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 14th class of seniors in 2019. As of February 2020, out of a total of 222 graduates and current seniors we have had a disproportionate number of National Merit Semi-Finalists (11) and Commended Scholars (16). 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. The school again qualified for this honor in 2018.
During freshman year, the high school theology course is Sacred Scripture, covering both the Old and New Testaments. During sophomore year, the course is Doctrine, focusing on the doctrinal teachings 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 Apologetics. During senior year, the course is Moral Theology. 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.
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 and BC). In keeping with our classical methodology, the Geometry course includes a significant portion of Euclid’s Elements.
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, as well as electives in Computer Science, and Anatomy.
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 Honors Latin V.
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.
Each St. Monica Academy high school student also takes one semester of Government and one semester of Economics as a senior. Additional elective options are Anatomy, Computer Science, and Classical Literature Seminar. All freshmen take a year of PE, as well as many sophomores (based on schedule). In addition, freshmen take a Drama class.
|Freshman Year||Sophomore Year||Junior Year||Senior Year|
|Ancient Literature||Medieval Literature||Renaissance/Modern Literature||U.S. Literature|
|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||Performance Choir II||Performance Choir III|
|PE 9||PE 10||U.S. Government/Economics|
|Drama||Anatomy||Computer Science* or Classical Literature Seminar*|
|World History/U.S. History||40|
|Math (through Algebra ll)||30|
|Latin (3-year requirement through Latin ll)||30|
*Not required for graduation
At St. Monica Academy, every junior takes a College Research Class in the spring to familiarize and prepare the student for the college admission process. Each student develops a student admission profile built on an understanding of their strengths and interests both academic and extracurricular that will benefit them in their search for the right college. Class assignments cover research of college choices, developing a college “apply list,” practicing SAT/ACT essay writing using actual test prompts, taking mock SAT and ACT exams under test conditions, discussing college visits, and developing summer plans that will build their college applicant profile.
In the fall, seniors continue their College Research Class by spending dedicated time each week in constructing their applications and essays and in researching and learning about financial aid and scholarship opportunities.
Throughout the school year, the College Counselor meets one-on-one with the Juniors and Seniors in order to
– Answer any questions the student has about the college admissions process
– Assist the student in staying on schedule and completing all components of college applications
– Discuss educational concerns and explore methods for improving academic performance
– Discuss personal or social issues in a confidential setting
– Help the student achieve present and future goals in education
Parents, teachers or students may request counseling appointments for students by contacting the Dean of High School. Parents should feel free to call the office with any concerns regarding their child.