Frequently Asked Questions
Are you still accepting applications for the 2016-17 school year?
While some grades are full, please contact the Admissions Office at Admissions@stmarys.academy or 303.762.8300 to learn about current application and enrollment opportunities.
What does it mean to be a Catholic, independent school?
A member of the Association of Colorado Independent Schools (ACIS), St. Mary’s Academy meets rigorous accreditation standards and adheres to the Principles of Good Practice articulated by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). Founded by the Sisters of Loretto, St. Mary’s Academy is self-governed by a Board of Trustees and is not affiliated with a parish, but does maintain a cordial relationship with the Archdiocese of Denver. We honor our heritage in the Catholic tradition and continue to be strongly rooted in the Loretto School Values of Faith, Community, Justice, and Respect. These Values shape our school’s character and culture making St. Mary’s Academy such a special and unique place to be. We warmly welcome children of all faith traditions–approximately 50 percent of the student body is Catholic, while 50 percent of families represent other faith traditions–which allows the school community to celebrate the Loretto School Values, embrace differences, and learn from one another.
When people walk the hallways of our school, they feel a strong sense of togetherness and respect and love for one another.
What kind of students succeed at St. Mary’s Academy?
The most successful students at St. Mary’s Academy are driven, hardworking, and intellectually curious. They also seek to pursue their passions in the classroom and beyond. Focusing on the whole child, St. Mary’s Academy strives to provide an educational program that enables students to balance academic rigor with formation in the four Loretto School Values of Faith, Community, Justice and Respect. This includes engaging in the visual and performing arts, athletics, and community service among other enrichment opportunities.
What are the demographics of the student body?
Nearly 700 students attend St. Mary’s Academy. This includes approximately 210 in the co-ed Lower School, 230 in the co-ed Middle School, and 250 in the all-girls High School. Approximately 40 percent of students are male in grades JK-8. Students attend from 73 different zip codes in the Denver Metro area. Approximately 28 percent of students represent racial and/or ethnic diversity. Fifty percent of students are Catholic while 50 percent of families represent other faith traditions. Annually, St. Mary’s Academy awards $1.8 million in need- and merit-based scholarships to 33 percent of the student body. One hundred percent of students participate in community service activities and embrace the Loretto School Values of Faith, Community, Justice, and Respect.
Do you accept International Students?
Yes, on a case by case basis for students entering grades 9-12. Applicants must be fluent in English to be considered. Please click here to see additional questions pertaining to international students.
When should I apply?
Applicants apply the year before the expected grade of entry. For instance, students wanting to attend SMA for the 2017-2018 school year can begin the application process in early October of 2016. High School applications are due by January 20, 2017 and Lower and Middle School applications are due by January 27, 2017. Click here to review the full Admissions calendar for 2016-2017.
What are the school hours?
The office hours of St. Mary’s Academy are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. during the academic year. Summer hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The school hours are as follows:
- Lower School: 8:05 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- Middle School: 7:55 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
- High School: 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Does St. Mary’s Academy offer a before- or after-school program?
Yes, click here to access more information about the before- and after-school programs for students in grades K-8, and the after-school program for Junior Kindergarten.
What is the average class size?
The average class sizes are as follows:
- Lower School: 15-20
- Middle School: 18-20
- High School: 18-20
What world languages do students learn?
In Lower School, all students learn Spanish, which is among the special class rotations each day.
In Middle School, students may take either Spanish or French.
In High School, students may choose from Spanish, French, Mandarin, and American Sign Language.
Do students travel?
Consistent with the school’s academic mission for students to be powerful agents of change, travel and experiences beyond the classroom are important in the educational program at St. Mary’s Academy. From local field trips and community service to weeklong class camping retreats and international experiential learning opportunities, students are encouraged to become global citizens and recognize their capacity to make a difference in the community and the world.
Specifically, Middle School grades each take two trips a year. In the fall, sixth and seventh grades head off to Diamond Tail Ranch while the eighth grade lives in the Cochiti Pueblo in New Mexico for a week. In the spring, sixth graders travel to Golden Bell, seventh graders attend Keystone Science Camp, and eighth grade travels to New York City and Washington, DC. Further, seventh and eighth grade students may apply to attend an annual 10-day service trip to Peru.
In High School, each academic year begins with an all-school retreat at Snow Mountain Ranch. Further, each class participates in overnight retreats, and student delegations travel to the United Nations for the annual World Conference on Women as well as to the Sisters of Loretto Motherhouse in Nerinx, KY and to El Paso, TX to meet with peers from fellow Loretto schools to discuss matters on the U.S.-Mexico border. Each year, the World Languages Department also sponsors a language immersion trip to a French or Spanish-speaking country.
In which colleges do SMA seniors typically enroll?
One hundred percent of St. Mary’s academy alumnae enroll in their first or second-choice college/university. With a well established college counseling program, SMA alumnae are prepared to attend their college/university of choice, many being top-tier institutions across the country. Further, SMA alumnae consistently receive multiple merit-based scholarships for college. Click here to learn more about college counseling and to see a full list of where last year’s graduating class is now enrolled.
Does SMA provide school transportation?
While St. Mary’s Academy does not offer transportation to and from school, SMA utilizes the service Way To Go to help connect families who live in proximity to one another for carpools and ride-arranging at the beginning of the year. In addition, many students utilize public transportation to get to campus. The #24 city bus stops right in front of campus on University Blvd. St. Mary’s Academy does utilize a fleet of activity buses to transport students for field trips, community service, and athletics activities that may take place during the school day.
Does SMA provide lunch for students?
St. Mary’s Academy utilizes a catered lunch provider, Wholesome Food Services, for Lower and Middle School food service. Students may opt in/out of this fee-based program as desired. Students may also bring their own lunch from home.
The High School operates a food store called SMArket that is open during the lunch period. In addition to basic snack and beverage options, the SMArket contracts with local eateries to offer hot food options each day. A monthly SMArket schedule is available under High School Resources. High School juniors and seniors may take advantage of an open-campus lunch period with permission from High School Principal Kathryn McNamee.