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

Advertising & Design

1/2 Credit
This course is for students interested in design. Students will create play programs,
book covers, advertisements for products, and much more. The primary focus will be
using the computer and Adobe Photoshop to create advertising and marketing-style
projects. Students may also use other media such as pencil, colored pencils, markers,
paint, and digital photography.
Prerequisite: Digital Art

Ceramics & Sculpture

1/2 Credit (see Ms. Hillery, Ms. Ruhland for information)
This course gives students the opportunity to learn basic skills using clay and glaze
materials. Hand-building techniques, using the potter’s wheel, and working with a
variety of clay surface designs will be explored. Insights into cultural and ancient uses
of ceramic materials will be introduced. Attention will be given to developing
awareness of the aesthetic and utilitarian roles of clay as a design material. The
elements and principles of design will be emphasized in planning and creating ceramic
forms which use the techniques, processes, and materials of ceramic design.

Advanced Ceramics

1/2 Credit (see Ms. Hillery, Ms. Ruhland for information)
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.

Drawing & Painting

1/2 Credit (see Ms. Hillery, Ms. Ruhland for information)
This course introduces students to fundamental techniques of drawing and painting
through the study of art elements and principles and through direct experience with
different drawing and painting materials. Students also study the works of various
artists and art movements throughout history. Students read and write about different
aesthetic theories of art to help them analyze and appreciate works of art.
Open to all students.

2D Studio in Art

1/2 Credit (see Ms. Hillery, Ms. Ruhland for information)
This course is an introduction to 2D principles of design and drawing. Students will
build an art foundation that specifically looks at the elements and principles of art,
alongside the rules of composition. Students will explore a variety of materials,
including charcoal, color pencil, paint, printmaking, and mixed media. This is a
comprehensive study of a variety of 2D styles and materials and is designed for
beginners.
* This course and 3D Studio in Art may be taken in any order. It is a recommended
course for freshmen or beginner artists and has no prerequisites.

3D Studio in Art

1/2 Credit (see Ms. Hillery, Ms. Ruhland for information)
This course is an introduction to 3D principles of design and sculpture. Students will
build an art foundation that specifically explores 3D principles and design structures.
Students will explore a variety of materials, including clay, plaster, paper mache, and
sandstone. This is a comprehensive study of a variety of 3D styles and materials and is
designed for beginners.
* This course and 2D Studio in Art may be taken in any order. It is a recommended
course for freshmen or beginner artists and has no prerequisites.

Portfolio Development Seminar

1/2 Credit (see Ms. Hillery, Ms. Ruhland for information)
Grades 11-12; 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
offered in the fall and is only for Juniors and Seniors that have taken two or more art
courses.

Business

Accounting

1/2 Credit (see Mr. Meyerhofer for more information)
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 (see Mr. Meyerhofer for more information)
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.

Leadership Skills

1/2 Credit (see Mr. Herr for more information)
Grades 10-12
The Leadership course, open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors, teaches
organizational and leadership skills through planning of school-related events. The
course will address brainstorming, time management, presentation, organization, event
planning, evaluation, and follow-up, along with other leadership skills. Students will be
evaluated on classroom work, as well as on the successful planning and
implementation of school-related event(s).

Marketing

1/2 Credit (see Mr. Herr for more information)
Grades 10-12
Content for this course includes selected entrepreneurial skills as well as those
necessary to the management, merchandising, and marketing functions inherent in the
operation of a business. The course will help prepare students for college-level
business programs and introduce them to an area of business with which they may be
familiar or wish to pursue upon graduation.

Personal Finance

1/2 Credit (see Mr. Herr for more information)
Recommended for Grades 11-12
Do you want to learn how to wisely save and spend your money? If so, this course is
for you. This is your opportunity to learn about earning money, budgeting, loans
(including college loans), managing a checking account and a credit card, and doing
comparison shopping. Prepare for your adult life by learning about insurance of all
types, investing, taxes, buying a house, and saving for retirement.

Computer Science

Computer Foundations for High School

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. The physical components
of the computer will be discovered. A practical knowledge of the Windows operating
system and graphical user interface (GUI) 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 through 12(see Mr. Meyerhofer for more information)
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 (see Mr. Herr or Mr. Meyerhofer for more information)
This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of website 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: Computer Foundations for High School and Digital Art

3D Computer Automated Design I

1/2 Credit (see Mr. Meyerhofer for more information)
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 (see Mr. Meyerhofer for more information)
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 (see Mr. Meyerhofer for more information)
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 (see Mr. Meyerhofer for more information)
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

Lancer 101

No Credit
Grade 9
Lancer 101 is a required course for all freshmen. It is designed to help students make
the successful academic and social transition to high school. This program provides
instruction and practical exercises in listening skills, goal setting, organizational skills,
time management, note taking, anxiety, studying, and test taking. The Study Skills
grade is incorporated into the English 9 course. This class is offered during the first
quarter.

Reading Development

1/2 Credit
Grade 9
Reading Development is a lab-type course that permits each student to progress at
his/her own rate. Course material includes individualized comprehension and
vocabulary exercises tailored to fit each student’s level; reading in content areas using
textbooks; and reading various types of literature and the newspaper. Recreational
reading is also encouraged. This course is required for some ninth graders, based
upon results of tests given in eighth grade. In determining the grade for this course, the
student’s effort and degree of improvement are heavily considered. This is a one semester
course.

English 10

1 Credit
The second year of English focuses on a study of world writers. The study involves a
deepening 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. A research paper is required. Summer reading is
mandatory.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 9

English 10 Honors

1 Credit
This course in English focuses on a study of world writers. 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. A research paper is a course requirement. Honors
classes for underclassmen are preparation for junior and senior year Advanced
Placement courses in English. Summer reading is mandatory. 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. Research techniques are an
integral part of the course work, and a research paper is required. Other types of
writing, such as narrative and persuasion, are taught. All students will take the
Comprehensive English Regents Exam in June. Summer reading is mandatory.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 10

English 11 Advanced Placement

Language & Composition
1 Credit
This college-level course is the equivalent of English 11 Honors. Students 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. Summer reading, including a written paper due in the fall, will be
required and will be incorporated into the first marking period grade.
Prerequisite: In order to take the course, the junior must have mastered the pre-AP
work in English 10 Honors.
Note – English 11 students will 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

1 Credit
The goal of the English 12 course is to expose students to the riches of British
Literature. The course begins with the oldest-known poem in the English language,
“Beowulf.” Major British authors are studied in detail, and students will be exposed to
all genres of literature. Projects include a research paper (a course requirement) and
poetry writing. Summer reading is mandatory
Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 11

English 12 Advanced Placement

Literature & Composition
1 Credit
This college-level course is the equivalent of English 11 Honors. Students who select
this course should be college-bound and have a good command of reading, writing,
and discussion skills. 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. 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. Students also take the New York State Regents Exam in English in
January. Summer reading, including a written paper, is due in the fall; completion of
this assignment is a course requirement and will be incorporated into the first marking
period grade.
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 (see Mr. Herr for more information)
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 interpret 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.

Modern Media: Journalism, Social Media, and Beyond

1/2 Credit (see Mr. Herr for more information)
Grades 11-12
This is a half-year course designed to introduce students to several disciplines in the
communications world. This course will cover the following topics: Radio and
Television Broadcasting, Print Journalism, Print Publication Design, Internet
Communications, and Event Publicity. Students will be divided into teams that will
work on different projects simultaneously, with groups rotating between topics. As a
group returns to do a topic again, the students will take up different jobs than the first
time around. The entire class will meet once a week in “production meetings” to
discuss the projects each group is working on. This class could include field trips to
various communication organizations.

Public Speaking

1/2 Credit (see Mr. Herr for more information)
Grades 11-12
This single-semester elective provides students with the opportunity to learn, through
experience, the basics of public speaking. From short 30-second oral presentations to
full debates, this hands-on course will help the student build self-confidence and
empower the student to speak before any group.

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
This course will give students a well-rounded experience in Dance Study. It will include
the history of dance, dance terminology, ballet, barre, basic tap, and exercises to
facilitate students’ balance, coordination, and agility. Dances popular in the ’30s
through the present will be studied. Participation is mandatory. This course may be
taken in place of a physical education class. The option to participate in two show
productions is offered.

Language

French 1 or 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.

French 2 or 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.

French 3/4 A

1 Credit each
This course focuses on communication in the French language as well as cultural
understanding. Students will be introduced to new vocabulary and challenged with
advanced grammar. This class will focus on the history of France.
Prerequisite: Department approval. French 3 students: Successful completion of this
course and passing the Checkpoint B exam is required for Regents Diploma with
Advanced Designation candidates. French 4 students will complete a final exit project.

French 3/4 B

1 Credit each
This courses focuses on communication in the French language as well as cultural
understanding. Students will be introduced to new vocabulary and challenged with
advanced grammar. This class will also include a concentration in French literature.
Prerequisite: Department approval. French 3 students: Successful completion of this
course and passing the Checkpoint B exam is required for Regents Diploma with
Advanced Designation candidates. French 4 students will complete a final exit project.

Spanish 4

1 Credit
This is an advanced course for students interested in continuing the study of the
language by putting to use those skills learned in levels 1 through 3. It offers students
exposure to culture, history, and civilization through short stories, poetry and literary
passages of a variety of authors, as well as units on film, art, and music. Local exam or
exit project will be completed in June.
Prerequisite: Department approval

Hispanic History & Culture through Media

1/2 Credit (see Mrs. Tandy for more information)
This course explores social, cultural, and political issues through award-winning films
from many different areas of the Spanish-speaking world. Topics will be chosen from a
list based on the interests of the group in September. Due to the nature of some of
these films, parental permission is required to view them.
Prerequisite: Department approval

Latin – An Introduction

1/2 Credit (see Mr. Fay or Mrs. Tandy for more information)
As part of the Philosophy in Catholic Culture Curriculum, Classical Latin is offered as a
one-semester course. Students will learn Latin through ancient, time-honored, classical
language approaches, which include repetition, parsing written composition, and
listening exercises. These techniques, combined with a modern multimedia approach,
will give the student a background in learning grammar, syntax, and vocabulary.

Mathematics

Algebra I / Lab

1 Credit School
This slower-paced course is designed for students who have shown in their
mathematics background or achievement a need for extra attention. The course will
integrate topics from Algebra and Geometry such as elementary Algebra, basic
concepts of statistics, and high school Geometry. Problem solving will be emphasized
in all areas. Students will receive additional instruction in math throughout the year.
Prerequisite: Department recommendation

Algebra IA

1 Credit
Designed for pupils 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, basic concepts of statistics, and high school geometry
(area, perimeter, volume, surface area, and polygons). Problem solving will be
emphasized in all areas. The Regents Common Core in Algebra I exam will be given in
June of the freshman year.
Prerequisite: Department recommendation

Geometry/Lab

1 Credit School
This is a continuation of Algebra I. One semester will be spent completing the Algebra
curriculum and reviewing for the Algebra Regents examination. The other semester will
include basic Geometry topics, emphasizing topics tested on the SAT. The Regents
Exam in Algebra I (Common Core) will be given in January. This course will include a
lab component.
Prerequisite: Department recommendation

Geometry A

1 Credit
This course is the second step in the mathematics curriculum. It is designed for those
students who have successfully completed Algebra IA. This course will build on topics
covered in Algebra IA 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 slowed-paced course is designed for students to enhance their Algebra skills.
Students will extend their understanding of the real number system to the complex
number system. The course material includes functions, transformation geometry,
sequences and series, probability, and statistics.
Prerequisite: Department recommendation

Algebra IIA/Lab

1 Credit
This course builds upon the New York State Algebra I and Geometry courses. Students
will extend their understanding of the real number system to the complex number
system. The course material includes functions, probability, statistics, and
trigonometry. The Algebra II (Common Core) Regents Exam will be given in June. This
course will include a lab component.
Prerequisite: Department recommendation

Algebra II Honors

1 Credit
This is an accelerated and expanded version of the regular Algebra II class and is
designed for those students who have demonstrated both competence and interest in
mathematics. The content of the course will cover all the topics included in Algebra II
as well as additional enrichment topics. The Algebra II (Common Core) Regents Exam
will be given in June.
Prerequisite: Department recommendation

Math IV B

1 Credit
This course will strengthen algebraic skills needed in the study of trigonometry. Topics
include logarithms and trigonometry, including graphing, equations, and the solution of
the triangle.
Prerequisite: Department recommendation

Precalculus

1 Credit
This course is designed for students with competence and skill in mathematics. This
course integrates advanced algebra, analytic geometry, and trigonometry; therefore,
the course is an in-depth study of that material which is basic to an understanding of
calculus.
Prerequisite: Department recommendation

Precalculus Honors

1 Credit
This is an accelerated and expanded version of the regular Precalculus course and is
designed for 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 take the
Advanced Placement Exam. The cost of the exam is approximately $90.
Prerequisite: Department approval only

Advanced Placement Statistics

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Students who wish to complete studies equivalent to a one-semester, introductory,
non-calculus based college course should enroll in AP Statistics. An introductory
statistics course, similar to the AL 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. The purpose of the AP
Statistics course is to introduce 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 in this course will take the Advanced Placement
examination. The cost of the exam is approximately $90. This course may be taken
concurrently with Pre-Calculus, Pre-Calculus Honors, or AP Calculus.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Algebra IIA or Honors. Based on department
recommendation and/or approval.

Gifted Mathematics Program

1 Credit
St. Mary’s High School participates in the Gifted Mathematics Program offered at the
State University of New York at Buffalo. For more information about the program, go to
giftedmath.buffalo.edu.

Music/Performing Arts

Introduction to Keyboard & Guitar

1/2 Credit (see Mr. Kaminski or Ms. Ruhland for information)
This half-year elective is intended for students with little or no background in keyboard
or guitar. The course is divided into 10-week 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 (see Mr. Kaminski or Ms. Ruhland for information)
A continuation of the Introduction to Keyboard & Guitar class, this half-year elective
gives students the opportunity to take their skills to a higher level. Students will be
introduced to more challenging repertoire and will continue in technical progress and
reading abilities.
Prerequisite: Introduction to Keyboard & Guitar or permission of instructor with
demonstrated ability.

Introduction to Performing Arts

1/2 Credit (see Ms. Ruhland for information)
Introduction to Performing Arts is an overview course that is designed to give students
an understanding and appreciation of the performing arts industry. Students will study
basic theatrical and dance terminology, elements of a script, basic stage directions,
theater architecture, the history of theater and dance, basic performance and
production techniques, and job opportunities in the performing arts industry.

Lights, Camera, Dance

1/2 Credit (see Ms. Ruhland for information)
This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of dance as a theatre art,
including analysis and interpretation of musicals, acting exercises, dance productions.
Students will watch various types of performances, explore the origin and the history of
dance and participate in several physical dance techniques. Students will also explore
the physical make-up of choreographing routines, including staging and costumes, as
well as view several filmed and/or live stage performances. Final assessments will be
based on cumulative portfolios as well as a final project/performance, which will take
place during class. Open to all students.

Music Theory I

1/2 Credit (see Mr. Kaminski or Ms. Ruhland for information)
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 is an academic course
and has no performance requirements outside of the class. This is an essential course
for students who are considering majoring in music.

Music Theory II

1/2 Credit (see Mr. Kaminski or Ms. Ruhland for information)
A continuation of Music Theory I, this course is designed for musically talented
students who wish to take their musical skills to the next level. It is expected that the
entering students are already able to read music. The course will include the study of all
aspects of music theory, including notation, analysis, sight-singing, composition, and
harmony. This is an academic course and has no performance outside of class. This
class will prepare music students for college-level musical study.
Prerequisite: Music Theory I or permission of instructor with demonstrated ability.

Rock & Roll: Popular Music in America

1/2 Credit (see Mr. Kaminski or Ms. Ruhland for information)
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.

Mixed Chorus

1/2 Credit (see Mr. Kaminski or Ms. Ruhland for information)
This half-year course in an excellent introduction to fine arts performance. This class
teaches musicianship and choral skills through rehearsal in a large-group choral
setting. Students will perform a variety of choral music including musical theater
repertoire, popular songs, and significant pieces from music history. The Mixed Chorus
will prepare for school concerts in the winter and spring. Students will also have the
opportunity to perform at liturgies, for community events, and at festivals for Erie
County and the New York State School Music Association.

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 B/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) 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 – General/Lab

1 Credit
This course focuses on the practical applications of physics. Laboratory experience will
be included. Topics to be covered will include electricity, magnetism, motion, light, and
nuclear physics.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Geometry A or Algebra II 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 & 10 – Regents

1 Credit each year
This is a two-year social studies program for grades 9 and 10. This program of learning
is in the following areas: South, Southeast, and East Asia, Africa south of the Sahara,
the Middle East, Eastern and Western Europe, and Latin and South America. The social
sciences of geography, history, economics, political science, and sociology are woven
together to enable the students to develop cultural understanding. All students will take
the Global Studies Regents Exam at the end of their sophomore year.

Global Studies 9 Honors

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

1 Credit
Grade 10
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.

Introduction to Economics

1/2 Credit
Grade 12 Only
This required one-semester course deals with the basic concepts and principles of
economics, the major elements of economic systems, and the roles of various
components of these systems, including the consumer, business, labor, agriculture,
and government. The major focus is on the economy of the United States, but attention
will be given to the world economy as a whole and to other economic systems. There
will be an emphasis on economic decision-making at all levels through the course.

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. Please note:
Students MUST take the Intro to Economics online course over the summer; more
information is available from the Social Studies Department.
Prerequisite: Based on department recommendation and/or approval.

History through Film

1/2 Credit (see Mrs. Connelly or Mr. Ard with questions)
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.

American Pop Culture

1/2 Credit (see Mrs. Connelly or Mr. Ard with questions)
Grade 12
This course will allow students to have a greater look at American History in the recent
decades. In this course, students will discover the different political, economic, social,
and cultural movements of each decade and how it affected American life. Topics
discussed will include the Korean War; McCarthyism; Civil Rights Movement; the
Kennedy era; Vietnam; Revolt of the Youth; Nixon and Watergate; the administrations
of Presidents Carter, Reagan, and Bush; Terrorism; and the Gulf Crisis.

Psychology

1/2 Credit (see Mrs. Connelly or Mr. Ard with questions)
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 (see Mrs. Connelly or Mr. Ard with questions)
Grade 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.

 

Download PDF Course catalog