What is the current enrollment?

There are 454 students enrolled in kindergarten through eighth grades.

Does St. Mary’s limit classroom size?

Yes. There are 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 second 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, who belong to the parish, are asked to complete a stewardship card each year to indicate what their time, talent, and tithe to the parish will be for the year. Catholic education is the largest ministry of our growing and vibrant parish. Our school is blessed with the generous outpouring of support from our parishioners. Because St. Mary's is a stewardship parish, active tithing members of the parish may attend the school under stewardship.

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 SACS/AdvancED and continues to meet the requirements to be fully accredited.

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 embraces educational technology and incorporates its use into virtually every aspect of school life. Technology is used in all grade levels from kindergarten through eighth grade. Our campus is fully networked with classroom computers, smart boards, iPads, and laptops. St. Mary's Computer Lab provides a hands-on environment for students to learn coding, cybersecurity skills, keyboarding, multimedia production, robotics, and software applications.

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 $3.50 per day or $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. 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 ($0.50) with cash.

Is there an extracurricular program?

Extracurricular opportunities include Academic Team, Band, Boythovens, Chess Club, Chorus, CyberSaints, Drama-Christmas Musical, Junior Beta Club, Prayer Group, Safety Patrol, and Student Council.

St. Mary’s is active in and has earned recognition for outstanding performance in local, regional, and national academic competitions.  These include the CyberPatriot Competition, Future City Competition, literary/writing competitions, MATHCOUNTS, Model UN, National Geographic Bee, PAGE Academic Bowl, Perennial Math Tournament, Scripps National Spelling Bee, and more.  We are proud of our students' award-winning accomplishments.

Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts 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 baseball, basketball, bowling, cheerleading, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, and volleyball.  Coaches are parent and community volunteers who have passed a background check, signed the Diocesan Code of Conduct for Those Working with Minors, and completed VIRTUS training.

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

Before-school and after-school programs are provided for students on regularly scheduled school days. 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 per day for one child or $4 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 $55 per student per week or a maximum of $110 per family for regular attendees. For students who attend on a drop-in basis, there is a $6 fee for the first 45 minutes and a $12 fee for over 45 minutes.

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. Other drills are also practiced during the school year.