Departments

Academics to prepare for the world ahead

Rigorous regents and honors courses are structured to prepare students for college. A variety of elective courses give students the chance to explore their interests for college and their career. To learn about academic offerings, individual course descriptions are listed under their respective departments.

Art

Advanced Ceramics

1/2 Credit

This course is designed to increase knowledge and production of functional and decorative pottery, to develop an understanding of the history and aesthetics of ceramic design, and to further develop technical skills necessary for the successful formulation of glazes, preparation of clay bodies, and firing of ceramic wares.

Prerequisite: Ceramics & Sculpture

Digital Art

1/2 Credit (see Ms. Hillery, Mr. Herr, Ms. Ruhland for information)
This course is designed to develop both technical and artistic skills using computers as
a creative tool to generate images. Digital art created in this course will be applied to
electronic slide shows, webpages, and hard-copy prints. Finished projects will
demonstrate understanding of both the technical and aesthetic implications of the
medium. The final objective will be to generate a digital portfolio that can be viewed
both electronically (web and/or CD) and as hard-copy prints. Students will learn about
drawing, painting, animation, and multimedia applications with a combination of
lecture, demonstration, and hands-on experience. They will also gain exposure to
ethical concerns and copyright issues.
Prerequisite: Computer Foundations for High School

Digital Photography

1/2 Credit (see Ms. Hillery, Mr. Herr, Ms. Ruhland for information)
Students will learn the basics of photographic composition and lighting, using a digital
camera, and preparing a digital darkroom. Students will also learn basic color theory
and the fundamentals of image processing. This course is designed for students who
have no background in photography. Students will use Adobe Photoshop for
manipulation of photographs. After completing this course, students will be able to
successfully use a digital camera to make images; explain and apply basic
photographic compositions to their images; explain and apply the various
characteristics of light in making their images; explain and apply the fundamental tools
of image processing to their work; explain the hardware and software requirements for
a digital darkroom and analyze their systems in terms of those requirements; explain
how a digital camera works; and explain how they can use their photographs.
Requirement: any digital camera of 4 megapixel or more.

Portfolio Design

1/2 Credit

Grades 11- Spring Semester; Grade 12- Fall Semester

Interested in a career in art? Thinking about subjects like graphic design, animation, or drawing and painting as a college major? This is the perfect class for you. This course is student driven and allows you time to build an art portfolio customized to your personality, artistic style, and preferred artistic medium. This is an upper level art course where you will create art and practice life drawing, discuss art history, explore current careers in art, and learn how to critically look and talk about art. This course is only for Juniors and Seniors that have taken two or more art courses.

Art 9

1/2 Credit

Through the study of the elements and principles of art students will expand their knowledge of the visual arts, as well as expanding their professional portfolio. This class is based upon experimentation and exploration of all facets of art including, but not limited to, drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics and digital art. This course will provide the student with a comprehensive understanding of techniques, styles and methods utilized while creating artworks. The students will explore the rules of composition, principles of design, and the elements of art in order to develop an aesthetic eye and artistic viewpoint. Students will study the works of various artists and art movements throughout history and how it relates to their community. Students will read and write about different aesthetic theories of art to help them analyze and appreciate works of art.  

Art 10

1/2 Credit

 

Through the study of the elements and principles of art students will expand their knowledge of the visual arts, as well as expanding their professional portfolio. This class is based upon experimentation and exploration of all facets of art including, but not limited to, drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics and digital art. This course will provide the student with a comprehensive understanding of techniques, styles and methods utilized while creating artworks. The students will explore the rules of composition, principles of design, and the elements of art in order to develop an aesthetic eye and artistic viewpoint. Students will study the works of various artists and art movements throughout history and how it relates to their community. Students will read and write about different aesthetic theories of art to help them analyze and appreciate works of art.  

Business

Accounting

1/2 Credit
Grades 11-12
Accounting is highly recommended for college-bound students considering
accounting, business, or economics. This course is designed to introduce students to
real-world concepts in today’s business environment. Accounting starts with the
elementary principles of debits and credits and ends with the balance sheet and
income statement.

Business Law

1/2 Credit
Grades 10-12
Business Law is an interesting and educational class that is encouraged as an elective
for all students. In this course, students develop an understanding of business law and
law enforcement as it affects the student’s personal, family, and occupational pursuits.
An introduction to our legal system, court procedures, and the jury process will be
presented. Students become aware of the need for legal assistance in a variety of day-to-day
business transactions, so that they may avoid legal entanglements by having a
working knowledge of their rights and obligations. Students who plan on majoring in
business, economics, government, or history are encouraged to take this class.

Computer Science

21st Century Computing

1/2 Credit
Grade 9

This is a mandatory course that will provide an introduction to the computer, exploring the essential concepts and information about the computer. A practical knowledge of Windows and Google Chromebooks and apps is achieved. Students will also develop proficiency in using an integrated Office Suite package, which includes word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Current issues such as social networking and Internet safety are explored.

Computer Science

1/2 Credit
Grades 10-12
Introduces students who are interested in any computer or engineering field to the
foundational concepts of computer science and challenges them to explore how
computing and technology can impact the world. With a unique focus on creative
problem solving and real-world applications, Computer Science prepares students for
college and career. Students who successfully complete this semester-long course will
have the option of taking AP Computer Science Principles as an independent study
class.

Internet and Web Page Development

1/2 Credit

This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of web site creation. Students will develop, manage, and maintain professional websites using HTML, XHTML and Cascading Style Sheets. The complete production process including pre-production planning, layout and design considerations (including site maps and navigation), testing, uploading and implementing the site, maintenance and applicable legal and ethical issues are covered. Professional web design software and production tools are used for graphics development, image manipulation, and page/site layout in the hands-on laboratory exercises.

Prerequisite: 21st Century Computing and Digital Art

3D Computer Automated Design I

1/2 Credit
Using modeling software, students will build real-world objects in a three-dimensional
environment. Students will print some of their work on a 3D printer and create movies
that illustrate their completed projects. The skills gained in this course will help
students prepare for possible careers in such fields as graphic design, game design,
animation, simulation, and engineering.

3D Computer Automated Design II

1/2 Credit
Building upon 3D CAD I, students create and print more complex three-dimensional
drawings. Students also create more complicated movies that animate as well as
illustrate their projects.
Prerequisite: 3D Computer Automated Design I

Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles

1/2 Credit
This semester-long course is a continuation of Computer Science that will prepare the
student for earning AP credit. Students explore the impact of computing on social,
economic, and cultural areas of our lives. Students create computational artifacts
through the design and development of programs. The cost of the A.P. exam is
approximately $90.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Computer Science

Advanced Placement Computer Science

1 Credit
This course is a college-level course for students who are interested in computer
science or engineering. It will continue object-oriented programming with an emphasis
on Java. The course will also cover the case study recommended by the College
Board. Students will be prepared for the Advanced Placement Exam. The cost of the
A.P. exam is approximately $90.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Computer Science

English

English 9

1 Credit

This course studies literary genres including short stories, poetry, novels, nonfiction, and drama. Also integral to the course are writing skills, concentrating on content, sentence structure, paragraphing, and organization. Drama includes a Shakespearean play. A research paper is required. Assignments include reading, compositions, reports, and creative projects. Summer reading is mandatory.

English 9 Honors

1 Credit

This course will cover the English 9 course requirements at an accelerated pace. Several additional works will be studied to help students further develop their literary appreciation and writing skills. Honors classes for underclassmen are preparation for junior and senior year Advanced Placement courses in English. Completion of summer reading and a research paper are requirements of the course.

Prerequisite: Department recommendation

Reading Development

1/2 Credit
Grade 9

Reading Development is a requirement of some ninth graders, based upon the scores received on the Reading Comprehension portion of the High School Entrance Exam.  Students will read in several genres: magazine, newspaper, short play, short story, and nonfiction textbook selections.  Skills will be practiced for comprehension such as prediction, paraphrasing, noting contextual clues, noting author’s use of diction, syntax, tone, and others.  Much time is devoted to reading, the research-proven method to improve reading skills.  To this end, many Fridays will be devoted to individual free reading.  A final project will be required based on the book selection.  Each student’s improvement, assessed by a pre and post-course exam, will also determine the final grade.  This is a one-semester course.

English 10

1 Credit

The second year of English is an overview of World Literature. The study involves deepening the understanding of literary forms such as the novel, drama, short story, nonfiction, and poetry begun in the freshman year. Mastery of vocabulary and progress in grammar are considered essential. Outside assignments include novel reading, composition, and projects. Completion of summer reading is a requirement of the course.

English 10 Honors

1 Credit

The second year of English is an overview of World Literature. The study involves a deeper understanding of literary forms such as the novel, drama, short story, nonfiction, and poetry. A major stress is placed on reading assignments and analytical essays. The titles of novels to be read will be selected from a preparatory college reading list. Mastery of selected vocabulary will be expected. Outside assignments include reading, composition, and research work. Honors classes for underclassmen are preparation for junior and senior year Advanced Placement courses in English. Completion of summer reading is a requirement of the course. The course pace is accelerated.

Prerequisite: Department recommendation

English 11 Regents

1 Credit

This course is a survey of major American writers. The course is approached from the type of literature studied historically and chronologically. There is also a focus on reading and responding to works of nonfiction.  Research techniques are an integral part of the course work. Other types of writing, such as analysis and argument, are taught. All students will take the Comprehensive English Regents Exam in June. Summer reading is required.

English 11- Advanced Placement Language and Composition

1 Credit

This college-level course is the equivalent of English 11 Honors. The student who selects this course should be college-bound and have a good command of reading, writing, and discussion skills. This course mirrors the freshman college composition course all college students take in the beginning of their freshman year. The emphasis of the literature studied in this course is nonfiction. A research paper is required each semester. Nightly assignments of reading and/or writing can be expected. At the end of the year, students will take the A.P. Language and Composition Exam. The cost of this exam is approximately $90. Students who pass the A.P. Exam may be eligible for college credit. A summer reading assignment, including written paper due upon return in the fall, will be required and will be incorporated into the first marking period grade.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of  English 10 Honors, with an average of 92 or better OR teacher recommendation

Note – AP Language students will also take the New York State English Regents Exam in June.

Writing Development

1/2 Credit
Grade 11

This course is designed to aid students weak in composition. It is mandatory for juniors who have been identified by the English Department as having difficulty with writing skills at the end of their sophomore year. This course is offered in addition to the regular requirements in English. Satisfactory completion of assigned writing is a must for credit.

English 12- Introduction to College Composition

1 Credit

Introduction to College Composition will introduce the various forms of reading and writing expected of college freshmen.  This course will also prepare students for the expectations of reading and communication beyond high school.  This course will require students to complete one polished piece of writing per quarter, as well as several small essays.  In addition to the required Shakespearean play, students will be responsible for completing various supplemental readings (newspaper articles, scholarly journal articles, digital publications, etc.).  English 12 also gives students introductory lessons in print journalism and requires them to contribute to The Marian Gazette newspaper.  Summer reading is a requirement of the course.

English 12- Advanced Placement Literature and Composition

1 Credit

This college-level course is the equivalent of English 12 Honors. The student who selects this course should be college-bound and have a good command of reading, writing, and discussion skills. Nightly assignments of reading and/or writing can be expected. At the end of the year, students will take the A.P. English Literature and Composition Exam. The cost of this A.P. exam is approximately $90. Students who pass the A.P. exam may be eligible for college credit. A summer reading assignment, including written paper, is due upon return in the fall; completion of this assignment is a course requirement.

Prerequisite: In order to take the course, the senior must have either scored mastery level on the New York State English Regents Exam or scored a 3 or higher on the AP English Literature and Composition Exam.

Creative Writing

1/2 Credit
Grades 10-12

This elective is designed to aid the student in his/her creative expression, as well as delivery of one’s own writing. The first quarter will focus on fiction. Students will read and evaluate the effectiveness of fiction of varying styles. They will write and workshop short stories to complete a final portfolio. The second quarter will focus on poetry. Students will learn poetic vocabulary, and read and compose poems of varying styles. Students will write and workshop each other’s poetry to complete a final portfolio at the end of the quarter. Students will be expected to deliver their writing to an audience.

Health/Physical Education

Health

1/2 Credit
The emphasis on this course is self-responsibility and choices made result in
consequences. In line with the contemporary attention to individual and group health
problems, the State Department of Education now mandates that all students have a
minimum 1/2 credit in health education which must include the topics of stress
management, suicide prevention, nutrition, drugs (including alcohol, tobacco, and
steroids), and disease (including sexually transmitted diseases). The focus of this
course will be for students to understand that health and wellness are lifelong and
cumulative, and that knowledge translated into positive health practices can extend
youthfulness and postpone aging. The course also stresses principles adaptable to
living life to the fullest extent today, toward accepting oneself, associating
harmoniously with others, and developing an awareness of our physical, social, mental,
spiritual, and environmental responsibilities. This course will include individual health
problems, as well as the health problems facing us as a society and how we can deal
with them. Students understanding the areas of health that affect them today and in
the future are the major objectives of this course.

Physical Education

1/2 Credit
New York State mandates that all students in high school must take physical education
in order to fulfill the requirements for graduation. At St. Mary’s, students must take two
(2) physical education classes per cycle, for 40 weeks, each year. In lieu of Physical
Education, Dance Class may be selected and will fulfill the Physical Education
requirement.

Dance

1/2 Credit
Dance is an alternative to traditional gym class. This class was conceived to promote body fitness and emotional well-being using the art of dance. Classes incorporate multiple dance forms that are designed to improve flexibility, body strength, muscle tone, and aerobic endurance. Through participation, students will also develop musicality, become familiar with dance terminology, and receive tips on health and stress management. Dance is available to all grade levels.

Language

Spanish 1

1 Credit
Level 1 courses are designed to help students develop the skills of listening
comprehension, reading, speaking, and writing as well as an understanding and
appreciation of culture. Emphasis is on communicative proficiency. There is a local
exam in June.
Note: All incoming freshmen with previous language experience must complete the St.
Mary’s HS LOTE Placement Exam.

Spanish 2

1 Credit
Level 2 courses reinforce the skills and vocabulary taught in Level 1. Concentration is
on further development of listening comprehension, conversation, culture, and
increased reading and extended writings. There is continued emphasis on
communicative proficiency. There is a local exam in June.
Prerequisite: Department approval. For incoming freshmen, placement is contingent on
performance on the St. Mary’s LOTE Placement Exam.

Spanish 2 Honors

1 Credit
This course offers the student an opportunity to master the Spanish 2 materials at an
accelerated pace. Emphasis is placed on the four proficiency skills: listening
comprehension, conversation and presentation, reading and writing. Spontaneous
conversational activities and advanced readings are an integral part of this course.
Prerequisite: Enrollment is by invitation of the Languages other than English
Department. For incoming freshmen, placement is contingent on performance on the
St. Mary’s LOTE Language Placement Exam.

Spanish 3

1 Credit
This course emphasizes advanced listening comprehension, extended reading, culture,
composition, and speaking skills. Successful completion prepares students for both a
locally developed Checkpoint B exam and for upper-level study.
Prerequisite: Department approval. Successful completion of this course and passing
the Check-point B exam is required for Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation
candidates.

Advanced Placement Spanish

1 Credit

The AP Spanish Language and Culture course emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication in real-life situations. This includes vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. The AP Spanish Language and Culture course strives not to overemphasize grammatical accuracy at the expense of communication. To best facilitate the study of language and culture, the course is taught almost exclusively in Spanish.

The AP Spanish Language and Culture course engages students in an exploration of culture in both contemporary and historical contexts. The course develops students' awareness and appreciation of cultural products (e.g., tools, books, music, laws, conventions, institutions); practices (patterns of social interactions within a culture); and perspectives (values, attitudes, and assumptions).

Prerequisite: Completion of Spanish 3 and department approval

Mathematics

Algebra I

1 Credit

This slower-paced course is designed for students who have shown in their mathematics background or achievement a need for extra attention.  It will integrate topics from algebra and geometry such as elementary algebra, functions, basic concepts of statistics, and high school geometry (area, perimeter, volume, surface area, and polygons). Problem solving will be emphasized in all areas.  The Algebra I (Common Core) Regents exam will be given in June of the freshmen year.  This course will include a lab component.

Algebra I/Lab

No Credit

The lab component is designed as an extension of the Algebra I course for students who have shown in their mathematics background or achievement a need for extra attention.  It focuses on enriching Algebra I concepts by designing lessons and activities to increase procedural fluency, problem solving skills, and comprehension of material likely to appear on the Algebra I (Common Core) Regents exam taken in June.

Prerequisite: Department recommendation 

Algebra I Honors

1 Credit

Designed for students of average to above average ability in mathematics, this course is the first step in the Math curriculum.  It will integrate topics from algebra and geometry such as elementary algebra, functions, basic concepts of statistics, and high school geometry (area, perimeter, volume, surface area, and polygons). Problem solving will be emphasized in all areas.  The Algebra I (Common Core) Regents exam will be given in June of the freshmen year.

Prerequisite: Department recommendation

Geometry

1 Credit

This slower-paced formalizes what students have previously learned about geometry, with a focus on reasoning and making mathematical arguments.  It will include the study of Euclidean and analytic geometry, along with the geometry skills needed for standardized test questions. Students may (but are not required to) challenge the Geometry (Common Core) Regents exam in June.

Geometry Honors

1 Credit

This course is the second step in the mathematics curriculum. It is designed for those students who have successfully completed Algebra I Honors. This course will build on topics covered in Algebra I Honors and extend those topics to provide a more in-depth study of Euclidean and analytic geometry. The Geometry (Common Core) Regents exam will be given in June.

Prerequisite: Department recommendation

Geometry Honors

1 Credit
An accelerated course that covers the topics presented in Geometry A and additional
enrichment topics. The Geometry (Common Core) Regents Exam will be given in June.
Prerequisite: Department recommendation

Algebra II

1 Credit

This slower-paced course is designed for students to enhance the skills learned in Algebra I and Geometry. Students will extend their understanding of the real number system to the complex number system, as well as detailing functions, transformation geometry, trigonometry, probability, and statistics. Students may (but are not required to) challenge the Algebra II (Common Core) Regents exam in June.  This course includes a lab component.

Algebra II/Lab

No Credit

The lab component of Algebra II focuses on enriching Algebra II concepts for students that have demonstrated through their mathematics background or achievement a need for additional attention and support.  Lessons and activities are designed to translate the content learned in class to the more challenging language and structure of 100-level college math courses and standardized test questions.

Algebra II Honors

1 Credit

Designed for students of average to above average ability in mathematics, this course builds upon Algebra I Honors and Geometry Honors courses.  Students will extend their understanding of the real number system to the complex number system.  The course material includes functions, trigonometry, probability, and statistics.  The Algebra II (Common Core) Regents exam will be given in June.

Prerequisite: Department recommendation

Precalculus

1 Credit

This course is designed for students with competence and skill in mathematics. It integrates advanced algebra, analytic geometry, and trigonometry as an in-depth study of that material which is basic to an understanding of calculus.

Precalculus Honors

1 Credit

This is an accelerated and expanded version of the regular Precalculus course and is designed for those students who have demonstrated both competence and interest in mathematics. The content of the course covers all of the topics of Precalculus, as well as additional enrichment topics.

Prerequisite: Department recommendation

Advanced Placement Calculus

1 Credit

Designed for advanced students, the course will study the differential and integral calculus of one real variable. Topics include differentiation and its applications and integration, techniques, and applications of the definite integral. Students will write the Advanced Placement Exam. The cost of the exam is approximately $90.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Precalculus and department approval

Advanced Placement Statistics

1 Credit
Grades 11-12

This course is equivalent to a one-semester, introductory, non-calculus based college course. An introductory statistics course is typically required for majors such as social sciences, health sciences, and business. Science, engineering, and mathematics majors usually take an upper-level calculus-based course in statistics, for which the AP Statistics course is an effective preparation. This course introduces students to major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students are exposed to four broad conceptual themes: exploring data, planning a study, anticipating patterns, and statistical inference. Students will write the Advanced Placement exam. The cost of the exam is approximately $90. This course may be taken concurrently with Precalculus or AP Calculus.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Algebra II Honors and department approval

Math 4 Life

1 Credit

This course is designed to help students develop math literacy by reading and speaking about math.  The curriculum is interactive, student-centered, and project-based, with a focus on math that will help them succeed outside of school.  This course includes an emphasis on mathematical skills needed for general math electives in college, as well as standardized testing and mathematical knowledge utilized in everyday living.

Prerequisite: Department recommendation 

Music/Performing Arts

Dance

1 Credit

Dance is an alternative to traditional gym class. This class was conceived to promote body fitness and emotional well-being using the art of dance. Classes incorporate multiple dance forms that are designed to improve flexibility, body strength, muscle tone, and aerobic endurance. Through participation, students will also develop musicality, become familiar with dance terminology, and receive tips on health and stress management. Dance is available to all grade levels.

Introduction to Performing Arts

1/2 Credit
The interactions between theatre in the making and theatre in performance are emphasized as well as the interrelationship and interdependence of all theatre genres. Students will evaluate the place of theatre in society and will use this knowledge to gain a higher appreciation of theatre as an art form. Students will demonstrate performance skills, apply technical knowledge and develop an appreciation of theatre on a personal level.
This course covers both the theoretical and practical elements of theatre. The course also enables students to develop creative and imaginative skills and the ability to communicate in dramatic form. The majority of students’ instructional time will be in a laboratory setting (theatre) working individually as well as part of a cast and/or crew. The students will work on a combination of short term and long-term projects.  The students will analyze artistic expression from various perspectives. The students will acquire knowledge of the theatre through both practical means and traditional academic methods. The students will use higher thinking skills to comprehend and contextualize performance pieces, technical cues, and theatre’s effect on society.

Introduction to Keyboard & Guitar

1/2 Credit

This half-year elective is intended for students with little or no background in keyboard or guitar. The course is divided into equal sections for each instrument. Basic technique and musicianship skills will be taught including music reading, writing, and improvisation. Both group and individual instruction will be utilized.

Advanced Keyboard & Guitar

1/2 Credit

This half-year elective is intended for students with intermediate to advanced skills on keyboard and guitar. The course is divided into equal sections for each instrument. Advanced technique and musicianship skills will be taught including music reading, writing, and improvisation. Both group and individual instruction will be utilized. Students taking this course should have completed the Intro class.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Keyboard & Guitar or permission of instructor with
demonstrated ability.

Music Theory

1/2 Credit

Grades 11-12

The emphasis of this course is on the fundamental rudiments of music. Students will develop the skills necessary to read, write, and understand music and music notation. Logical progression from individual pitches through scales, chords, and simple composition is covered. No prior knowledge is required. This course integrates the study of harmony, aural skills (pitch and rhythmic dictation and sight-reading), and keyboard applications of music theory. This is an academic course and has no performance requirements outside of class.

Rock & Roll: Popular Music in America

1/2 Credit

Grades 11-12
This half-year course will focus on the role and sounds of popular music from the
1920s through the present day. Students will learn to identify and apply the elements of
music to popular music. Students will also learn about the social role of popular music.
Students will listen to music extensively, watch performances, study lyrics, and explore
the production and marketing of popular music. This is a non-performance class that is
open to all students.

Music 9

1 Credit

 

Music 9 is a Choral course. Students will begin to learn proper vocal technique and music literacy. In addition, students will listen to and evaluate their own performances and the performances of other choirs. The repertoire of the 9th Grade Chorus will provide students with a variety of music from around the world and throughout music history. Students will learn teamwork, discipline, and professionalism through public and in-school performances.

Music 10

1 Credit

 

Music 10 is a Choral course. Students will begin to learn proper vocal technique and music literacy. In addition, students will listen to and evaluate their own performances and the performances of other choirs. The repertoire of the 10th Grade Chorus will provide students with a variety of music from around the world and throughout music history. Students will learn teamwork, discipline, and professionalism through public and in-school performances.

11/12 Chorus

1 Credit

Students will learn proper vocal technique and music literacy. In addition, students will listen to and evaluate their own performances and the performances of other choirs. The repertoire of the 11th/12th Grade Chorus will provide students with a variety of music from around the world and throughout music history. Students will learn teamwork, discipline, and professionalism through public and in-school performances.

Religion

St. Mary's Volunteer Service Hours

The Mission Statement of St. Mary's High School includes our goal to "form the
student's character by giving witness to Jesus Christ." Service to others is a
cornerstone of Christianity. We are called to serve like Jesus did. By reaching out to
others we increase our understanding, knowledge, and empathy for the world around
us. We also respond to our Lord's plea to "Love one another as I have loved you."
As stated in the St. Mary's High School Philosophy Statement, "As a community we
believe people have a responsibility to one another."
The minimum Service Hour Requirement for all grade levels is as follows:
1. Freshmen - 10 Hours
2. Sophomores - 20 Hours
3. Juniors - 30 Hours*
4. Seniors - 40 Hours*
Service hours for the 2016-2017 school year may be started on June 30, 2016, and
must be completed by May 1, 2017, for Seniors and June 1, 2017, for Underclassmen.
Students must complete all of their mandatory service hours in order to pass their
religion course. Seniors will not be allowed to graduate with unfinished service hours.
Service to others does not include any service that benefits you personally. For
example, if your softball team sponsors a garage sale and you work at that event, you
may not count that for service hours. The proceeds are benefiting you and your
team. The goal of service hours is to benefit others and to experience new
opportunities and situations.
Household chores for family members do not count as service hours.
Babysitting/house sitting do not count as service hours.
*For Juniors and Seniors, at least half of their Service Hours must be for an
organization other than St. Mary’s High School.

Religion 9

1 Credit
This yearlong course is an overview of the Catholic faith. It touches on the Church’s
basic beliefs and practices. Topics include our faith’s understanding of God, Jesus, the
Holy Spirit, Sacred Scripture, prayer, liturgy, sacraments, and morality. A practical
application of the Church’s beliefs is explored. This is done by helping students to
continue to develop a healthy Christian life-style including issues of personal identity,
development, self-image, communication, family, friendship, sexuality, work, money,
leisure, and life vocations. Students are required to complete a total of 10 hours (five
each semester) of community service.

Old Testament — 10th Grade fall semester

1/2 Credit
Students will recognize the story of the people of Israel as the root of their own faith
story. This course introduces the student to a survey of major themes from the Bible
such as sin, covenant, and redemption. Students are required to complete 10 hours of
community service each semester.

New Testament — 10th Grade spring semester

1/2 Credit
This course places an emphasis on the connection between Hebrew and Christian
Scriptures. Catholic Christian tradition is rooted in an understanding of the message of
Jesus found in the New Testament, particularly the Gospels. Students will discover
who Jesus is and what He means in each person’s life. This program will foster a
development of a personal, deeply relational experience of Jesus Christ. The history of
the Church will be reflected on in the active and continuing presence of God. Students
are required to complete 10 hours of community service each semester.

Morality — 11th Grade fall semester

1/2 Credit
This course will focus on the moral teachings of the Bible, conscience formation,
processes used for moral decision-making, and bioethics. Issues will be analyzed in
the light of current debate and the teachings of the Church. Catholic and biblical
teaching as a counter-cultural force is examined. Topics will include beginning of life
issues such as fertilization, abortion, surrogacy, and cloning. End of life issues such as
suicide, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, hospice, and living wills will be
examined. Death and dying, as well as grief instruction, will also be presented. Morality
in the business world and in technology will also be covered. Students are required to
complete 15 hours of community service each semester.

Christian Family Living & Vocations — 11th Grade spring semester

1/2 Credit
This course will deal with the importance of vocations. Single life, married life, and
religious life will be examined, along with Sacramental study of marriage as a covenant,
including the significance of relationships based on mutual love, respect, forgiveness,
and concern. Other issues include the Church’s teaching on chastity and abstinence.
The Church’s teachings in regards to love between marriage partners as well as
parental responsibilities and cherishing of children are considered. Students are
required to complete 15 hours of community service each semester.

Social Justice I — 12th Grade fall semester

1/2 Credit
Students will understand the Church’s teaching on Social Justice issues, including
their sources rooted in the Old and New Testament plus Papal and Episcopal
documents. This first-semester course will call students to discern discrepancies,
where they exist, between social realities and Gospel values, and to develop strategies
to make Gospel values operative. The students will develop a foundation for a social
justice consciousness and learn how the Church addresses current social justice
issues of our time. Students are required to complete 20 hours of community service
each semester.

Social Justice II — 12th Grade fall semester

1/2 Credit
This semester will focus on specific justice issues including the ethics of life, racism,
poverty, environmental concerns, and the challenge of peace. An appreciation for
diversity through culture, tradition, and other world religions will be explored. Students
are required to complete 20 hours of community service each semester.

Retreat Peer Ministry

1/4 Credit (see Mrs. Powers for more information)
Grade 12
This course focuses on the formation of students in preparing and conducting retreats.
This course is twofold in scope: (1) to introduce the student to various forms of spiritual
and liturgical experiences; and (2) to develop leadership, organizational, and planning
skills. This course will meet as part of the 12th grade religion course.

Philosophy and Catholic Culture

1/2 Credit (see Mr. Fay or Mrs. Powers for more information)
Grade 10-12
This course will begin with the Greeks, Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates, placing the
emphasis on the predominant thinkers of Christian thought, namely, Thomas Aquinas,
Augustine, Maritan, and Courtney-Murray. If time permits, some consideration will be
given to Avery Cardinal Dulles. The focus will be driven by historical views as
influencing Catholic Theology.

Science

Earth Science A – Regents/Lab

1 Credit
Grade 9
This course presents the principles necessary to develop an up-to-date story of the
earth as a planet and its environment in space. Factors, which have shaped the earth in
the past and their relationship to the current processes of change, are discussed. A
number of basic concepts in the earth sciences are presented and interrelated. A
laboratory requirement is part of this course. Students are required to take the Regents
exam.
Prerequisite: Enrollment in Algebra IA or higher

Earth Science Lab

1 Credit
Grade 9
This course covers the same topics as Earth Science A, but the Regents Exam is not
required. A laboratory requirement is part of this course.
Prerequisite: Enrollment in Algebra I

Living Environment (Biology) A- Regents/Lab OR Living Environment (Biology) B- Regents/Lab

1 Credit
This is a course of study designed to create an understanding of complex
interrelationships between living organisms and among living systems. Major topics
include concepts of life, biochemistry, comparative anatomy of plants and animals,
human body systems, genetics, evolution, and ecology. Each unit is enriched with
hands-on laboratory experiences offering greater conceptualization of the material.
Students are required to take the Regents exam.
Prerequisite: Department recommendation

STEAM

1/4 Credit
All sophomore students are required to participate in and successfully complete at
least two STEAM Challenges. Should a student fail to complete a STEAM Challenge,
that student will not receive credit for the STEAM Challenge and will have to complete
another STEAM Challenge successfully in order to receive credit. Criteria for grading
each project will be shared at the beginning of the project and may include submission
of a brief background research, project proposal, project design and construction,
project performance, and final presentation. The project must meet the minimum
requirements as described in the project description.
Prerequisite: Mandatory participation for members of grade 10

Chemistry – General/Lab

1 Credit
This course presents an introduction to chemistry. Major topics include atomic theory,
periodicity of the elements, chemical bonding, equation manipulation, simple organic
chemistry, and nuclear chemistry. A laboratory experience is a part of this course.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Geometry, one Regents science exam, and
department recommendation

Chemistry – Regents/Lab

1 Credit
This course provides a thorough introduction to general chemistry. It includes an up-to-date
treatment of modern chemical theory enriched by historical background and
development. It reveals the changing nature of chemistry as an evolving and expanding
science. Topics included are atomic structure, periodicity of the elements, chemical
bonding, kinetic theory, reaction rates and chemical equilibrium, and organic and
nuclear chemistry. The laboratory portion of the course includes both quantitative and
qualitative methods of analysis.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Geometry H or Geometry A, the Geometry
Regents exam, one Regents science exam, and department recommendation

Chemistry – Regents Honors/Lab

1 Credit
Chemistry Honors is a Regents course that goes beyond the material required in the
core curriculum. Topics go into much greater depth and detail to provide the Honors
student with a deeper understanding of the science of Chemistry. Major research work
is expected on the part of the student beyond the normal course work. The laboratory
portion of the course includes both quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Geometry H or Geometry A, the Geometry
Regents exam, two Regents science exams, and department recommendation

Forensic Science/Lab

1 Credit
This class is intended to be a hands-on course with the majority of class time spent in
the lab utilizing forensic techniques. The major areas of course work include problems
with eyewitness testimony, fingerprints, hair, and fiber and blood spatter analysis.
Prerequisite: Regents Chemistry and department recommendation

Advanced Placement Chemistry/Lab

1 Credit
This course is designed to be the equivalent of a general chemistry course that would
be taken by a first-year college student. Structured around the “Six Big Ideas”
determined by the College Board, the course works to develop math skills and problem
solving through working with complex and difficult chemistry concepts. This course
also involves a laboratory component that helps to develop problem solving skills by
the inclusion of inquiry-based laboratory experiments where students must develop
and test their own procedure to solve a scientific problem. Students will have the
opportunity to take the Advanced Placement Chemistry exam in May. The cost of the
exam is approximately $90.
Prerequisite: Completed Chemistry Regents or Honors and Algebra IIA or Honors, at
least 85 on Regents Chemistry Exam, and/or Department Recommendation.

Advanced Placement Biology/Lab

1 Credit
Grade 12
Advanced Placement Biology is a college-level course open to seniors who have
achieved above-average grades in science each previous year, over a three-year
period. Students who select this course should be college bound and possess
analytical skills. The Advanced Placement Biology Course is designed to be the
equivalent of a college introductory biology course with labs. The curriculum includes
these general topics: molecules and cells, genetics and evolution, organisms and
populations, anatomy, and physiology. A research project is required each semester.
Students will have the opportunity to take the Advanced Placement Biology exam in
May. The cost of the exam is approximately $90.
Prerequisite: Based on department recommendation and/or approval.

Environmental Science

1 Credit
As inhabitants of the earth, it is our responsibility to use earth’s resources responsibly
and to minimize the impact we have on the planet. In this course, students will examine
some of the issues surrounding humans’ impact on the environment, possible solutions
to reducing the impact, and the social, economic, and political ramifications of these
actions. Additionally, students will explore their personal environment and discover
some of the dangers that they face in their everyday life and ways to reduce the risk
from these hazards. This course is designed to be a senior elective for those students
interested in science beyond the required courses.
Prerequisite: Chemistry (Regents or General) and department recommendation

Physics/Lab

1 Credit
The study of physics is concerned with the relationship between matter and energy.
This course is both qualitative and quantitative in nature. Topics include mechanics,
energy, electricity and magnetism, wave phenomenon, and modern physics. The
laboratory portion of the course reinforces the relevancy of the various topics. The
Physics Regents Exam is not required.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Algebra IIA or Honors, Chemistry Regents, or
Chemistry Regents Honors and department recommendation

Social Studies

Global Studies 9

1 Credit

Global Studies 9 provides a chronological study of the world from prehistoric times to Absolutism in Europe.  The grade 9 curriculum focuses on important historical, geographic, political, and economic characteristics of the societies that developed in each region of the world.  Students study the six major themes of Global History: cultural diffusion, trade, migrations, belief systems, conflict, and the establishment of multi-regional empires as well as the major events and turning points in history.  These themes are supported by the emphasis on developing interpretation skills through the use of primary and secondary sources, political cartoons, map reading, and chart and graph interpretations in relation to the thematic essay and document-based question.  The final assessment is a teacher-generated exam.

Global Studies 10

1 Credit

 

In grade 10 Social Studies, students will examine Global History and Geography, and complete the year by taking a New York State Regents Exam.  This one-year sequence is arranged chronologically beginning with the world in 1750 marked by powerful European empires, coastal African kingdoms, and growing European maritime empires up to the contemporary issues, such as the tensions between traditional cultures and modernization.

Advanced Placement World History I

1 Credit
This course is designed as a pre-AP World History course, covering the New York
State Global Studies Curriculum in a very in-depth and extensive manner. The course
will be a bridge from normal high school course work to a more complex “college level”
study. Global Studies 9 Honors covers the history of human beings chronologically
from the Paleolithic Age through current times. This course includes a study of every
major area, culture, and religion throughout history. Students will take the NYS
Regents Examination at the end of sophomore year.
Prerequisite: Department recommendation

Advanced Placement World History II

1 Credit
Advanced Placement World History is a college level course open to sophomores that
have achieved above-average grades in social studies and English during their
freshman year. This course, designed for students who are college bound and possess
a good command of reading and writing, will develop a greater understanding of the
evolution of global processes and contacts in different types of human societies.
Students will study the cultural, economic, political, and social developments that play
a fundamental role in shaping the world in which they live. The ultimate goal of the
course will be a mastery of the information and preparedness for the college level
examination. This course includes extensive reading and writing assignments.
Students will take the A.P. exam in May of their sophomore year and the NYS Global
Studies Regents in June. Students who pass the A.P. exam may be eligible for college
credits. The cost of the A.P. exam is approximately $90.
Prerequisite: Based on department recommendation and/or approval.

U.S. History & Government – Regents

1 Credit
Grade 11
This course reviews the development of the United States. It will include a
chronological survey of United States history in general, but emphasis will be on the
United States as a transitional and fully developed industrial nation. Constitutional and
legal issues will be explored in depth, as will the problems of a dynamic and industrial
society in an increasingly complex and technology-oriented world. This course serves
as a historical foundation for the senior courses. All students will take the U.S. History
& Government Regents exam in June.

Advanced Placement United States History

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Advanced Placement United States History is a college-level course open to juniors
and seniors who have achieved above-average grades in Social Studies and English.
This course is designed for students who are college bound and possess a good
command of reading and writing skills. A term paper is required each semester.
Students must take the A.P. exam in May, and juniors will take the U.S. History &
Government Regents in June. The cost of the A.P. exam is approximately $90.
Students who pass the A.P. exam may be eligible for college credit.
Prerequisite: Based on department recommendation and/or approval.

Personal Finance

1/2 Credit
Grade 12 Only

This required course is taught every other day for a full year.  It deals with the basic concepts necessary to manage one’s personal financial dealings in a modern economy.  The course will include: banking, saving and spending, retirement planning, credit cards, student loans, buying vs. leasing, and budgeting as it relates to cars and housing, insurances, taxes, and investing.  The course will mix both academic study plus hands-on simulations of real family financial situations.

Participation in Government

1/2 Credit
Grade 12 Only
This required one-semester course emphasizes the interaction between citizens and
government at all levels: local, state, and federal. The course encourages students to
analyze public policy, issues and problems, decision-making, and implementation of
proposed changes. A participatory project is required.

Advanced Placement American Government & Politics

1 Credit
Grade 12 Only
This is a college introductory course designed to give students a critical perspective of
government and politics in the United States. This course fulfills the New York State
Participation in Government requirement. Students will discuss the various institutions,
groups, beliefs, and ideas that make up the American political reality. Students will be
required to produce a mock campaign and volunteer at a local campaign office.
Students must take the A.P. exam in May. The cost of the A.P. exam is approximately
$90. Students who pass the A.P. exam may be eligible for college credit.
Prerequisite: Based on department recommendation and/or approval.

Leadership Skills

1/2 Credit

Grade 12 Only

 

This hands-on class will teach the skills necessary to be a leader in both small group and large organizational settings.  Students will study actual skills including time management, goal setting, independence, image creation, networking, negotiating, event planning and management, conflict resolution, critical thinking, problem solving, and leadership by example. Classroom activities will include frequent hands-on projects that put to use the skills above and to teach that how individuals treat people is the core of good leadership.

Public Speaking

1/2 Credit

Grade 11 Only

This required class will help students develop or hone their abilities to speak in front of people, as is often required in college and career.  Through a series of actual speaking activities, students will develop the skills of crafting and giving stand-up presentations, reading aloud, interviewing, group discussions, presentation software (PowerPoint, Google Slides, Prezi), and answering extemporaneous questions.

History through Film

1/2 Credit
Grades 11-12
Just how accurate are those films when compared to actual history? This half-year
course looks at some popular films based on historical events and compares the
director’s slant with what actually happened. The class will include viewing of films
along with study of history to make complete comparison. Because of the nature of
some of these films, parental permission is required to view films.

Psychology

1/2 Credit
Grade 12
This course reviews the eclectic approach to the study of human behavior. The five
basic theories, neurobiological, behavioral, psychoanalytic, cognitive, and
phenomenological are reviewed for the advantages and applied to the study of
development, learning and memory, personality, and abnormal behavior. The course
also provides an opportunity for personal assessment. Students who wish may also
take advantage of the A.P. Psychology exam in May (the cost of the A.P. exam is
approximately $90).

Introduction to Criminal Justice

1/2 Credit
Grades 11-12
This Social Studies elective is a basic law course designed to give students a better
understanding of the principles, procedures, and actual practices of the U.S. criminal
system. Topics in this one-semester course will include the nature and causes of
criminal behavior; the qualifications for, characteristics of, and problems connected
with police work; due process as it relates to police investigations, arrests, court and
legal procedures; and sentencing and prison life. The many controversies connected to
the above items are explored. The course is augmented by an array of guest speakers
who are professionals in the field, a ride-along program, and a field trip to a
correctional facility.