 85 or above. Principal's Honors and First Honors are printed on the Report Card and reported in the local press. Additionally, Principal's Honors students are invited to attend the Principal's Breakfast on a date following the first, second, and third-quarter reports.

A College-Preparatory Approach

St. Mary’s graduates have gone on to become leaders at many of the strongest colleges and universities in the United States, including the U.S. Naval Academy, Brown University, Georgetown University, Dartmouth College, Clemson University, University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Notre Dame.

The Class of 2021:
  • 100% of the class accepted to a university or college
  • Graduates earned acceptance for admissions to 167 colleges and universities
  • 17 students are attending a Catholic university
  • The Class of 2021 will attend colleges and universities in 26 states and the District of Columbia
  • 36 students will play a sport at the collegiate level
St. Mary's High School employs a full-time college advisor to assist with the entire college process. Each of our students receives a Naviance portal in their freshmen year which becomes their digital resume. They are then afforded the opportunity to meet with more than 40 representatives that come to campus to meet with students to give them a chance to experience face-to-face interviews with college representation. Our college advisor oversees a summer application bootcamp which gives our students the tools to yield the best results during their application process. 

The investment of private education is a sacrifice. We don't take that lightly therefore we work extremely hard to foster a solid academic foundation that prepares your teen for success in college and beyond. The relationships and vibrant community afford opportunities your teen wouldn't normally experience.
The St. Mary's High School student-teacher ratio is 15:1 and average class size is 20.

Accreditation

St. Mary's is accredited through Cognia and the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

St. Mary's is recognized and approved by the Maryland State Department of Education.
    • hs parvis

      Pi Day class

    • hs parvis

      Homepage-1-127

Download our Academic Materials