St. Mary’s School is committed to ensuring our students are prepared for life beyond our school. In addition to having an excellent academic program, we are also giving our students a strong background in technology and 21st century skills, like collaboration, critical thinking, imagination, and communication. To facilitate this, students in grades 1-8 have individual Google Chromebooks that they are able to use in all of their classes. All of our students in grades preK through 5th grade attend technology class in the computer lab once as well to build their technological skills. Our middle school students attend a project-based learning class weekly that enables them to choose to explore different areas of technology including 3D design, coding, and digital game design.
Faculty at all grade levels work together to hone students’ writing and research skills as well as link science to math, art, language arts, and history. Teachers build in collaborative learning opportunities and hands-on activities in many classes to allow students to truly explore their content. In 2008 a middle school project-based learning class was launched to provide an interdisciplinary and hands-on approach to problem solving. In addition, students have had the opportunity to work with 3D modeling software, coding programs, video game design, video editing, and building models of roller coasters and bridges to test design theory.
St. Mary’s location in the heart of Oak Ridge, home to the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, brings science alive for our students. In addition to the wealth of scientific research expertise in town, the nearby Smoky Mountains also provide the ideal outdoor classroom, where middle school students participate in outdoor education research programs at Wesley Woods in Townsend, TN.
Close Family Atmosphere
St. Mary’s is a close-knit community where every child is known as an individual by his or her teachers, the school administration and staff, and students in other grade levels. Students in the early learning program are paired with students in the middle school program as class “buddies”. They attend weekly Mass together and have opportunities throughout the school year to play, do crafts, and sometimes attend field trips together. Students on both end of the age range treasure these relationships. Parents can choose among a wide variety of opportunities to get involved in the school. There are opportunities to both working and stay-at-home parents to be as involved as they are interested in being.