What is the current enrollment?

There are 445 students enrolled in kindergarten through eighth grades.

Does St. Mary’s limit classroom size?

Depending upon enrollment, there are two or three kindergarten through third grade classrooms with approximately 20 students each. Each kindergarten classroom has one teacher and one assistant.  First grade classrooms have one teacher in each classroom and share two assistants. Grades two and three have one teacher per classroom.  Grades four through six have two classrooms each with a maximum of 30 students per classroom.  A third teacher, an intermediate math teacher for grades five and six allows for smaller math class sizes.  Grades seven and eight have three classrooms each with a approximately 20 students per homeroom.

What does it mean to be a stewardship school?

In 1995 our parish implemented a plan of Sacrificial Giving making St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church a stewardship parish.  Families are asked to complete a Stewardship Card each year to indicate what their tithe, time, and talent to the parish will be for the year.  Catholic education is the largest ministry of this growing and vibrant parish.  Our school is blessed with the generous outpouring of support through parishioners’ time, talent and treasure - a stewardship way of life.  Stewardship families may attend the school under the stewardship policy.

How does St. Mary’s maintain its Catholic identity?

St. Mary’s sets a priority of hiring practicing Catholics as classroom teachers.  All classroom religion teachers participate in ongoing Catechist training to maintain their Catechist Certification. Religion is taught to all students daily.  Each school day is started and ended by student/faculty-led, school-wide prayer.  Students attend daily Mass at least once per week with their class, monthly all-school Mass, and Holy Day of Obligation Masses.

Who accredits St. Mary’s?

St. Mary's is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and continues to meet the requirements to be fully accredited by SACS.

What curriculum does St. Mary’s follow?

St. Mary’s follows Diocese of Savannah curriculum guides.  These guides detail the expectations of skills to be taught and mastered at each grade level in each subject area.  St. Mary’s stays current by incorporating updates/changes no later than one year following any Diocese of Savannah curriculum changes.

Although we have curriculum guides, we believe our teachers are the most important part of the curriculum. Teachers use their expertise, experiences, textbooks, resource people, field trips, and the curriculum guides to provide the best Catholic education possible for our students.

What role does technology play in the curriculum?

St. Mary’s has over 150 networked computers with Internet access in four labs, 24 classrooms, a media center, administrative offices, a religious education office, and a cafeteria. St. Mary's also has iPad/laptop teaching carts that are used in all classrooms.  The St. Mary’s technology plan includes the acquisition of software, prioritizing the replacement of hardware, and training for staff and faculty.

With the financial backing of an extremely generous donor, all classrooms in grades K-8 have computers and a Promethean ActivBoard.  In 2009, General Dynamic Corp. donated 30 computers, and we established a lab in the media center for students and teachers to use.  Thanks to their ongoing support, GDC has donated over 90 computers to date for use at St. Mary's.

How do parents and teachers communicate?

Many opportunities are available for communication between parents and teachers.  These  include: RenWeb, e-mail, phone calls, book bag mail, homework hotlines, classroom newsletters, new parent orientations, back-to-school night events, parent-teacher conferences, and progress reports.

We have a very good on-line resource, RenWeb, which allows parents to see their students’ grades, homework assignments, project due dates, and progress reports as well as additional information from the teachers.  It also allows teachers and administration to quickly send e-mail messages to all parents. This is especially helpful in case of unscheduled school closings, changes in athletic events, important information for parents, etc.

Does St. Mary’s have a resource specialist on staff?

St. Mary’s has a full-time reading interventionist who works with students one-on-one or in small groups to provide extra assistance.

Is there a lunch program?

St. Mary's has a full-service cafeteria with a hot lunch available daily.  Lunches are $17.50 per week and parents may send money in an envelope marked lunch account with their child's name and homeroom on it.  Parents may also make payments online, and this money will be credited to the family's account.  As their child purchases lunch or milk, this account will be debited.  Students who bring their lunch may purchase milk (50 cents) with cash. St. Mary's participates in the U.S. Government Lunch program and a free or reduced cost lunch is provided for those who meet the government's criteria.  St. Mary's does not have a breakfast program.

Is there an extracurricular program?

St. Mary’s is active in and has earned recognition for outstanding performance in local, regional, and national academic competitions.  These include, but are not limited to: the CyberPatriot Competition, Future City Competition, literary/writing competitions, MATHCOUNTS, National Geographic Bee, PAGE Academic Bowl, and Scripps National Spelling Bee.  We are proud of our students' award-winning accomplishments.

Extracurricular opportunities include Academic Team, Band, Boythovens, Brass, Chess Club, Chorus, CyberSaints, Drama-Christmas Musical, Junior Beta Club, Safety Patrol, and Student Council.These opportunities are generally available to students based on grade level and/or academic standing.

Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and American Heritage Girls are available through St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church.

Is there a sports program?

St. Mary’s is a member of the Augusta-Aiken Middle School League.  Students in grades 6-8, who maintain passing grades in all subjects and demonstrate good conduct, can participate in a variety of competitive sports. The sports program includes boys' and girls' soccer, cross country, basketball, tennis, and golf; girls' cheerleading and volleyball; and boys' football and baseball.  Coaches are parent and community volunteers who have passed a background check and attended VIRTUS class.

Are there before-school and after-school care programs?

Before-school and after-school programs are provided for students on regularly scheduled school days. Before care is held in a classroom in the school and after care is held on the second floor above the school’s Library/Media Center.

The before-school program is an adult-supervised program that begins at 7:00 am and ends at 7:45 am. The students then proceed to their classrooms to start their school day.  The fee is $3.00 per day for one child or $4.00 for two or more children.

The after-school program is an adult-supervised program that begins at dismissal and ends at 6:00 pm. After-school personnel escort the students from their classrooms to the after-school location. The students have supervised play on the playground (weather permitting), a snack, supervised homework time, and free time. There are at least two adult supervisors on duty at all times. The after-school program is available on a weekly or drop in basis. Students who have not been picked up 10 minutes after school dismissal are taken to the after school area. Students must be signed out with one of the after-school teachers by the person picking them up. Only persons authorized by the parent in writing will be allowed to pick up a student.

The after-school program cost is $50 per student per week ($200 per month) for regular attendees and $11 per student per day for drop ins. If a student is only in after school for less than one hour, the charge is $5.

What is the current state of St. Mary’s campus?

In August of 2002 a five million dollar renovation and building project was completed.  All classrooms received new windows, lights, ceilings, carpet, HVAC systems, and paint.  A new media center and after school program area was created in the previous St. Joseph’s Convent.  Also, a new gymnasium and cafeteria were constructed.  An excellent maintenance staff beautifully maintains the facility. Because of the limitation of land, there are no plans to expand the current campus.

What is VIRTUS training for school volunteers?

VIRTUS is a Diocesan program focused on protecting our children.  This program is required for any adult who volunteers their time in any Catholic school, including field trips, etc.  The VIRTUS program helps participants understand why wrongdoings happen to children and how we can be more aware of how to protect our children.  In addition to VIRTUS, all school volunteers are required to have a background check and sign a Diocesan Code of Conduct.  VIRTUS training, Code of Coduct, and background checks are also required for all school staff and faculty.

What security measures are in place to protect students?

All doors and exterior gates are locked during the school day.  All visitors must enter the school through the main entrance.  The main entrance is automatic and can only be opened by our receptionist or by school administration.  Monitored security cameras are also in place.

Is there an emergency/disaster plan in place for the school?

St. Mary’s does have plans in place in the event of an emergency.  These plans cover a variety of scenarios such as fire, weather, civil disturbance, bomb threat, and hazardous materials release.  The school has a monitored fire alarm notification system in place that automatically notifies the fire department in case of a fire.  Fire drills are held on a monthly basis.  Tornado drills are also held twice a year.