All-Girls High School

St. Mary’s Academy High School excels at preparing young women for leadership in a global society. Our goal is to empower our students through the development of analytical skills, confidence, and generosity to make a difference in the world around them.

As a rigorous college-preparatory school, our seminar-style classes encourage inquiry, debate, and cooperative learning. Our unique Block System schedule consists of four ninety-minute class periods. This proven approach to learning fully engages and focuses your daughter while allowing her to enjoy a fresh slate of classes come January.

Walking through the halls of the high school, you will immediately notice a dramatically different atmosphere – one where girls take center stage. Our students are challenged by their peers to achieve more; they feel more comfortable being themselves and expressing their ideas; and they show greater gains on core academic and life skills.

Our High School students typically push themselves beyond expectations—enrolling in several Advanced Placement classes and taking more than the required number of course credits.


 

News & Announcements

SMA Earns Recognition for AP Computer Science Offerings

SMA is one of only 232 schools in the country to be recognized with the College Board's AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for expanding young women's access to AP Computer Science A (CSA).

The academy also offers AP Computer Science Principles at our all-girl high school. Research shows that girls’ schools are leading the way in closing the gender gap by setting up women with the essential skills and attributes needed to succeed and lead in STEM-related industries.

High School Principal's Blog

STEAMing Ahead: Science Lab Renovation
Iswari Natarajan, High School Principal

I always get a “reaction” to my science puns, so I make them “periodically!" Just like my terrible puns, joyful scientific inquiry at our all-girls high school is a “constant” occurrence. I am thrilled to share with you that we will be renovating our High School science labs during the summer of 2022, and the asbestos abatement process will be happening over this winter break. Read on to learn more about our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) curriculum and the renovation.

The “WHY”: Innovative and reflective engagement inspires future women leaders and real-life problem solvers. Challenging, motivating, and inspiring our girls helps maximize their potential. It drives them to go after and achieve dreams they never thought possible. According to the National Coalition of Girls' Schools, girls' schools are leading the way in closing the gender gap in STEM/STEAM fields. Graduates of girls’ schools report greater confidence than their co-educated peers in using technical science skills, understanding scientific concepts, generating a research question, explaining study results, and making data-driven decisions. The research is out there, and it's worth seeing in action at our high school every day. When students have opportunities to learn through a robust STEAM curriculum, they are invested in the learning and become solution-oriented innovators of tomorrow. 

The “WHAT” and the “HOW”: STEAM places art and design thinking at the heart of the STEM curriculum to drive creativity, problem-solving, and innovation. This is done through intentional course offerings, student activities, lab work, interdisciplinary project-based learning, and experiential learning. When art and design are integrated throughout the curriculum, it creates a learning environment that nurtures purpose-driven, real-life problem-solvers who will be positive agents of change. Our amazing science and arts departments have collaborated to offer courses and experiences to our students in the last few years that make our STEAM curriculum engaging and collaborative. We have offered many new AP science, astronomy, and computer science courses (from Introductory Programming to AP Computer Science & Principles), AP Ceramics, 3D Art & Design, and much more. Our award-winning Robotics team, SMAbotics, continues to thrive. We have made giant strides in our academic programming and are eager to keep moving forward. Now, drumroll please... . It is time to upgrade our science labs to match our enthusiasm for moving full STEAM ahead.

Brand New High School Science Labs: The design process has been thorough, intentional, and thoughtful, involving many stakeholders, relevant research, and cutting-edge technology. The new labs will enhance our curriculum and programming by providing many more opportunities for our students to explore interdisciplinary work. In preparation for the construction in summer, we will be starting the asbestos abatement process this winter. The students (seniors and juniors) have been requested to remove belongings from their downstairs lockers for the last week, and the spaces should be ready to use in January after the abatement. The construction will start in June after the end of the school year and will be done by mid-August. 

I can’t wait for the process to start, and  I am thrilled for our students to have learning spaces that will spark their curiosity, creativity, and collaborative spirit. Our students were already ahead of the curve in STEAM fields and subjects. Now, with the upcoming new Science labs to match our program, all I can say is, “Watch out world, the SMirls are coming!”



 

Previous Blog Posts:

Iswari Natarajan, HS Principal

“The summit is what drives us, but the climb itself is what matters,” Conrad Anker. There is nothing more inspirational than our majestic mountains to start the school year on the right foot. Amidst all the uncertainty that persists, the fact that we could have a safe and meaningful retreat together as a community is not lost on me, and I am very grateful. One of my favorite parts of the retreat is to have a town meeting with the whole student body against the beautiful backdrop of the mountains. The theme for this year’s town meeting was “First Steps.” 

Iswari Natarajan, High School Principal

Fear of the unknown can often hold us captive. In the face of fear, when we choose to enter the arena, place one foot in front of the other, and pivot if we need to, that's when we grow. That's when we spread our wings and soar! This new academic year is calling all of us to do just that - to show up in the face of uncertainty with courage, flexibility, grace, and compassion. I start every academic year with a town meeting at Snow Mountain Ranch with our students. The entire high school student body huddled close together with the beautiful backdrop of our Rocky Mountains is the perfect setting to come together as a community. I have often felt that I wouldn't have it any other way, but this year was different.

Iswari Natarajan, High School Principal

I experience a deep sense of discomfort when the following words appear on my computer screen: “An update is now available for your Mac.” My default response is to click on “Remind me later,” and quickly move on. It is the same feeling I get when I try something new, or when I take a risk, or when I step outside of my comfort zone. It is also in these very moments when I make the conscious decision of choosing courage over comfort that I find myself growing the most.

  • blogs
Iswari Natarajan, High School Principal

I still remember the very first feedback I received on my teaching. It was simple and direct. I had requested a professor whom I held in very high regard to observe my teaching and provide feedback. She said, “You connect well with the students and they like you."

High School Activities Calendar

Expect the best from a girl…that’s what you’ll get.

New Research Released December, 2018:
Girls' School Graduates Have a Clear Edge Over Co-educated Peers

Fostering Academic and Social Engagement:
An Investigation into the Effects of All-Girls Education in the Transition to University.  

 
Prepared by Dr. Tiffani Riggers-Piehl in collaboration with the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at the University of California, Los Angeles, this data analysis is an update of the 2009 report commissioned by NCGS and conducted by Dr. Linda Sax and colleagues, including Dr. Riggers-Piehl. 

Fostering Academic and Social Engagement focuses a lens on how graduates of all-girls schools today compare to female graduates of coed schools in terms of their academic characteristics and readiness for university. The findings are extensive and speak highly of the work happening in our schools -- work that is setting up girls' school graduates to be confident and impactful twenty-first century community members, change-makers, and leaders. In summary, the researchers concluded that when compared to their female peers at coed schools, girls' school graduates:

  • Have stronger academic skills
  • Are more academically engaged
  • Demonstrate higher science self-confidence
  • Display higher levels of cultural competency
  • Express stronger community involvement
  • Exhibit increased political engagement

 

 

More research from the National Coalition of Girls' Schools:

Education Makes all the Difference for Girls

Single-sex vs. Co-ed Schooling for Girls: What You Need to Know

There are so many ways to get involved in the High School!  

 

Clubs

Clubs: Amnesty International Club | Astronomy Club | Chinese Club | Diversity Club | Environmental Club
FOR Club (Friends of Rachel) | French Club | Genetics Club | Karaoke and Crafts Club | Library Advisory Club | Outreach Club | Empty Bowls Club | Pre-Med Club | Journalism Club | UNICEF | World Culture and Geography Club | Ukulele Club

Sports

Basketball | Cross Country | Dance Team | Field Hockey | Golf | Lacrosse | Soccer | Swimming and Diving | Tennis | Volleyball

and more!

Model United Nations | Robotics | Musical Theatre | STUCO| Habitat for Humanity | Literary Magazine | United Nations Commission on the Status of Women | Loretto Leadership Council | All Academy Musical | Photography | Mouse Mischief | Border Experience in El Paso | International Summer Immersion Trips | Orchestra

3

international travel experiences available

88%

of HS faculty have
advanced degrees

100% of AP Calculus students achieved the maximum score of 5 over four recent years.

91%

of students enrolled in at least one Advanced Placement class