Schoolwide Curriculum Philosophy

Consistent with our school Philosophy, Mission and Vision, curriculum at St. Mary's is holistic and provides boys with a broad range of learning experiences. Education of the 'whole child' is of utmost importance and is accomplished by providing an enriching spiritual, moral, artistic, athletic, and academic environment every day and at every grade level. Moral and ethical training consistent with Christian values is provided so that students develop respect for others and positive self-esteem. Students learn to accept responsibility, to organize for learning, and to work effectively with others. High expectations are set and support is provided for students to achieve their personal best.

School Philosophy

St. Mary's International School endeavors to form free and responsible young men. As a Catholic school, it integrates the acquisition of knowledge, the establishment of responsible freedom, and the deepening of personal faith. Education at St. Mary's is based on love and respect for the person, in full recognition of the dignity of humankind created in God's image and destined to live in union with Him.

Students are made aware of global issues, as well as of the aspirations of people who work for peace, justice, freedom and truth, in the hope that these may engender beliefs and actions conducive to the betterment of humanity. In this process, personal development is marked by empathy and mutual trust.

Academic programs are rigorous and challenging and are designed to prepare students for higher education within a safe, caring and orderly atmosphere. The all-boy environment creates a place wherein positive self-esteem can fully develop and where learning is promoted at a pace appropriate for boys. A comprehensive and enriching co-curricular program is offered, which allows for individual expression to enhance self-worth.

At St. Mary's, members of the international community in Japan can establish an identity respectful of both cultural and religious differences in an atmosphere that values diversity.

School Mission

Our mission is to Instruct, to Educate, and to Impart Christian Values.

School Vision Statement

St. Mary's is committed to educating boys to be lifelong learners of good character who demonstrate academic, physical, artistic, and moral excellence, respect for religious and cultural beliefs, and responsibility as international citizens.

Schoolwide Learner Expectations

The St. Mary's community is committed to developing self-directed, life-long learners who are:

Of Good Character,
Reflecting values consistent with Christian principles,

Demonstrating a firm foundation in the academic, physical, and artistic disciplines,

Globally Aware,
Showing sensitivity and compassion toward human and global concerns in a multi-cultural world, and exhibiting initiative, reliability, and perseverance in their response to these concerns,

Critical and Creative Thinkers,
Confidently using appropriate resources and current technology, either independently or collaboratively, to reason, make decisions, and solve problems in a variety of contexts,

Effective Communicators,
Receiving and expressing ideas and information competently and precisely.

Middle School Curriculum


The philosophy of the Religion/Ethics Program is to educate the whole student: mind, body and spirit in an integration of knowledge and the deepening of personal faith. This holistic view of education focuses the Religion/Ethics Department's efforts to foster the growth of enlightened, responsible, healthy young men.

Our curriculum seeks to engender virtues such as tolerance, international understanding, and respect for others and their beliefs; indeed, it emphasizes the vital importance of these virtues for character development. Catholic classes develop the knowledge, skills/abilities, and values of Christianity so that students are encouraged to live as followers of Jesus Christ, while other religion and ethics classes emphasize faith and morality, developing a respect for all people as created in the image of God. We seek to promote reflection about how these values fit into the student's everyday life, and how they help the student to form healthy human relationships.

We believe empowering students to lead happy and fulfilled lives is fundamental to our program. The Religion/Ethics curriculum facilitates this process of empowerment by nurturing in students qualities such as effective decision-making skills, the ability to think critically and reflectively about their own beliefs and those of others, and an honest integrity founded on respect and responsible action.

We believe that by promoting international understanding, personal spiritual growth, and respect for self and others, the school-wide goal of educating the whole child is served. The result of this focus is character development that brings us closer to helping our students become true citizens of our global community.

We believe students construct meaning best in Religion/Ethics when they:

  • experience an atmosphere that fosters moral and spiritual growth in a class setting appropriate to their personal faith background.
  • are involved in a variety of instructional practices including interactive exchange of ideas and experiential learning
  • acquire values conducive to personal happiness guiding them to achieve their maximum potential as contributors to local and global communities.
  • participate in a structured program of human sexuality education that promotes respect for all human life.
  • are exposed to a range of beliefs and ethical perspectives and given the opportunity to deepen their own faith, self-awareness and moral sensibilities.
  • are provided opportunities to discuss contemporary moral issues and to make connections between the ethical theory discussed in class and "real world" experience.
  • are provided a learning environment with consideration of ability level and linguistic development.
  • participate in worship and the reception of Sacraments as appropriate to their faith background.

Teachers agree to:

  • engage students in activities relevant to the their lives, activating prior knowledge and experiences and help them to reason critically and apply the knowledge gained in class to their everyday life.
  • emphasize student recognition and understanding of the appropriate vocabulary within any given unit of study.
  • ensure that students use a variety of media and technology to research information and gain a deeper understanding of subject matter; e.g., films, internet etc.
  • provide students opportunities to actively and respectfully exchange ideas, displaying effective interpersonal communication skills.
  • provide students opportunities to express their opinions in a variety of formats; e.g., oral debate, journal writing, short skits, art etc. and participate as much as possible in self-reflection activities.
  • provide opportunities for students enrolled in Catholic classes to practice worship and the reception of Sacraments.


Year Course; Grade 7

Creed: A Course on Catholic Belief

In this course on the basic beliefs and structures of the Catholic Church, the students probe the mysteries of the divine life to which God has called us. It offers a firm grounding in the Catholic faith and an exploration of the Catholic identity. The students examine church teachings on God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. By presenting the truths of the faith in a clear and meaningful way, students are encouraged to examine more closely the dynamic teachings of the Catholic faith.


Year Course; Grade 8

Catholic Morality

This course on Catholic morality deals with the very reason for our existence as human beings created in God's image and likeness. Within this deeper framework of good moral attitudes, we will explore in detail the Commandments of God and the Beatitudes pronounced by Jesus Christ as pathways to true happiness. There will be a component on human sexuality that will be tied with the Sixth and Ninth Commandments of God. Skills for good moral decision-making will be provided in order to prepare students for a successful Christian life.


Year Course; Grade 7

Students will study three different topics during the year:

  • Positive ActionThrough "positive action," students learn to make better decisions and to understand why it is better to think, act, and feel positively. Students participate as readers of a series of radio plays that introduce scenes involving many situations that teenagers face. During and after each radio play, students discuss and reflect on the problems and issues they noticed and try to solve these difficult situations in positive ways.
  • Building Decision SkillsSound ethics is essential for survival in the 21st Century. Students in this 12-week course will be provided a language for talking about ethics. Our goal will be to demonstrate how one can become a more ethically fit person. Students will be taken through a series of logical steps so they can learn to independently apply specific decision-making tools to any ethical issue they might encounter.
  • Personal EthicsDuring this discussion class, students must demonstrate thinking with special attention given to reflections designed to help the student gain a better understanding of the ethical behaviors as we examine the process of growing up and looking at desirable characteristics. Comparisons will be made to demonstrate differences in values and beliefs. The use of popular culture will be used to help illustrate objectives throughout the course. One of the goals of this course is to reveal the value of becoming a more reflective person regarding everyday and a young person's development.


Year Course; Grade 8

Students will study three different topics during the year:

  • Introducing Moral IssuesSources and excerpts will be taken from different religions and philosophies of the world to show students how all these beliefs lead to the basic moral and ethical values that people practice in their individual lives and as responsible members of our global society. This course consists of three sections: moral issues taken from world religions, moral issues taken from individuals throughout history, and relationships with parents. All activities and projects lead the students to recognize the importance of developing a system of moral values and also develop healthy relationships within the family.
  • Developing UnderstandingThis trimester course is designed to help the student gain a better understanding for key issues in personal development. Comparisons will be made to demonstrate differences in values and beliefs from a fictitious situation where a utopian society exists and our real world. Some of the subjects that are explored include marriage, family, death, choices, freedom, emotions and other issues that adolescences face. The goal of this course is to assist students as they explore their understanding of life issues. This course is designed to be a discussion class. Students must demonstrate thinking through all of the above with special attention given to log entries and class discussions.
  • Discover Healthy Sexual DevelopmentSexuality is an integral component of our lives that requires self-responsibility and adherence to an acceptable set of values. Students will be given accurate information and decision-making skills that can be used for the rest of their lives. The class emphasizes a positive approach to human sexuality through responsible decision-making.

Language Arts

The St. Mary's Language Arts Program is designed to promote the use of, and appreciation for the varied aspects of the English language. We seek to guide students toward a clear understanding and fluent expression of ideas through the cultivation of precise thinking, speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. These skills encourage the personal development of students, the acquisition of knowledge, and the understanding of cultural and religious differences.

We believe students construct meaning in Language Arts best when they:

  • are encouraged to read for comprehension and for an appreciation of the wealth and subtleties of prose and poetry.
  • are exposed to a multicultural language arts program that helps students gain broadened and perspectives of literature and human thought.
  • are encouraged to express their thoughts with a firm support basis and a cultivated correctness of spoken and written English.
  • have a firm understanding of the different uses of the English language as it relates, describes, evokes, persuades and expresses the mind and imagination of the individual.

Language Arts teachers agree to:

  • provide many and varied learning opportunities using the writing process and grammar instruction.
  • expose students to a variety of literary genres.
  • provide opportunities for students to use different methods to communicate in Language Arts: oral, written, visual, and technological media.
  • provide opportunities for students to recognize and interpret literary devices.
  • evaluate student work using a variety of assessment methods.
  • provide models of the various aspects of Language Arts.


Year Course; Grade 7

Process writing with supplemental work in all areas of grammatical structure is stressed in the course. Emphasis is given to vocabulary building, spelling, communication skills, library and study skills, and a vigorous reading program. Standard usage and mechanics are taught throughout the year. Literature genres include non-fiction, short stories, poetry, drama and the novel. Writers are encouraged to contribute to the school literary magazine and to the middle school newspaper.


Year Course; Grade 8

Improving skills in the area of grammar, vocabulary, literature, and writing is the design of this course. There is particular emphasis on writing as a process, as well as exposure to a variety of authors and genre in literature. Students are introduced to new vocabulary words and apply them in practice, on analogies, and in their writing. Application of the rules of grammar is stressed in the students' writing. Library research, note taking, and study skills are incorporated into the class. Oral presentations will be given by the students. The school literary magazine, The Mind's Eye, gives the students an opportunity to have their poetry selected for publication.

Speech (Elective)

Semester Course; Grades 7 and 8

Emphasis will be placed on developing good speaking techniques and fun, competitive, festive-type presentations. The focus will be on both formal and informal presentations. Storytelling, oral interpretation of literature, demonstration techniques, persuasive speaking, original oratory and debate will be touched on throughout the course. Organization will be stressed and a three tier outline technique taught.


The Mathematics Program seeks to make mathematics meaningful to all learners. To this end, the curriculum addresses multiple methods with which students understand that there is often more than one way to solve a given problem. While students become proficient in basic computation skills through activities, games and problem solving exercises, they are continually exposed to a variety of mathematics, rooted in real world problems and applications, designed to enrich their experience of the subject.

Mathematics is viewed as the study of patterns and relationships which enable us to better understand and explain our environment. Through engaging in mathematical pursuits students develop logical, critical and creative thinking and learn to recognize and utilize mathematical concepts and principles through their explorations.

Students also learn to develop patience and perseverance through problem solving and with this an appreciation of the power and beauty of mathematics. It is envisaged that students will derive enjoyment from these challenges in mathematics and that this will promote mathematical curiosity and an understanding of the value and usefulness of mathematics in their own lives and culture.

We believe that students construct meaning best in Mathematics when they:

  • know and understand how to use appropriate notation and terminology.
  • use their experiences to recognize and appreciate the usefulness of mathematics in their everyday lives.
  • are provided with opportunities to display mathematical creativity through investigation and discovery.
  • have the ability to communicate mathematically in written or oral form with clarity and confidence.
  • have an awareness and ability to use technology in a variety of mathematical contexts.
  • can utilize a variety of problem solving strategies and techniques including trial and error, conjecture and proof, and measurement and classification.
  • display conceptual understanding and reasoning in mathematics rather than memorizing rules and procedures.
  • have a strong computational ability.
  • show perseverance and enjoy the challenges of mathematical pursuits.

Mathematics teachers agree to provide opportunities for students to:

  • explore and investigate mathematical concepts and ideas in depth.
  • experiment with the technology available to them wherever applicable.
  • use a variety of methods to communicate and solve problems in mathematics.
  • display and develop their knowledge and understanding at an appropriate level.
  • develop their critical thinking and evaluation skills.
  • develop their knowledge of mathematical terminology and competence in use of notation.
  • work effectively both independently and in group activities.
  • apply their knowledge to real world situations and cross-curricular areas.
  • sense that they are supported in their endeavors to succeed.

Calculator Policy

All students in grades 7-9 will need a scientific calculator. A calculator will be provided to grade 6 students. All students in grades 10-12 will be required to purchase a TI-84 calculator. These calculators may be purchased through the school at any time.


Year Course: Grade 6

The course reviews basic math topics covered in elementary school and students practice concepts such as fractions, decimals, and graphing on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Topics covered in the course include: collection, display and interpretation of data; operations with whole numbers and decimals; rational number uses and operations; number systems and algebra concepts, probability and discrete mathematics; rates and ratios; variables; formulas and graphs; and geometry. This year the students make the transition to using a math notebook to organize their work and solve math problems. During the course the students will also be introduced to pre-algebra, apply the order of operations, learn how to balance equations, and solve problems involving up to two variables.

Year Course: Grade 7

The course provides a foundation for all students in basic arithmetic concepts and leads students through essential concepts in algebra, patterns and functions, measurement, logic and reasoning, probability and statistics. The course also provides a transition for students with these skills into more advanced concepts which include percentages, approximation and estimation, data analysis and spreadsheets, ratio and proportion, the language of algebra and standard notation, equations and inequalities, sets and real numbers, matrices, number theory and the beginnings of coordinate geometry. There will also be opportunities for students to display their mathematical knowledge and curiosity through investigations.

Year Course: Grade 8

The course objective is to review concepts and skills learned in grade 7 math and to extend into higher level thinking skills and application skills in algebra, geometry and problem solving. Topics include the use and application of variables, expressions, inequalities and equations; rational numbers, number theories and fraction concepts; ratio, proportion and percent; perimeter, area, surface area and volume of polygons, circles and others geometric figures; reading, analyzing data and making graphs; statistics, probability; graphing inequalities on a coordinate plane, and introducing polynomials.

Algebra I

Year Course: Grade 8

The course objective is to give students a solid foundation in algebra. This course is intended for students who would like to take higher level mathematics courses in high school and who will probably take mathematics in college. The topics include simplifying numerical and variable expressions, solving linear and quadratic equations, inequalities, systems of equations, and analyzing and graphing many types of functions. Application problems and the vocabulary of mathematics will be emphasized.


Science in the Middle School of St. Mary’s covers topics in the fields of Geology, Biology and Chemistry. Each class focuses on incorporating hands-on activities and labs to enhance student learning. Literary strategies are taught and reinforced throughout the years. Students learn skills and gain knowledge that will help them, not only in future science classes, but in all of their subject areas. Through their experiences in Middle School Science, students will be prepared for their high school career.

The topics of study are:

Grade 6

  • Variables
  • Mixtures and Solutions
  • Weather and Water
  • Environments

Grade 7

  • Structure of the Atom
  • Electricity
  • Cell Biology
  • Structure and Function in Living Systems

Grade 8

  • Density and Buoyancy
  • Structure of Matter
  • Periodic Table
  • Chemical Reactions
  • Chemistry of Living Systems
  • Genetics
  • Evolution
  • Earth and Life History

Social Studies

The Social Studies Department aims to encourage and promote beliefs, behaviors and actions that enable students to become informed, responsible and contributing members of society. A knowledge, understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures and global issues is a necessity not only in our school community, but also in the larger global community. Respect for others' rights and opinions, cooperation and responsibility are values crucial to the learning of Social Studies.

Students learn the connection between ideas and behavior, between the values that people hold and the consequences of those values. Events are examined from multiple perspectives and viewpoints and students to realize that the past has contributed greatly to the present, and will help shape the future.

Students gain ample opportunity to develop reading, writing, thinking, listening and speaking skills as Social Studies is taught in conjunction with the other humanities. Students explore the strands of history, geography, economics, and government in the context of internationalism and the betterment of humanity.

We believe students construct meaning best in Social Studies when they:

  • develop an understanding of global issues including an awareness of relationships between the world's diverse cultures, governments, regions and economic systems.
  • develop an awareness of the responsibilities and expectations of becoming members of society as well as their positive contributions to family, and the local, regional, national, and international communities.
  • are able to relate Social Studies to other disciplines and be able to make personal connections to what has been learned.
  • demonstrate an ability to make informed decisions by analyzing a large database of accurate information, drawing conclusions based on that information and validating those conclusions from relevant sources.
  • are able to appreciate the importance of history and its influence on the contemporary world.
  • appreciate and understand different perspectives.
  • have opportunities to read, write, listen, speak and think in a variety of situations including an understanding of and use of maps, graphs and charts, etc.
  • are able to realize the value and reliability of sources of information and understand what it means to analyze critically the sources that they are using.
  • understand the importance of developing their own questions of interest, while recognizing that some questions can be answered historically while some cannot.

Social Studies teachers agree to provide opportunities for students to:

  • relate lessons to current issues affecting the world and to their personal experiences in each unit of study.
  • engage in collaborative work and/or simulations in order to develop writing, listening, and oral presentation skills in each unit of study.
  • learn how to prepare and interpret maps, graphs and charts in each unit of study.
  • make informed decisions based on factual evidence and the development of logical, critical, and analytical thinking in each unit of study.

Grade 6

Studnets focus on the Geography and History of Eastern Aisa and cover a variety of topics including Medieval Japan, the Modernization of Japan, the Physical Geography of China and India, the Silk Road and the Economies of SE Asia.

Grade 7

The year is spent looking at various aspects of Human Geography, Physical Geography and Environmental Geography as the students journey through Africa, South America and Australia.

Grade 8

World History I is a chronological survey of world history from the earliest civilizations, through Ancient History and the Middle Ages. The course traces the development of civilization, focusing on characteristics significant to later ages and the modern world; e.g., Greek ideas of government and philosophy, Roman ideas of law and imperialism. Themes include political change and economic development, the influence of geography, the effect of contact between cultures, artistic creativity and the growth of science and technology. The contributions of India, China and Japan to world history of this period also receive due attention. Discussion of world current affairs is integrated whenever appropriate. Lessons cover understanding sequence, identifying cause/effect relationships, distinguishing fact from opinion, differentiating viewpoints, recognizing bias and more.

World Languages

The World Languages Department is committed to engage students in active language learning, knowing that language and communication are at the heart of the human experience. Students are equipped, both linguistically and culturally, to communicate successfully in a pluralistic and global society. By engendering competence in more than one language and culture, students are enabled to communicate with people of other cultures in a variety of settings. This allows them to look beyond their customary borders and develop insight into their own language and culture, producing greater awareness of self, of other cultures, and their relationship to those cultures.

We believe students construct meaning best in World Languages when:

  • language is taught using authentic materials and technology tools.
  • all language skills are taught: writing, reading, speaking, and listening.
  • placement is determined according to the student’s background and language ability.
  • social values of the target country are introduced and reinforced through language instruction.
  • students acquire language by memorization and by practical exercises and experiences (projects, presentations, etc.)
  • our learning environment is global in scale.
  • language and culture are integrated into the entire school experience.
  • students learn in a variety of ways and settings.
  • language and culture education incorporate effective instructional strategies and authentic assessment procedures.
  • language and culture education develop and enhance basic communication goal areas (communication, culture, comparison, community, and connection).
  • the diverse range of students' linguistic abilities and cultural backgrounds are respected.
  • content and pedagogy are interesting, meaningful, and student-centered.
  • students learn in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

Teachers agree to:

  • provide students opportunities to present their ideas through writing and speaking in class.
  • provide materials appropriate to the level of the student's language ability.
  • relate language acquisition to the cultural and social environment of the target language.
  • use materials that are relevant to the students' lives.
  • encourage cooperative learning so that students can share and express their ideas and opinions.

Japanese MS I

Year Course; Grade 7 or 8

An interesting and stimulating learning environment is created in order to introduce students to the fundamental elements of the Japanese language. Hiragana and katakana are studied and forty kanji are presented along with grammar relating to the masu and te verbal forms. Simple conversational skills such as dialogues are also cultivated. Communicative interaction is the goal of the course.

Japanese MS II

Year Course; Grade 7 or 8

This course is designed to develop the students' proficiencies in Japanese so as to give them greater fluency in the language. Students will master the reading and writing of hiragana and katakana, and will learn the writing of 80 kanji. They will expand their vocabularies, practice their oral and written language skills and learn new grammatical patterns in order to further prepare them for the next level of Japanese study.

Japanese MS III

Year Course; Grade 7 or 8

Students will review the vocabulary, grammatical structures, and verb/adjective conjugations that were learned in Japanese II as well as learn new ones. The reading and writing of 160 new kanji will also be introduced. Using newly introduced grammatical patterns and new kanji, students will engage in creative writing through short stories, essays, letters, and culture projects. Self-confidence in speaking will be nurtured through speeches, skits, and role-plays performed in class.

Japanese MS IV

Year Course; Grade 7 or 8

In this course students will continue to progress in terms of the four basic skills: speaking, writing, reading, and listening. Through a variety of readings, students will increase vocabulary, prepare various types of writing, and participate in oral presentations and discussions.

Japanese MS V

Year Course; Grade 7 or 8

This is a continuation of intermediate Japanese with writing, grammar and composition skills. Students are expected to further hone their language skills as well as deepen their appreciation of various aspects of Japanese culture, such as the use of proper greetings and other daily interactive language.

Japanese MS VI

Year Course; Grade 7

This course is structured to help students study 385 kanji and to further develop vocabulary. Various literary works, including poems, serve as material for critical discussion. Oral presentations and essay writing allow students to further express their opinions and improve their logical and persuasive skills in formal Japanese.

Japanese MS VII

Year Course; Grade 8

Students will increase their vocabulary as well as their ability to understand developmentally appropriate literary works in Japanese. Through the writing of poetry, short stories and essays, students will further hone their creative writing skills.

Japanese MS VIII

Year Course; Grade 8

Students will develop new vocabulary and will improve their comprehension skills through the reading of stories, essays, newspaper articles, and viewing videos. Students will also study tanka and haiku (Japanese poetry forms), kotowaza (Japanese proverbs), keigo (honorific forms) along with various other styles of writing, and will prepare oral presentations based on these styles.

French I

Year course; Grade 7

In this course, students get acquainted with basic vocabulary, expressions and grammar structures which introduce them to the French language. Students learn how to introduce themselves, greet people, talk about themselves and their friends, and tell about the date, the time, order food and drinks. Audio-visual materials are used to help students discover the francophone world.

French II

Year Course; Grade 8

In French II, the student extends his knowledge and his ability to speak French. Each unit begins with audio-visual activities and extends the four skills of listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Grammar patterns are presented formally for reference but are practiced in functional situations relating to themes.

Latin I (Elective)

Semester Course; Grade 8

This course is an introduction to elementary Latin. It covers the first declension (all cases), verbs of the first conjugation (indicative) with insistence on vocabulary and memory work. It further covers an introduction to mythology and Roman history: monarchy, republic, and empire.

Exploring World Languages (Elective)

Semester Course; Grades 7 and 8

This is a course designed to explore many languages in general and the English language in particular. The class will explore eleven different languages: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew, Swahili, Latin, Greek, and English. Students will learn how language developed and how English is related to other language families and participate in a variety of activities including dialogues, games, research, special international brunches, and more.

Fine Arts

In the Fine Arts Program, students develop creative skills, critical appreciation, knowledge of artistic techniques and technologies, and skills to communicate ideas. The Fine Arts Program develops students' sense of personal and cultural identity, and equips them for lifelong involvement in the arts. The Fine Arts Program focuses on developing the students' abilities to understand the role of art in the society, communicate individual ideas through the arts, use arts skills and processes, and evaluate and respond to fine art.

We believe students construct meaning best in Fine Arts when they:

  • are exposed to and develop an appreciation of fine arts from a variety of cultures and time periods.
  • understand the role of fine arts in society.
  • make connections between the fine arts and other subjects, previous learning and other life experiences.
  • are encouraged to use appropriate subject vocabulary.
  • explore skills, techniques, processes, conventions and technologies of the fine arts.
  • generate works that communicate ideas.
  • use creative and cooperative problem solving skills in the development of their works.
  • are given the opportunity to use their aesthetic understanding to respond to, reflect on and evaluate the fine arts.
  • are given opportunities to build self confidence and to discuss their opinions about their own and others' works.

Fine Arts teachers agree to provide students opportunities to:

  • discuss fine arts from a variety of cultures and time periods for each unit of study.
  • identify ways in which fine art is used in society, and the way in which fine art reflects society.
  • discuss and express personal experiences and opinions.
  • experience new vocabulary in both verbal and written forms.
  • create works using a wide variety of media.
  • explain the purpose and meaning of created works.
  • solve problems they encounter by using research skills, teacher assistance, cooperation with others or practice.
  • respond to, reflect on and evaluate works in a written or oral form for each unit of work.
  • evaluate their own art work orally or in writing during and upon completion of their work.
  • experience visual and aural demonstrations during class.

Two Dimensional Art (Elective)

Semester Course (every other day); Grades 7 and 8

Students in this class will explore various media with an emphasis on drawing, painting, printmaking, and graphic art. With past experiences as a foundation, students will continue to develop their skills of seeing, understanding, and making judgments about their own work as well as others. Students will learn to use art vocabulary and to become familiar with various artists and art movements. Ideas and inspiration for the students' art work will be derived from their imagination, observations, life experiences, and memories. Sketch book drawing assignments will also be used to support ideas, skills, and concepts. Students enrolled in this course for the first semester will take Three Dimensional Art the second semester, or vice versa.

Three Dimensional Art (Elective)

Semester Course (every other day); Grades 7 & 8

Students work with the pottery wheel and hand building method of clay construction. Specific hand building projects are assigned. Students may also be required to make a puppet that has arms that move and will work with pewter to create jewelry. Although the productive realm of art education seems to be the core of this course, the cultural, historical and critical realms are also part of the program. Quality is emphasized over quantity.

Mechanical Drawing(Elective)

Semester Course (every other day); Grades 7 and 8

This course introduces students to the basic principles and practices used in the drafting industry. Students will have an opportunity to develop and strengthen their technical drawing, applied math, and geometry skills. The course emphasizes the proper use of drafting instruments, and techniques to create neat and accurate drawings of design products. Many of these same skills will be applied to the construction and design of model truss bridges that students will test for stress and strength through a class competition.

Middle School Choir and Bells (Elective)

Semester Course (every other day); Grades 7 and 8

This course aims at developing three basic styles of playing: legatto, staccato, and marcato. It trains the student in proper attack and releasing of notes. The student will learn reading music by sight in all keys through the use of bells and singing. The course will expose them to all types of music from baroque to contemporary popular styles. The students perform several times throughout the year with the Spring and Christmas concerts being the largest. They also participate in the Kanto Plains Choral Festival and a choral retreat. Opportunities to learn various choral techniques are provided by exposure to leading contemporary composers and conductors.

Middle School Band (Elective)

Year Course (every other day); Grades 7 and 8

This class provides students with the opportunity to rehearse and perform concert band music literature at an intermediate level. The Middle School Band often performs for the school and local community. The student will be musically challenged and prepared for the advanced music in the High School.

Physical Education

Physical Education contributes to a better quality of life by helping young people create a healthy habit of engaging in purposeful physical activity. The Physical Education Department is committed to meeting the needs of all students regardless of their nationality and culture. St. Mary's promotes fitness of the mind and body. We develop a regimen focused on improvement in physical, coordination, technical, and sports capabilities, as well as stress the importance of personal hygiene, adequate nutrition, and life-long leisure time activities essential to the maintenance of good health.

We believe that students construct meaning best in Physical Education when the program:

  • promotes fitness, wellness, and a healthy attitude toward exercise.
  • contributes to a lifelong development of the whole person: physical, social, and emotional.
  • provides experiences that lead to a physically active life and long-term good health.
  • provides acquisition of skills so as to increase individual awareness of potential abilities.
  • provides attitudes of cooperation, honesty, self-control, and responsibility.
  • provides an opportunity to enhance social development through physical activities.
  • promotes respect of others through team play and dignity of self.

Teachers agree to:

  • provide a safe environment.
  • emphasize personal progress.
  • keep students active during classes.
  • teach a broad base of skills that translate into a lifetime of physical activity.
  • provide appropriate teaching progressions and repetition for mastery of skills.
  • plan lessons so that students are genuinely seen "enjoying the experience".

Interscholastic Activities

For those students who wish to pursue and excel in individual and team activities, the following sports are offered at various times throughout the year to students in Grades 7 through 12: cross country, tennis, wrestling, basketball, soccer, swimming, track and field, baseball.

Physical Education

Semester Course; Grades 7 and 8

Students will be exposed to a variety of activities designed to give them an appreciation for the physical activity options open to them. These activities will be pursued in the pool, the gymnasium, the playing field and tennis courts. The activities will include combatives (e.g. wrestling), team sports/activities (e.g. basketball), rhythms, individual sports/activities (e.g. badminton), aquatics, self-testing, stunts (dual/individual), and tumbling. Students will also be expected to gain a workable understanding of the rules governing the various games and activities. The course will be graded on a pass/fail basis and the heavy emphasis will be on an energetic conformity to the goals and rules of the class. This conformity includes the dress code in effect for all physical education classes.

Tennis (Elective)

Semester Course; Grades 7 and 8

The game of tennis will be introduced to beginners and reinforce skills already in place for the experienced players. The skills taught in this class include: grip-forehand and backhand; serve-entry level; volleys; smash; footwork; rules and etiquette of the game; scoring and strategies.

Information Technology

The Information Technology Department aims to prepare students for their future in an increasingly technological world. Through the use of up-to-date technical and educational resources, students gain competence and confidence in their ability to use technology to meet their educational goals. Beginning with basic computer skills in the lower elementary grades, students participate in a learning program designed to help develop increasingly refined information technology skills, including the use of the Internet. Concurrently, each new technology skill that is developed facilitates the attainment of core curricular goals, thereby enhancing the students' acquisition of knowledge in all subject areas. Throughout the program, students are encouraged and expected to use technology in a manner that builds trust and respect among people locally and globally.

We believe that students construct meaning best in Information Technology when they:

  • think critically about the ethical and moral use of technologies.
  • use technology tools to be more productive than they would have been without them.
  • apply the tools of technology directly to analyzing, designing, creating, completing and/or verifying class projects from a variety of subject areas.
  • are allowed and encouraged to explore the uses of software available and to expand their abilities through these discoveries.
  • are shown how to develop and improve technical abilities through self-directed learning.
  • are comfortable creating reports and projects using word processing, graphics, spreadsheets, presentation software, and database skills.

IT teachers agree to:

  • assist students in developing proficiency in utilizing information media and technology for communication and research.
  • ensure that all students gain basic skills of computing, such as: understanding the "what" and "how" of the equipment; keyboard skills; use of input devices such as scanners and cameras; word processing for report generating; production and application of graphics; data management; presentation of information in slideshows or videos; navigation and communication using the internet and locally within the school.
  • provide an atmosphere in which students can develop self-discipline, personal values, and accountability.
  • provide opportunities for students to apply their computer technology skills to real life situations.
  • help students access and utilize information using a variety of resources.
  • implement a student contract for ethically and socially appropriate use of technology.
  • use software and hardware to enhance curriculum programs.
  • facilitate student use of technology for research via websites, search engines, presentation software, spreadsheets, etc.

Computer Journalism (Elective)

Semester Course; Grades 7 and 8

Students will use technology to create a middle school student newspaper for online and printed publication. The goal is to produce well-written, informative and entertaining articles in a timely fashion for middle school students and their parents. Students will use computers, scanners, digital cameras and various software.

Student Resource

The Student Resource Department helps provide support for students who are learning English as a Second Language and students with special learning needs. Though students learn at different rates and in different ways, each student has intrinsic value and will have equal access to the curriculum in a caring and supportive environment. The department strives to consider the individual needs and learning style of each student while realizing that learning is an ongoing process. The school supports the training of staff members in the teaching of English to students of other languages, the theory of second language acquisition, and methods for differentiating instruction for students with special needs. Every student is encouraged to be a creative and critical thinker as a member of the school and the global community. Our teachers foster a school environment that values all learners in order to facilitate the academic literacy of the students.

We believe that:

  • language is an essential tool for academic success.
  • students should be knowledgeable and English language proficient in order to communicate effectively with confidence and fluency.
  • students learn best when they have the approval and support of their teachers to gain mastery of material.
  • students learn a second language best when they are proficient in their first language and are not required or forced to replace it.
  • students learn best when they have their needs in content areas met through involvement in a wide range of instructional strategies that recognize their individual ability levels.
  • students learn best when they are motivated to learn and take responsibility for their learning.
  • students learn best when they are immersed in an environment of fluent English speakers and are given supportive instruction with the goal of using English effectively in mainstream classes.

Teachers agree to:

  • take into account the previous experiences, optimum learning styles, and knowledge base of students as language learners.
  • provide students with opportunities to make connections to the variety of cultural backgrounds and languages that are available in their classes.
  • provide good models and varied practice with analytical and creative thinking skills for all students.
  • encourage students to take an active role in analyzing their own work to identify their strengths and weaknesses to bring about improvement of skills.
  • provide a supportive environment for learning language in the mainstream classroom by collaboration with teachers.
  • utilize and promote the use of flexible, appropriate and up-to-date methodologies in such a way as to best meet the needs of all students.

Writing (Elective)

Year Course; Grades 7 and 8

This course is designed to help students improve their written expression. It supports what is being done in the regular English classes and focuses on the writing process. Students who need extra work in developing language proficiency can benefit from this small group situation. Students work on basic skills as well as techniques of oral communication.

Study Skills (Elective)

Semester Course; Grades 7 and 8

This course helps students make more productive use of study time. It teaches students how to study focusing on the material being taught in the regular science, English, and social studies classes. The students receive individual instruction as to how to use the resource materials in the library. The class is limited to 12 students to better enable the teacher to address individual needs. There is an emphasis on cooperative learning wherein students share their strengths and help each other.

ESL Content Support

Year or Semester Course; Grades 7 and 8

This class is designed to reinforce language acquisition for students for whom English is not their first language. It also aims to support their learning in content area classes in order to successfully master mainstream disciplines. Preview and review techniques are used to deepen students' knowledge. Students will develop their English communicative skills, learn to express ideas clearly in both written and spoken academic language, improve interpersonal communication skills and subject area related vocabulary and comprehension.

Learners' Team

Semester Course; Grades 7 and 8

In order to recognize individual needs and deepen students' comprehension and motivation, this course assists students by providing content area review techniques. Strong team relationships will be built while strengthening mainstream learning processes. Students will be supported in a holistic manner, emotionally, socially, and educationally, in order to help achieve success in school.

After School Study Room

3:20 pm – 4:10 pm, daily throughout the school year

This daily opportunity is open to all students. Middle school faculty members will provide help and supervision for students wishing to do their homework at school.


7:30 am to 4:30 pm

The secondary school library is open daily for middle and high school student use.