Every year Jr. High (grades 6-8) go to Science Camp. Each year the location is different so the students experience a different location each time; two of the above pictures are from the Yosemite trip.
The Spanish program is designed to build a foundation that prepares students for high school. Meanwhile, the unique opportunity to learn a second language broadens horizons and expands understanding of other cultures.
Weekly music classes are grounded in introductory music theory, vocal training, and music appreciation. There is also a daily guided classical music program, provided by Music in the Mountains, in grades K-8. Students in grades 3-8 have the opportunity to participate in our choral ensemble, The Choraleers. The Choraleers rehearse every Wednesday morning before school, and perform at school, parish, and community events, community and diocesan competitions.
St. Patrick’s Children’s Choir is a ministry open to all children, and is a good way to connect to our faith. Practice is held Friday afternoons in the Music Room.
Each teacher, with parent volunteers, conducts art projects throughout the year. Each class is supported by a parent volunteer working as an art docent under a county-run program designed to expose all children to various types of art appreciation and skills.
7th and 8th grade students may take a student leadership role at Mt. St. Mary Academy through Student Council. Student Council serves to promote student leadership by allowing the students an opportunity to voice their ideas through representatives in student government.
Programming and Robotics
This club involves a variety of opportunities. For beginners, entry-level programming is taught and introduces students to the concepts of programming constructs as well as a logical thought process. For more advanced students, a college-level class is offered, which is taught in-house by a Software Engineer from the Grass Valley Group. This class goes into much more detail with complex topics, including animations.
On the robotics side, there are also two options. The first is an entry-level class using Scribbler robots to teach students basic concepts involved in programming the features of an autonomous robot, including sensors and motors. More advanced students can participate in the First-Lego-League (FLL). This option uses more advanced robots and the students have the option of participating in robotics challenges and competitions in Northern California.
The Gardening Club
The Gardening Club at MSM has a number of goals: The first is to teach the skills of gardening, from seed propagation, to soil maintenance, to harvesting and selling produce. The second is to teach students how to apply the skills and concepts learned in the academic environment, including math, science and art, to the business of gardening. This includes planning, fundraising, marketing and budgeting. The third goal is to feed into the Cooking Club, where fresh and healthy produce is provided for meals.
The Cooking Club
The Cooking Club was created in order to help teach healthy cooking techniques and to provide a variety of lunches to the students and staff at school. The club meets once each week to test out new recipes. Some of the meals and side-dishes provided so far include chicken chow mein, teriyaki rice bowls, turkey enchilada bake, Hawaiian chicken wraps, chili, cornbread, soft pretzels, salads and muffins. All lunches are low in fat, nutritious and (most of all) tasty!
The Newspaper Club
This club is open to anyone with a love for writing. Students write articles about things happening at and around the school. The Newspaper is sent out digitally to all families and is printed for each classroom.