As Villa Maria Academy approaches its sesquicentennial in 2022, the Academic program looks to ensure a premium 21st Century educational experience that challenges each student to develop her God-given potential through:
- Strengthening the current academic program in supporting learning that is collaborative, creative, global in scope, interdisciplinary and technologically appropriate
- Cultivating an environment where the technology infrastructure and learning space support a 21st Century academic program
- Implementing an effective faculty professional learning community that provides the time and resources for teachers to grow in their knowledge of innovative, research-based pedagogy
Propelled by its mission of educating young women to be critical thinkers, creative problem solvers, and collaborative citizens with strong communication skills, the course of studies is arranged to equip the student with the competence and skills necessary to support that mission and to continue her learning through life. Villa Maria requires students to meet a sequence of coursework in a core canon of subjects: Theology, English, Mathematics, Science, World Language, Social Studies, Fine Arts, Technology, Physical Education and Health & Wellness. Villa Maria students are also required to participate in a Capstone experience that is the broadest application of their learning and research skills. These academic requirements are enhanced by annual retreats and service learning opportunities.
Our students are expected to pursue a course of study that will continually reinforce acquisition of knowledge at the highest levels, with a mind toward preparation for a learning terrain that is defined by tomorrow’s limitless boundaries of technology and innovation. Coursework at every level of instruction requires a learner who can think and work independently and collaboratively. Honors courses are taught at an accelerated pace to challenge the academically competent student who is able to pursue in-depth study. For those students ready – and able – to do college level work, 21 Advanced Placement courses are provided. In order to fully benefit from these accelerated courses, the student is required to take responsibility for extensive outside content preparation. Traditional coursework is supported by experiential and research opportunities in addition to direct instruction in test preparation.
The 2015-16 school year marked a move toward substantive daily schedule change, highlighted by longer class periods and opportunities for independent study time with the goal of meaningful learning at higher levels of retention and application. The 2017-18 school calendar was devised to support current research in instructional efficacy and provide periodic breaks that best support brain development during the adolescent years.
The annual Academic Catalog has been prepared to help the student select her courses for the upcoming school year as part of an overall match with college and major interests in preparation for career planning. With the guidance of teachers, counselors, administrators and with the approval of parents, course selection decisions are made. The student is expected to continue in those courses so elected for the entire year.
With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the tireless efforts of a dedicated faculty, and the consistent application by the student, these years at Villa Maria afford an excellent opportunity to build a solid foundation for a successful college education and the attainment of life’s goals.