St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic School is accredited by AdvancEd/Cognia and the National Catholic Education Association. We utilize and implement the Diocese of Charleston curriculum standards, which include: religion, English/language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, Spanish, French, computers, music, art, physical education, and library. Teachers use learning objectives to guide in overall planning, sequencing, instruction, and assessment for student mastery. Student mastery is determined by assessment of objectives and is reflected through the school's grading system. Our eighth grade students have opportunities to earn high school credit in Spanish, French, English I Honors, Algebra I Honors, and Geometry Honors.
The school utilizes Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), as required by the diocese, for all kindergarten through eighth grade students. This standardized assessment measures student growth, projects proficiency, and informs teachers how to differentiate instruction, evaluate programs, and structure curriculum. The MAP test is administered three times a year.
In addition to rigorous academics, St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic School is certified by the College Board allowing our sixth, seventh, and eighth students to take the PSAT 8/9 test in the fall. This allows our students the opportunity to qualify for the Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) program. This gifted education program, based at Duke University, aims to identify gifted students advanced educational opportunities, as well as social and emotional support. St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic School is also a certified Duke TIP testing site for the state of Georgia and South Carolina for already identified fourth-eighth grade Duke TIP students.
The principal and the classroom teacher(s) identifies students who may be performing below grade level and need additional academic support. This Child Study Team, in conjunction with the parents, Aiken County School District personnel, and other resource specialists develop a Student Support Plan (SSP). This may include a psychoeducational evaluation from Aiken County School District. Our school has a Resource Room and instructional assistants to help classroom teachers and provide one-on-one differentiated instruction for students with Student Support Plans.
Students in third through eighth grade learn in a 1:1 environment where each student has access to a Chromebook and Google Classrooms are utilized are to integrate teaching and learning. Students in kindergarten and second grade are equipped with iPads where student learning is enhanced through various web-based educational programs.
At St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic School, our educators infuse excellence into teaching religion, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, foreign language, and much more. The St. Mary’s difference is that we partner with you to care for your child’s overall well-being in these formative years and for eternity. Students are encouraged, motivated, and challenged to become:
AN ACTIVE LEARNER AND EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATOR WHO:
- Strives for academic excellence.
- Applies problem solving and critical thinking strategies.
- Is self-motivated to do their personal best.
- Uses resources effectively.
- Uses written and oral communication skills effectively.
- Utilizes appropriate social skills.
- Works cooperatively with others.