High School

St. Monica Academy provides a single program of college-preparatory studies that includes theology, literature & writing, history, mathematics, laboratory science, Latin, and performing arts. For more on the philosophy and objectives of our high school, read the High School Charter of Principles. For a concise summary of St. Monica’s educational principles, and an excellent example of our curriculum’s effect on the oral and literary style of our students, read the valedictory address from our 2013 Graduation Ceremony.

How Our School Compares to National Standards

St. Monica Academy graduated its tenth class of seniors in 2015. Despite the modest size of our high school classes, they have featured a disproportionate number of National Merit Finalists (7) and Commended Scholars (8). To see what kind of reading St. Monica Academy requires of its high school students, and how our program has led to some exceptional academic achievements, read the High School Curriculum and Achievements sheet.

In 2013, out of all the Catholic high schools in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, St. Monica Academy earned the highest mean SAT scores on all three sections of the SAT. In 2014, the Cardinal Newman Society named St. Monica Academy in its Catholic Education Honor Roll as one of the nation’s 71 Schools of Excellence, for its academic excellence, Catholic identity, and civic education.

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Theology

During freshman year, the high school theology course is Dogmatic Theology, focusing on the doctrine of the Catholic Church.  During sophomore year, the course is Sacred Scripture, covering both the Old and New Testament.  During junior year, the course is Moral Theology.  During senior year, the course is Apologetics and Comparative Religions. Each theology course has an apologetics component so students will learn to explain and defend the basic tenets of the Catholic faith.

Integrated Humanities Cycle: English and History

The centerpiece of the academic program is the integrated humanities cycle. Each year, each high school grade level focuses on the history and literature of a specific era of Western civilization. During freshman year, the subject of study is the ancient world up to the year 500 A.D. During sophomore year, the medieval era is covered up to approximately 1400 A.D. During junior year, students study the Renaissance up to the emergence of modern Europe into the 20th century. During senior year, the focus is American history and literature. This literary and historical survey of the Western tradition inspires students through reading the great books, engaging the great ideas, and discovering the great figures who have formed our culture. While textbooks provide an overview, readings of major historians and writers, guest lectures, formal debates, formal essays and Socratic discussions make the subjects come alive and create an abiding interest in history and a love for literature. Each year of the integrated humanities program includes a full year course in history and a full year course in literature.

Mathematics

The St. Monica Academy mathematics program follows the standard college preparatory sequence. Students generally begin with either Algebra I or Geometry as freshmen (depending on whether they have taken Algebra I as eighth graders) and then progress through Algebra II, Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus, and AP Calculus (AB). In keeping with our classical methodology, the Geometry course includes a significant portion of Euclid’s Elements.

Laboratory Science

St. Monica Academy high school students take at least three years of laboratory science in order to develop understanding of and wonder towards God’s creation. The science program features General Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Honors Physics, and AP Chemistry.

Latin

In keeping with St. Monica Academy’s classical character, high school students study Latin as a window into the ancient world, to develop their vocabulary, and to reinforce their understanding of general grammatical principles. University of California standards mandate two years of foreign language. St. Monica Academy mandates three years of Latin and also offers AP Latin IV and Latin V.

Performing Arts

St. Monica Academy high school students take four years of choir, perform two school concerts per year, provide sacred music for our First Friday masses, and perform at our annual auction gala. Our high school Schola vocal ensemble is a smaller, voluntary group that provides sacred music for our weekly Wednesday masses. St. Monica Academy stages an annual Shakespeare production and Spring Musical with participation determined by audition. We also compete in the Poetry Out Loud organization, in which every high school student memorizes and recites poems in front of his or her peers at the class level, with the possibility of moving on to school, regional, and state competitions. Every high school student also participates in our annual literary-historical feasts, which are essentially educational and entertaining dinner theater presentations.

Electives

Each St. Monica Academy high school student takes one semester of Government and one semester of Economics as a junior or senior. One year of PE is taken as a freshman and a second as a sophomore. Freshmen also take a Drama class.

Core Curriculum

Freshman Year Sophomore Year Junior Year Senior Year
Dogmatic Theology Sacred Scripture Moral Theology Apologetics
Ancient Literature Medieval Literature Renaissance/Modern Literature U.S. Literature
Ancient History Medieval History Renaissance/Modern History U.S. History
Algebra I or Geometry Geometry or Algebra II Algebra II or Pre-Calculus* Pre-Calculus* or AP Calculus AB*
General Science or Biology Biology or Chemistry Chemistry or Physics* or Honors Physics* Physics* or Honors Physics* or AP Chemistry*
Latin I Latin II Latin III* AP Latin*
Concert Choir I Performance Choir I Concert Choir II Performance Choir II
PE 9 PE 10 U.S. Government/Economics*
Drama
*Not required for graduation.

Subject Units
Religion 40
English Literature 40
World History/U.S. History 40
Math (through Algebra II) 30
Latin (3-year requirement through Latin II) 30
Science 30
Economics 5
Government 5
PE 10
Fine Arts 30
TOTAL 260