Why SMA?

Why SMA?

St. Monica Academy is an Elementary and college preparatory High School with a classical pedagogy and a classical liberal arts curriculum. St. Monica Academy seeks to form students in faith, reason and virtue by imparting authentic Catholic principles and by introducing young minds to classical literature and the other liberal arts. Teaching methods are directed toward developing memory, sound reasoning, and communication skills in keeping with the natural stages of childhood intellectual development.

At St. Monica Academy you will discover a fulfilling
education and a joyful and faithful Catholic life.

Discover the beauty and richness
of our Catholic faith

Discover a classical curriculum
and method that inspire life-long earning

Discover students and faculty
who live the Christian moral
life with joy

St. Monica Academy provides a classical curriculum emphasizing the Great Books and the Socratic Method. Students read and discuss timeless classics and learn to think, speak, and write clearly and precisely.

Students study Euclid’s Elements in Geometry class in order to develop logical rigor and problem-solving skills.

Students study at least three years of Latin to develop grammatical and analytical skills, deepen appreciation for the sacred language of the Church, and lay the foundation for the study of modern languages.

Students study English and History as an integrated Hunanities Cycle covering Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance to Modern, and American history and literature.

Authors In Our Classical Curriculum

  • Homer
  • Aeschylus
  • Sophocles
  • Aristotle
  • Vergil
  • Ovid
  • Herodotus
  • Cicero
  • Caesar
  • St. Augustine
  • Shakespeare
  • Dante
  • Chaucer
  • Petrarch
  • Belloc
  • Chesterton
  • Churchill
  • Cervantes
  • Milton
  • Dickens
  • Austen
  • Donne
  • Wordsworth
  • Tennyson
  • Rousseau
  • Hobbes
  • Locke
  • Marx
  • Freud
  • Hawthorne
  • Poe
  • Whitman
  • Twain
  • Fitzgerald
  • O’Connor
  • Hemingway
  • Steinbeck
  • Tocqueville
  • Grant
  • Roosevelt Solzhenitsyn Chambers

A Classical and Authentically Catholic High School

  • Daily prayer and weekly Mass
  • Classical curriculum and method that inspire life-long learning
  • Dedicated faculty who exemplify the joy of the Christian moral life
  • 4 years of Theology taught according to the Church’s traditonal Magisterium
  • Joyful, positive peer enviornment
  • Faithful alumni who succeed and evangelize on elite university campuses

Elementary School

SMA Profile

St. Monica Academy is an independent, coeducational school for grades one through twelve, founded by parents in fulfillment of their primary responsibility for educating their children, and seeks to form students in faith, reason, and virtue.

St. Monica Academy High School prepares students to excel in college with rigorous courses in math and science and by reading great literature and philosophical writers, whose poetry, prose and logic train students’ minds and inspire their own elocution. Our graduates are repeatedly cited by professors at Top 25 universities as models of strong writing and active seminar participation.

Our graduates have been admitted to top grad-uate programs in medicine, science, art, film, engineering and other fields.

The aim of our curriculum and pedagogy is to instill in students a love of learning. Our students become lifelong scholars of history, lovers of culture, and knowledgeable and curious about the sciences. They have been trained to be observant, discerning, and independent thinkers. They are prepared to excel in college, to become their generation’s rare masters of the vanishing crafts of fine writing and speaking. They will be creative problem-solvers. They will be leaders.

St. Monica Academy’s college preparatory high school is a four-year high school enrolling 117 students in grades nine through twelve. The high school was founded in 2001 and saw its first graduating class in 2006.

Located in Montrose, California, St. Monica Academy High School draws students from a geographical radius of over 50 miles. Approximately 45.8% of parents report having completed a 4-year degree, 28.8% of parents report having earned an advanced degree, and 25.4% of parents report having completed a high school degree. Thirteen students have been currently identified as “First Generation” for attending college. The current tuition rate is $13,229, and 22% of students receive some form of financial aid. Prospective students take an entrance exam including a written essay, but students are admitted with a wide range of academic abilities; the desire and the will to learn is considered along with demonstrated academic achievement. The school is consistently awarded dona-tions and grants from charitable organizations including the Ahmanson, Carrie Estelle Doheny, Bill Hannon, and Dan Murphy Foundations.

St. Monica Academy is fully accredited with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The school is also accredited with the Western Catholic Education Association. We have been honored by the Cardinal Newman Society as being one of the Top 50 Catholic High Schools in the nation.

National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools.

At St. Monica Academy, the centerpiece of the academic program is the integrated humanities cycle. Our high school students study the Theology, History, and Literature of specific eras of Western civilization.
Those courses are run on a four-year cycle as follows:

Freshman:   Ancient History, Ancient Literature, and Dogmatic Theology
Sophomore:   Medieval History, Medieval Literature, and Sacred Scripture
Junior:   Renaissance and Modern World History, Renaissance and Modern World Literature, and Moral Theology
Senior:   American History, American Literature, and Apologetics/Comparative Religions

This literary and historical survey of the Western tradition inspires students through the great books, the great ideas, and the great figures who have formed our culture. While textbooks provide an overview, readings of major historians and writers, formal debates, formal essays, and Socratic discussions make the subjects come alive and create an abiding interest in history and a love for great literature. Our program exceeds the requirements for admission to the University of California in history, foreign language, science, and fine arts. Classes offered yearly are all levels of Mathematics (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Trig/Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC), all levels of Latin (I, II, III, and AP), all Lab Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Honors Physics, AP Chemistry), Physical Education for 9th and 10th graders, and Government and Economics for seniors. Our student to teacher ratio is 9:1 and the average class size is 26 students. All of our college preparatory classes are extremely rigorous and taught at an honors and accelerated level. At present, we offer 6 AP courses, Honors Physics, and Honors Latin 5.
Our AP courses include Latin, Calculus AB and BC, Chemistry and Literature Composition and Statistics. AP exams in Biology, Computer Science, Phys-ics, Spanish, Human Geography, Macroeconomics, Psychology, US History, and Music Theory are also taken by our students, though they are not part of our regular curriculum. Our students pass these AP exams with scores of 4 and 5. The capstone of each year of high school is a rigorous history research project and presentation in 9th, 10th, and 11th grades and a thesis paper and oral defense of the thesis in front of a faculty committee in 12th grade.

In response to the school shutdown beginning in March 2020 due to the Covid related restrictions, St. Monica Academy persevered in providing its stellar rigorous curriculum and maintained its original grading system using a successful distance learning method. Our educational approach was not mitigated nor minimized by the pandemic restrictions.

Graduation requirements meet or exceed California state guidelines. To graduate from St. Monica Academy, students must, at a minimum, complete the following:

  • • Theology 4 years
  • • English 4 years
  • • Mathematics 3 years
  • • History, Government and Economics 5 years
  • • Science 3 years
  • • Latin 3 years
  • • Physical Education1 year
  • • Concert/Performance Choir 4 years

St. Monica Academy assigns letter grades using a 4.0 system. Letter grades are assigned as follows:

  • A+ 97-100%
  • B+ 87-89%
  • C+ 77-79%
  • D+ 67-69%
  • F 59% and below
  • A 93-96%
  • B 83-86%
  • C 73-76%
  • D 63-66%
  • A- 90-92%
  • B- 80-82%
  • C- 70-72%
  • D- 60-62%

We do currently rank our seniors and AP designated classes are weighted in the GPA.

The Class of 2020 have taken the SAT with an average pass rate of 1296 compared to the national SAT average of 1059. In 15 years, St. Monica Academy has produced 16 perfect 800’s on SAT I and II tests, 35 National Merit Finalists or Commended Scholars, a regional “Poetry Out Loud” winner, and dozens of National Latin Exam Gold Medals.

St. Monica Academy provides interscholastic varsity boys’ and girls’ basketball, volleyball and cross country teams, girls’ soccer, girls’ lacrosse and boys’ baseball teams. St. Monica competes in the CIF Southern Section. Our teams have won over a dozen league championships and one Division championship. St. Monica Academy has been awarded the coveted CIF “Coach of the Year” honor in 2016.

St. Monica Academy offers Yearbook publishing; Schola, a regionally recognized polyphonic choir; an Arts program that includes a yearly Shakespeare production and a yearly musical production; student government and leadership opportunities through Student Council; and voluntary service projects that encourage our students to contribute to their communities. We participate in the California Academic Decathlon competition. We hold a charter from the California Scholastic Federation and run our own service organization, the St. Monica Honor Society. An integral part of our program also includes a biennial trip to Washington D.C. for juniors and seniors and to the American Southwest for freshmen and sophomores. Our students average over 400 service hours by their senior year serving local and global impoverished populations.

Class of 2021 graduated 22 students and achieved 100% acceptance into four-year universities. The Class of 2021 received a collective merit scholarship amount of $5.2 million and were admitted into highly selective universities. Class of 2022 will graduate 27 students and it is expected that 100% will be accepted into selective four-year universities.

Portrait of the SMA Graduate

  • Recognize their infinite value and dignity as persons made in God’s own image;
  • Embrace and live the teachings of the Catholic faith;
  • Form their consciences according to the objective truth of the Gospel;
  • Pray daily, attend Mass faithfully, and contemplate the beauty of Creation;
  • Treasure the blessings of their own families;
  • Approach relationships with love and with hope in the goodness of others;
  • Share the love of Christ with those who do not yet know Him;
  • Seek to be happy and generous husbands and wives, and fathers and mothers, when called to married life;
  • Seek to be happy and generous in their vocations when called to the priesthood or religious life;
  • Possess an integrated knowledge of academic disciplines in the arts and sciences;
  • Think deeply, logically, imaginatively, and prayerfully to make decisions according to right reason;
  • Communicate clearly through both the written and spoken word;
  • Participate confidently in athletic, artistic, and intellectual pursuits;
  • Embrace their civic duty to improve their communities through personal engagement;
  • Possess magnanimous character with generous hearts;
  • Appreciate profoundly the St. Monica Academy community, and consider themselves as sustaining members of it;
  • Serve as leaders in their college, parish, and social communities;
  • Utilize technology and media responsibly to foster authentic relationships;
  • Protect the dignity of the unborn, the aged, the poor, and the suffering;
  • Respect cultures and beliefs not their own always in Christian charity;
  • Thirst to acquire new knowledge continually;
  • Experience the true freedom that is the fruit of virtuous living;
  • Look forward with joyful hope to spending eternity with God in heaven.

The following is a partial list of those 4-year institutions who have accepted

St. Monica Academy graduates:

  • Arizona State University
  • Ashland University
  • Auburn University
  • Ave Maria University
  • Barnard College
  • Baylor University
  • Benedictine College
  • Berklee College of Music
  • Boise State University
  • Boston University
  • Bowdoin College
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • California Maritime Academy
  • California Polytechnic University, Pomona
  • California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo
  • California State University, Fullerton
  • California State University, Long Beach
  • California State University, Los Angeles
  • California State University, Northridge
  • California State University, Stanislaus
  • Carleton College
  • Catholic University of America
  • Chapman University
  • Christendom College
  • College of William and Mary
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Columbia University
  • Creighton University
  • DeSales University
  • Drexel University
  • Felician College
  • Fordham University
  • Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • George Washington University
  • Georgetown University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Gonzaga University
  • Hartt School, University of Hartford
  • Hawaii Pacific University
  • Hillsdale College
  • Holy Cross College
  • John Paul the Great Catholic University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Loyola Marymount University
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • Loyola University New Orleans
  • Lycoming College
  • Marist College
  • Marquette University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Middlebury College
  • Montana State University
  • New York University
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Northwestern University
  • Occidental College
  • Otis College of Art and Design
  • Pepperdine University
  • Providence College, Rhode Island
  • Purdue University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • San Diego State University
  • San Francisco Art Institute
  • San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • Santa Clara University
  • Scripps College
  • Seattle University
  • Seton Hall University
  • Southern Methodist University
  • St. Andrews University, Scotland
  • St. John’s University, Annapolis
  • St. John’s University, Minnesota
  • St. John’s University, New York
  • St. Mary’s College, California
  • St. Mary’s College, Indiana
  • Stanford University
  • Swarthmore College
  • Texas Tech University
  • Thomas Aquinas College
  • Thomas More College
  • United States Merchant Marine Academy
  • United States Naval Academy
  • United States Air Force Academy
  • University of Alabama
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, Merced
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Dallas
  • University of Evansville, Indiana
  • University of Louisville, Kentucky
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Mississippi
  • University of Navarra, Spain
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Oregon
  • University of the Pacific
  • University of the Pittsburgh
  • University of Portland
  • University of San Diego
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of Southern California
  • University of St. Thomas
  • University of Virginia
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Vienna Conservatory of Music
  • Washington State University, Pullman
  • Wellesley College
  • West Point Military Academy
  • Wheaton College
  • Xavier University