Taking hand, head, heart...into the adult world
Having completed the formative three-year cycle in the Adolescent Community, students enter high school with a strong sense of self, ready to assume more adult roles both inside and outside the St. Catherine’s community. Our aim is to educate the whole person transitioning into adulthood by providing a combination of rigorous academic study, moral education, and spiritual inquiry.
As an authentic Catholic Montessori high school program, our work is highly integrated, emphasizing connections between spiritual life, academic disciplines, and methods of inquiry. Additionally, Dr. Montessori’s syllabus brings a sense of awe and humility to the grandeur of the natural world and the contributions of mankind.
Students in our program have the unique opportunity to pursue their individual interests, including courses at partnering institutions, internships, and independent study. These individual pursuits are considered an integral part of the high school experience as opposed to merely elective. When students graduate, they will have amassed a body of work that represents who they are in the fullest sense.
“The whole life of the adolescent should be organized in such a way that it will engage him or her, when the time comes to make a triumphal entry into social life. . .with head held high, sure of himself or herself. Success in life depends on a self-confidence born of a true knowledge of one’s owns capacities, combined with the many-sided powers of adaptation...” – Maria Montessori
HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULAR OFFERINGS:
As a Catholic Montessori high school, we provide Catholic education as prescribed by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. The goals of Montessori and Catholic education are in harmony, and we believe we offer approaches to scripture, spirituality and personal reflection that speak to the nascent adult and inspire human solidarity through Christianity.
These studies highlight the interrelations inherent in studying humankind--geographic influence, anthropology, economics, philosophy, theology, sociology, the arts, sciences, etc. The ultimate goal is to bring the young adult into an active role in his society, in real time, with global awareness and active community involvement.
Science is by its nature integrated, and adolescents are best served to see the integrated whole and tease out disciplines as necessary for problem-solving. High school students are ready to examine and study the complexities of the physical world in greater depth. While the history of scientific thought and discovery is important, students must also “do” science and play an active role in discovery. The totality of science, from origins to sustainability, is presented in a way that allows adolescents to actively participate, and to look backward as well as forward in the quest for the greater good.
Mathematics is integrated across the three years of high school and includes a balance of independent and collaborative work. Mathematics is part of the overarching work of adolescents as they develop deeper meta-cognition and explore ways of knowing. Mathematics and philosophy intersect throughout history, and a historical discovery approach, as developed by Montessorian Michael Waski, is implemented to inspire students into a deeper appreciation of this discipline. Inquiry-based creative approaches to problem-solving are emphasized but balanced with skill development and fluency. Work can be project-oriented and pertinent to solving real-life problems, but can also be purely theoretical, as a vehicle for enjoying math as creative expression.
Writer's Workshop offers students strategies and habits for producing authentic writing pieces. In this integrated composition course, students analyze diverse genres of writing for characteristics and structure, with an emphasis on rhetoric, analysis, and research. The ultimate goal is for students to be able to teach themselves how to produce engaging writing, no matter the genre or task, and to engage in conversations with other texts. Writing is a component of most student projects, and additional support for that writing is provided both within and beyond the confines of the course.
In Socratic Seminar, students interpret literary or non-fiction texts related to their studies in Integrated Humanities or other courses. Students practice civility, social interactions, and the art of respectful disagreement as they discuss the literary and moral implications of texts and draw connections to prior learning. They practice skills of critical thinking, literary analysis, verbal communication, listening, and grace and courtesy as they come to a more nuanced collective understanding. Preparation for seminar includes additional skills, such as annotation, written analysis, and careful selection of evidence.
Students wishing to continue Spanish develop a deeper understanding of tenses and more complex sentence structure. In addition to practicing conversational Spanish that can be used in real-world situations, students read and analyze literature from Spanish-speaking countries and study the similarities and differences in Hispanic cultures. They also have the opportunity to compose original texts in Spanish and to integrate their Spanish writing with other areas of the curriculum.
We support students wishing to study a language other than Spanish. Other languages can be pursued as independent studies or at area universities. Current students are studying Latin, French, American Sign Language and Portuguese.