St. Mary Catholic High School

Requirements, Procedures and Communication

Requirements

Minimum Credits

All students are required to have a minimum of 3.5 credits per semester unless excused by administration.

Graduation 

SMCHS offers a four year, eight semester program. A SMCHS graduating student will be awarded a diploma when 27.5 credits have been earned. Of these 27.5 credits, 20.0 are required and 7.5 are elective courses.

Graduating students are required to have completed the following minimum courses:

  • Electives 7.5 credits
  • English 4.0 credits
  • Theology 4.0 credits
  • Mathematics 3.0 credits
  • Science 3.0 credits
  • Social Studies 3.0 credits
  • Physical Education 1.5 credits
  • Fine Arts .5 credits
  • Health .5 credits
  • Business and Information Technology .5 credits

Service

Students must complete at least 15 hours of service every year. Service hours do not carry over from year to year.  Service hours must be done for a non-profit agencies, churches, schools, school athletic events or camps, nursing homes, hospitals, soup kitchens, libraries, nature centers, etc.  Students may not claim service hours for a for-profit business, even if the students does not get paid. Students may not claim service hours for family, including extended family. Students may not claim babysitting as service house, unless it is done for a church-type function or fundraising event, etc.

Recommendations

College Preparatory Courses

The school counseling office recommends that students take the following courses to prepare for college admission:

  • English 4 credits
  • Math (algebra, geometry, advanced algebra, trigonometry and pre-calculus) 4 credits
  • Science (earth science, biology, chemistry or physics) 4 credits
  • Social Studies 4 credits
  • Other academic electives (business and information technology, English, fine arts, math, science, social studies) 4 credits
  • World languages 2+ credits

Admission to a college or university is competitive, and schools are becoming more and more selective. Students with the strongest qualifications, including the number of courses taken and the rigor of the academic program (honors and AP courses, etc.), have the greatest chance of admission.

Procedures

Dropping or Adding Classes

A student may drop and/or add a class only within the first five days of each course. Permission for dropping and/or adding a class must be obtained from the student’s parent(s), teachers involved in the change, the school counselor and the administration before the change is finalized. Special considerations may be made if the withdrawal is teacher-initiated and approved by the administration. Students and parents need to request a schedule change well before new classes begin.

Retaking a Failed Class

If an SMCHS student fails a required course, he or she must retake and pass it (though not necessarily at SMCHS) in order to meet graduation requirements. The transcript will indicate a retaken class, but the first class will not be calculated into the cumulative GPA. The class will be re-listed on the transcript with the new grade, which will be calculated into the cumulative GPA. The new grade may not be used to determine a valedictorian or salutatorian.

No student will be permitted to repeat any course more than once without prior approval of the administration. Students considering repeating a course must obtain the school counselor’s and/or the instructor’s approval prior to enrolling in the course.

Final Exam Information

Students will not be excused for appointments or family vacations during final exam days. Students are required to be in school only during the time of their scheduled exams.  Under extenuating circumstances, special permission may be granted to take a final exam early with approval by the administration.

 Student-Teacher-Parent Communication

Our goal at SMCHS is open communication through which students, parents and teachers work together in a Christian atmosphere. The SMCHS administration asks students, parents, and teachers to maintain open lines of communication with the following understandings:

  • Teachers are required to be available to the students and/or parents and candidly address any problems or concerns. Students and parents are encouraged to communicate directly with the teacher.
  • Students or parents who have questions or concerns should contact the teacher during normal school hours if possible, or immediately before or after school.
  • Meetings with students and/or parents will be conducted in a private setting. The student, parent and teacher should strive to arrive at an amiable solution to questions and concerns.
  • Communication by all parties will be carried out in a Christian, mature manner.
  • If the student, parents and teacher cannot mutually agree upon a satisfactory solution, the subject should then be brought to the attention of the principal.
  • Parents can assist the teacher and principal by being encouraging, supportive and positive role models

Student-parent-teacher conferences are held one time each semester (twice a year). The purpose of conferences is to be proactive with regard to each student’s academic performance. Any time a student, parent and/or teacher feel it is necessary to discuss the student’s academic progress, individual conferences may be arranged.

PowerSchool is an online portal that makes it easy for parents and students to keep up to date with assignments and grades. This internet-accessed program facilitates the flow of information between parents, students and teachers, and is a powerful tool for checking a child’s latest grades, receiving email alerts when new grades are posted and seeing what assignments are missing or incomplete. Students and parents are given access to the program by using secure, privacy protecting passwords.

Edmodo, a tool designed strictly for educational purposes, is a free and secure learning network for teachers, students, and schools. All St. Mary Catholic High School teachers use this program, which provides a safe way for teachers and students to connect, share content, access homework, participate in discussions, manage due dates, and receive class information.