Academics at Saint Mary's--Philosophy & Purpose » What We Teach

What We Teach

Our college-preparatory curriculum blends elements of classical and progressive education, emphasizing the Humanities to broaden students' knowledge of our world and to sharpen students’ analytical skills. We use as an intellectual hub a three-course Epistemology series, taken in grades, 9, 10, and 11. We employ a deeper study of history to expose our students to multiple perspectives. After completing World History and United States History, students must select one course from our “History Through Another’s Eyes” set of offerings—Islamic, African, Latin American, East Asian, or American Social History. Mathematics and Science are integral in deepening students’ evidence-based analytical skills. Our ninth-grade introductory course for mathematics, Thinking Mathematically, applies math to real-world problems in various disciplines. All courses across our curriculum—English, World Languages, Religious Studies, and the Visual & Performing Arts—complement each other in the development of essential knowledge and skills. Our seniors conclude their studies with a two-term capstone Senior Project, in which seniors explore areas of personal intellectual interest, independently managing their time with guidance from a faculty adviser. Applying students’ curiosity to a real-world problem is the culminating intellectual experience of the Saint Mary’s education.


  • Saint Mary’s academic program operates in a trimester system, comprised of three twelve-week terms.
  • 300 credits are required for graduation; students carry five five-credit courses per term, totaling 75 credits per year.
  • Each ten-credit course (equal to a full-year course in a semester system) is completed in two trimesters.
  • Students may place in second- or third-year courses in math, foreign language, & visual/performing arts classes in ninth grade.
  • Balancing academic rigor & emotional health, Saint Mary’s limits most students to a maximum of three AP/Honors classes in one year while encouraging students to challenge themselves by taking AP/Honors courses for which they have a passion.
  • In May 2022, 219 sophomores, juniors, and seniors sat for 372 examinations in 13 subjects taught at Saint Mary’s. 77% of the exam scores were 3 or higher. The average score was a 3.4.



  • Enrichment Week, offered in March, engages students in a week of out-of-classroom educational experiences, led by faculty, including outdoor adventures, career exploration, spiritually based Immersion trips, and overseas travel, aligned with our curriculum. Recent destinations include Egypt, Morocco, Ghana, Croatia, Poland, Hungary, Spain, Thailand, & the Philippines.
  • Lasallian Days occur once per trimester. These two-day sessions extend student learning beyond the classroom and allow students to explore areas of intellectual, career, or personal interest without the immediate academic pressure of normal class days.
  • Our Social Emotional Learning Program is a weekly small-group session that teaches students the competencies necessary for academic and life success such as self-management, resiliency, and responsible decision-making.
  • Half of our students participate in Visual & Performing Arts, supported by a two-year VPA graduation requirement.

Graduation Requirements & Credits

English                               40

Fitness                                  5

History/Social Sciences       40

Mathematics                       35

Philosophy                         10

Religious Studies                40

Science                               30

Visual & Performing Arts   20

World Languages                20

Senior Project                     10

Electives                              50

TOTAL CREDITS                    300                         


Advanced Placement Course Offerings


Calculus AB                                


English Language & Comp

English Literature & Comp

Environmental Science             

French Language

Physics C: E & M   

Spanish Language                      

U.S. Government

United States History

 World History


Studio Art



Honors Course Offerings                                                 

Algebra 1-2 Honors

Geometry Honors

Algebra 3-4/Trigonometry Honors         

Introduction to Calculus


English 1-2 Honors

English 3-4 Honors  

Spanish 5-6 Honors