Adolescent Community

Where construction of the emerging adult occurs within a local and global community through the work of the HANDS, MINDS and HEARTS.


The adolescent in the third plane of development has unique characteristics and needs. The curriculum for the adolescent community has been developed as a way to best meet the needs and characteristics of the adolescent while also meeting the societal expectations of young people in the 21st century.

The adolescent of the 21st century is truly standing on the divide between childhood and adulthood - not yet ready for all of the responsibilities of adults in our society but often given much of the freedom of adulthood. It is a time of learning as much for the parents as for the adolescent. It is a time of intense work within the family and within the peer group. Our task as the guides in this community is to see that freedom and responsibility are balanced. We seek to guide adolescents towards accepting more responsibility for themselves: their health, their work, their peers and their environment while helping parents understand the differences between appropriate and inappropriate freedom.
The work of the adolescent is one of self-construction. Our program offers infinite opportunities for personal growth and growth as an individual in community. The curriculum is wide ranging and it is not expected that each student will follow each strand in the same depth as the other, rather, many areas of study are explored at a basic level and individuals are given the freedom to seek out and find areas that they want to develop further according to their interests. Therefore, in almost every area of the curriculum some choice is offered. Dr. Montessori set a tall order for the education of the adolescent believing that it was only through a full and well rounded education that our future adults could fully understand the responsibility they have to mankind and our planet Earth.
Click here to view a table that lists characteristics and needs of adolescents that have been observed and described by Dr. Maria Montessori, the Carnegie Foundation and the Center for Early Adolescence. It is a summary of the essence of the adolescent program at St. Catherine’s and demonstrates how we meet the needs of adolescents through the curriculum and our teaching methods.


History of Civilization: World History, U.S. History, Texas History, Peace Study, Civics, Exploration and Invention, Geography
English/Language Arts: Composition including rhetoric, grammar, language mechanics; reading and interpreting literature; research and study skills; vocabulary and reading comprehension; diction, elocution and dramatic representation
Science: Experimental approach to understanding concepts in Integrated Physics and Chemistry, Astronomy/Cosmography, Ecology, Cell Biology, Biology, Physiology; electives according to student interest in areas such as geology and engineering (most recent examples including building trebuchets and Mars rovers)
Mathematics: Constructivist approach to Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry
Spanish: Spanish I, Spanish II, Spanish for Native Speakers
Theology: Daily scripture study, weekly Atrium study and a study of world religions
Music: Upper School Musical Production, Liturgical Music
Physical Education: Conditioning, Team Sports, Individual Skill Building