Nurturing Academic Success

Seasons change, times change, and some things at St. Mary on the Hill Catholic School (SMCS) change too. When reflecting on the changes this year, it is easy to see they have something in common. They reinforce our commitment to our students’ academic success.

Below are the Top 10 changes for which I am most excited. Drumroll please…

SMCS has:

10. Moved the after-school care program to a larger location which provides more space for quiet homework and study time.

 9. Hired playground supervisors for recess times. Our faculty now has a duty-free lunch time for planning or just having lunch together as a team.

 8. Installed all new playground equipment designed for a larger number of students to play on and have fun during recess. Recess is an important part of our day. It allows students to refresh their brains for the remainder of the school day.

 7. Introduced the NWEA’s Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Test for students in grades 1-8. MAP is a computer-adaptive test which measures student achievement and growth over time, regardless of a student’s grade level.

 6. Expanded the school by converting available space into two new classrooms. SMCS now has three homerooms in each of our K-8 grade levels with a preferred maximum of only 20 students in each homeroom.

 5. Installed lockers for grades 6-8 which allows students to be more efficient during class changes and to minimize the need for students to carry a large number of books.

 4. Introduced a mentor program for our 6-8th grade students. An administrator or faculty member will meet with their students on a regular basis to help guide them throughout the school year. 

  3. Added a 9th period class for students in grades 4-8. This class period provides students with enrichment opportunities including elective classes for grades 7-8. This quarter's electives include broadcasting, competition math, installation art, and a class focused on positivity. Eighth grade students can also choose Spanish 1 as their elective class for the year.

  2. Expanded our emphasis in the areas of critical thinking and writing to include more varied and creative problem solving throughout the school day. Three faculty members are also school-wide writing consultants to reinforce cross-curricular writing skills.

  1. Increased our resources in math to include school-wide computer-based math enrichment, a more challenging math series in grades 4-5, and a dedicated math lab (in addition to math class) in grade 6 to further prepare students for pre-algebra and Algebra I. 

Changes will always be a part of any organization, including a school. It is reassuring to know that although some things may change at SMCS, one thing will always remain the same. We will always be focused on what is in the best interest of our students. Here’s to a great school year! Go Saints!

Christine Sweeney, Marketing Director
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