Academics at St. Mary Catholic Schools

St. Mary Catholic Schools provides an outstanding education to students from Pre-3 through High School. Our dedicated faculty and administrators are committed to meeting the academic needs of every student across the educational spectrum. SMCS’s accelerated opportunities, solid college-prep course selections and high expectations motivate and challenge students, and learning specialists provide support where needed.

Selecting Your Courses
  • Counseling Office, (920) 722-7796 ext. 156

St. Mary Catholic Students have a variety of courses from which to choose in both core and elective subjects. High School students and their parents are encouraged to meet with the guidance counselor during planning conferences to assure they are on track for graduation and post-secondary plans. Registration for incoming freshmen is held in early spring of the eighth grade year. Guidance office personnel are available to assist students and parents in making the transition to high school.

For transfer students, course selections are based upon previous academic achievements. New students must provide an official copy of their transcript before course selections may be determined. Course selection for transfer students occur on an “as needed” basis.

Graduation Requirements

Academic Requirements
  • Minimum Credits: Minimum of 3.5 credits per semester unless excused by administration.
  • Graduation: Four year, eight semester program. Graduating students will be awarded a diploma when 27 credits have been earned (20.0 required & 7.0 elective).
Academic CoursesRequired Credits
Social Studies3.0
Physical Education1.5
Fine Arts0.5
Business & Information Technology0.5
Required Credits (Minimum)27.0
Service Requirements

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.

College Preparatory Courses

While not required, SMCS school counseling recommends that students complete the following courses. 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.

College Preparatory CoursesRecommended Credits
Mathematics (Algebra, Geometry, Advanced Algebra, Trig & Pre-Calculus)4.0
Science (Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry or Physics)4.0
Social Studies4.0
World Languages2.0+
Other Academic Electives (Counseling Office (920) 722-7796 ext. 156)1.5

Blended Education

Blended education fosters important life skills and provides an opportunity for students to learn with students from other Catholic schools across North America. Examples of courses offered though blended education are Linear Algebra, Multivariable Calculus, Statistical Reasoning in Sports, C++ Programming. In addition, several of the blended education classes are dual credit eligible through Creighton University.


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.

Academic Tools


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.



SMCS offers engaging and progressive learning environments. Our investment in technology affirms our commitment to our mission of providing a quality education in a rapidly changing world. We are firmly committed to fostering the skills needed for success in today’s technology-rich world.

Here are some recommendations from the SMCS IT department regarding bringing your own devices.

Comprehensive School Counseling Program

The SMCHS school counseling department focuses on helping students understand the connection between school and their future goals and dreams. In addition to promoting strong academics and supporting students in developing their post-high school plans, SMCHS nurtures each student as he or she grows socially and emotionally. The school counseling department works collaboratively with administration, teachers and staff; taking a problem-solving approach to issues that affect student progress and success at the high school level.

A particular focus of the department is preparing students to make well-informed choices regarding their life after graduation. Whether preparing for a four-year university, technical college, trade school, the military or the workforce, the SMCHS school counseling department assists students in choosing the appropriate coursework. Our personnel also help students stay on track with college admission requirements and scholarship opportunities.

School counseling personnel welcome questions or concerns from parents, students and teachers. Individual parent/teacher conferences may be arranged by calling the school counseling office, and students should meet with the counselor as needed. Appointments should be made during their study hall periods or lunch, but students may also contact the counselor during class time in case of immediate need.


Naviance is a comprehensive college and career readiness platform that enables students to explore their interests and strengths and work with our counselor to develop a course of study that matches long-term goals with actionable plan. It also provides parent access, and is instrumental in managing each student’s unique post-high school search and application process. Each student and family is provided a link to set up their own, personalized page on the Naviance SMCS Family Connection.


During a student’s high school career, a variety of tests are used to help determine his or her interests and strengths, as well as to determine preparedness for post-secondary education. PLAN and PSAT testing programs are managed through this department for sophomores and juniors. The Guidance Office also distributes and provides information regarding the ACT and SAT. was created with a federal grant which students can study for their ACT and SAT exams for free on a state website. This site has tutorials and interactive practice sessions for the two college entrance exams.


St. Mary Catholic High School has information about many scholarships that are available for students considering post-secondary education. In addition, there are scholarship opportunities and essay contests available to students in grades 9-12 who would like to earn money for college. These opportunities can be found in Naviance Student under Colleges/Scholarships and Money/Scholarship List.

Seniors can also visit the Fox River Scholarship Center website and the Community Foundation website to see additional lists of scholarships they may be eligible for.

Free National Scholarship Information

Transcripts for High School Seniors

  • Log into your Naviance/Student account
  • Select the Colleges tab
  • Indicate that you have applied to the college you are requesting a transcript for
  • If your request is for a Common App school, follow the Common Application matching instructions