Academic excellence is an everyday occurrence at Saint Mary Star of the Sea School. Our faculty and staff daily strive to provide the children with all they need to excel in school and in life. Each May, students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades qualify to be inducted as new members of the National Junior Honor Society. Each year, 8th graders qualify for the Presidential Awards for Excellence and Achievement—earning the 90th percentile and over for their standardized test scores in reading and math from grades 6 through 8. For over 90 years Saint Mary’s has been known for its high academic standards.
The preschool program includes instruction in a variety of stimulating topics, including the Rowling Foundation Superkids reading series. Kindergarten students are given an early mastery in the academic fundamentals and study skills. Students in the primary grades at Saint Mary’s progressively build a solid foundation of academic skills and a love of learning, preparing them for success in the upper grades. Students in the 4th and 5th grade are exposed to a diverse, well-rounded curriculum that builds upon previously acquired basic skills, while developing new ways of learning and thinking. Through the continuing development of study skills and good work habits, they are prepared for the rigorous middle school curriculum.
The middle school program is a strong academic preparation for a college high school preparatory program. Parents have continually remarked that their students have achieved much success after graduating from Saint Mary’s.
In 2015, Saint Mary Star of the Sea School earned full re-accreditation status through AdvancED, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site external reviews of Pre-K-12 schools and school systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential. Although the expertise of AdvacED is grounded in more than a hundred years of work in school accreditation, AdvancED is far from a typical accrediting agency. Their goal is not only to certify schools, but to help them improve.
Combining the knowledge and expertise of a research institute, the skills of a management consulting firm and the passion of a grassroots movement for educational change, AdvancED serves as a trusted partner to 34,000 schools and school systems—employing more than four million educators and enrolling more than 20 million students—across the United States and 70 other nations. AdvanceED is the largest community of education professionals in the world.
AdvancED was created through a 2006 merger of the Pre-K-12 divisions of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI)—and expanded through the addition of the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) in 2011.
All Saint Mary´s teachers are certified to teach in the state of Virginia, including the enrichment program classes of Technology, Physical Education,Fine Arts, Music and Spanish. Saint Mary’s is committed to a program of continuous improvement and goal-setting.
Saint Mary Star of the Sea School uses the Diocese of Richmond's Consensus Curriculum.
A Master Curriculum Council composed of professional educators within the system (principals and teachers) researches and develops guidelines for all the professionals within the Catholic Schools to review, and proposes competencies within the published learning strands. The curriculum is broad-based and encompasses the state standards and the national standards for education.