Academics at Presentation of Mary Academy
Beginning in the Pre-school and right through the Junior High, students are engaged in a Christian learning environment that is small in size but diverse in its members. Group discussions are respectful, rigorous, lively, and thought-provoking. Studies are organized around problems, projects and questions because facts and skills are most powerful when they are given a context and a purpose.
Students learn to appreciate one another’s talents and are applauded for seeking insight outside the conventional. Research and hands-on activities enable students to think critically and creatively.
The breadth of our academics enables students to learn as much in the science lab or advanced algebra as they do in an art or physical education class. PMA students excel in everything from advanced math classes to complex science problems because they understand concepts and process, not just facts and data. Many PMA graduates go on to Catholic high schools,or prestigious private schools. Many of them arrive having already earned Advanced Placement in the areas of modern language, math and science, and the majority of them report that their PMA education was an excellent preparation for their high school experience.
Our teaching methods are designed to meet the needs of the pre-school child right into young adolescents as well as to assist each student in becoming a self-disciplined learner. Presentation of Mary alumni report that they were better prepared for high school than many of their fellow students, especially in the areas of critical thinking, science and math concepts, creative writing and research techniques. Administrators from high schools often comment on the distinct trademark of a PMA graduate; a strong work ethic, excellent study skills, and discipline unique to the PMA graduate.
The Wonderful Benefits of a Pre-K Through 8th Grade Education
In recent years, educators have studied the Pre-k through grade 8 school model and have identified a number of benefits for students who attend a combined elementary/junior high school. As a result, many public, private and Catholic schools have adopted this model in the past decade.
At Presentation of Mary Academy, we are committed to the pre-kindergarten through grade 8 experience, and we believe that students benefit in a number of significant ways.
A Longer Childhood
In the pre-k through grade 8 school, children stay “younger” longer. At Presentation of Mary Academy, our students are immersed in developmentally appropriate activities, curriculum, and events. Being physically separated from the daily pressures and distractions of a large junior high school setting allows our junior high school students to tackle the challenges all teens face in a safe, nurturing environment.
PMA allows children to stay in a small class size environment through their early teen years. Adolescence is a time of change and growth, and the small scale of our community allows teachers and staff to know children personally, nurture their individual interests, and support their needs.
Our students are engaged by the enthusiasm and creativity of their teachers, who work together to relate themes and concepts among different subjects over the years. Students in all grades explore topics in depth and are encouraged to take risks and view mistakes or disagreement as stepping stones to increased understanding and conflict resolution skills.
Presentation of Mary Academy teachers are experts in their particular grade level and are trained in the religious, social, academic, and developmental aspects of the age groups they teach. In addition, our elementary and junior high teachers work collaboratively to offer an enriching and integrated curriculum as students advance through the grades.
Lifelong Learning and Lasting Relationships
Presentation of Mary Academy students develop individually, but they also come to understand that being part of a class, of a school, and eventually of a wider community requires compromise, self-examination, empathy, humor, and even struggle. They understand that learning is a process, not limited to the classroom or a particular time of life. At PMA, students build and maintain positive relationships with all teachers by working with them in varying contexts.
Role Models and Leaders
In 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, students assume increasing responsibility and take on leadership roles in the House they are assigned to and in community service. They serve as admission tour guides, compete in team sports, design and publish a school newspaper, plan social events, and are “buddies” to younger students. (It is a delightful and frequent occurrence to see a pre-kindergarten child greet his or her 8th grade buddy with a hug.) These opportunities help our students gain self-confidence, leadership skills, and most importantly, they learn how to become responsible and caring members of their community.