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Courses & Curriculum

St. Margaret's meets the needs of each student by offering a skills-based curriculum that allows for flexibility based on a girl's maturity, ability, and interests. Placement tests determine which courses a student takes in the areas of English, history, math, science, and foreign languages during her first year. All students receive support to become active participants in their education and achievement. Each year, the Academic Dean meets with students individually to monitor their progress, select their academic courses, and ensure that graduation requirements are met. Outstanding students are presented with opportunities, such as Advanced Placement/Honors courses in all disciplines, online courses and dual enrollment in community college. Students have the opportunity to participate in Minimester to explore areas of interest, and conduct independent study.

English Curriculum

St. Margaret’s English curriculum gives students a deeper appreciation and greater command of the written and spoken word—which are absolutely critical for success in college and career. Our course of study allows students to gain a solid foundation in reading, writing, critical thinking, and oral expression. Studying literature in a variety of genres by both traditional and contemporary writers invites students to explore universal themes. At each level, the curriculum also incorporates a formal study of grammar and correct usage. All of our English courses encourage interdisciplinary learning by making connections with other subjects, including history, art, science, library research, SAT vocabulary review and timed SAT essay writing, and the use of technology to ensure students are well prepared for college. English must be taken every year. The minimum graduation requirement is American Literature or Reading and Writing for College.

Courses

English 8
Introduction to Literature and Composition
World Literature and Composition
Reading and Writing for College

American Literature & Composition
British Literature and Composition  thistle
Honors English Literatureasteriskthistle
Advanced Placement English Literatureasteriskthistle

asteriskindicates a weighed/honors course
thistle indicates a class eligible for dual enrollment

 

 

English as a Second Language (ESL) Curriculum

St. Margaret’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program serves the ESL student by offering intensive courses covering writing, grammar, reading, conversation, computer skills, ESL U.S. History, and ESL Science. All new students are required to take ESL U.S. Culture, unless they are enrolled in Study Skills. Advanced students enroll in mainstream classes and use the Advanced ESL course for additional support. Students take a placement test to determine which ESL level is appropriate, if any. Graduation requirements include having to take English and Math every year, and a combination of Science and History courses (U.S. History is required).

Courses

ESL Reading, Writing, and Literary Research I
ESL Reading, Writing, and Literary Research II
ESL Listening, Speaking, and Grammar I
ESL Listening, Speaking, and Grammar II
Advanced ESL
ESL Physical Science
ESL U.S. Culture
ESL U.S. History

 

Fine Arts Curriculum

At St. Margaret’s, we require every student to take art classes because we believe the arts play a critical role in both education and contemporary society. The arts integrate and solidify an individual’s personality, stimulate creative thinking processes that can be transferred to other areas of inquiry, and provide a healthy forum for personal expression. Our students present art shows and concerts throughout the school year. Graduations requirements are one trimester of studio or performing arts, and one trimester of Art History, Musica History or Drama History.

Courses

Full-Year Courses: Advanced Art, Senior Portfolio, Ensemble

1st Trimester

Treble Choir
Voice
Piano
Drama History
Art History
Drawing I, II, III
Painting I, II, III
Ceramics I, II, III

2nd Trimester
Treble Choir
Voice
Piano
Technical Theater
Drawing I, II, III
Painting I, II, III
Mixed Media I, II, III
Digital Photography I, II, III

3rd Trimester
Treble Choir
Voice
Piano
Music History
Drawing I, II, III
Painting I, II, III
Watercolors I, II, III
Digital Photography I, II, III

 

 

 

 

Foreign Language Curriculum

Understanding other languages and cultures gives students an edge in our increasingly global society. St. Margaret’s foreign language courses offer students the opportunity to study literature, explore the past, and write and speak the language of another time or place. To complement their studies, students may participate in one of the school’s educational trips abroad or take part in one of our international exchange programs. All students complete three years of one language or two years of two languages.

Courses

Latin I
Latin II
Latin IIIthistle
Latin IV thistle asterisk
Latin Vthistleasterisk
Spanish I

Spanish II
Spanish III
Spanish IVasterisk
Spanish Vasterisk

thistle indicates a class eligible for dual enrollment
asterisk indicates a weighted/honors course

History Curriculum

The St. Margaret’s history curriculum challenges students to learn from the past and apply those lessons to the future as active participants in our democratic society. Each student develops a solid background in U.S. History and Government, a broad understanding of world history, and an appreciation for diverse cultures. By giving our students content and context for world events, we help them become clearer, more critical thinkers. Students take three courses in grades 9 through 12; one year of World History and US History and Government are required.

Courses

History 8
Geography
World History I
World History II
U.S. History thistle
Advanced Placement U.S. History (every other year) thistle asterisk
Advanced Placement European History (every other year) thistle asterisk

Electives

Current Events (1st trimester)
Great Books (2nd trimester)
20th Century (3rd trimester; every other year)
Foreign Policy (3rd trimester; every other year)

thistle indicates a class eligible for dual enrollment
asterisk indicates a weighted/honors course

Leadership Curriculum

St. Margaret’s trains and supports current and potential student leaders with courses that combine theory and practice. The Introduction to Leadership class, open to students in grades 9-11, focuses on life skills topics and leadership development. The Women in Leadership course is open to seniors in leadership positions. These students serve as role models for others, direct the peer leader program for 8th and 9th graders and guide community programs, such as Peer Lunches and service projects.

Courses

Introduction to Leadership (3rd trimester)
Women in Leadership* (1st and 2nd trimester)

* required for seniors selected for leadership positions

Mathematics Curriculum

St. Margaret’s students do math with confidence. Small classes, personal attention and a collaborative approach to learning ensure that every student masters fundamental concepts before moving on to the next level. Each year, our math teams perform well at—and often win—the regional competitions sponsored by a local college. Algebra I, II, and Geometry are required for graduation. Seniors must take a full year of mathematics.

Courses

Pre-Algebra
Algebra I
Algebra IB
Advanced Algebra
Geometry
Introduction to Probability and Statistics
Pre-Calculus
Calculus asterisk
Advanced Placement Calculus (AB) asterisk
Advanced Placement Calculus (BC) thistle asterisk

Electives

Finance/Economics (3rd trimester)

thistle indicates a class eligible for dual enrollment
asterisk indicates a weighted/honors course

Religious Studies Curriculum

St. Margaret’s religion classes foster the spiritual and intellectual development of our students as they contemplate life’s larger questions. Courses examine biblical themes of the Judeo-Christian tradition, which play a significant role in Western history, literature and the arts. Students also study the world’s major religions, which are essential to understanding the geopolitical forces shaping current events.

Girls find the process of examining what they and others believe helps them strengthen values and develop a moral compass. Graduation requirements are three trimesters of religion courses.

Courses

Introduction to Old Testament
Introduction to New Testament
Moral Ethics
World Religion 

Science Curriculum

Studies show that students at girls’ schools are more likely to pursue careers in science and technology than their counterparts at coed schools. That’s because schools like St. Margaret’s prepare young women for success in college-level science courses by emphasizing problem-solving and research skills in the classroom, laboratory, and field (where we take full advantage of our riverfront location). Our Science Curriculum follows the “Physics First” model, which provides students with a unifying foundation of science as a base for subsequent study. All students are required to take three lab courses in grades 9 through 12; Biology, Chemistry or Chemistry in the Community, and an additional year of lab science.

Courses

Physical Science
Conceptual Physics
Chemistry in the Community
Chemistry
Biology
Advanced Placement Biology asterisk
Honors Physics thistle asterisk

 

Electives

Human Anatomy (1st and 2nd trimesters)
Comparative Anatomy (all trimesters)
Environmental Issues (3rd trimester)
Independent Science Research (1st and/or 2nd trimester)
Marine Anatomy (3rd trimester)
Computer Science (3rd trimester)
Robotics (2nd trimester)
Women’s Health (all trimesters)

thistle indicates a class eligible for dual enrollment
asterisk indicates a weighted/honors course