Academics

The Academy of Mount St. Ursula is a Catholic high school that educates aspiring young women of diverse cultural backgrounds to excel in college and in all aspects of their lives.

Placement and Honors
Placement in freshman English, Mathematics and Science courses is based on the T.A.C.H.S. Examination and on Mount St. Ursula’s placement test. Students with high scores on these tests may be placed in honors level courses.

Throughout the four years, certain courses have prerequisites which are distributed to each student in the spring. With assistance from their guidance counselors and teachers, students select classes using the Course Selection Book. Acceptance into Advanced Placement courses and dual enrollment courses through Mercy College and St. John’s University depends on the specific testing, grade and recommendation requirements for the respective course. Offered right at Mount St. Ursula, these courses may lead to college credit upon course completion and/or achievement of an acceptable score on the final nationwide examination.

Report Cards and Grading
The academic year is divided into quarters, with report cards distributed directly to the students at the end of each quarter if tuition is current. Parent-teacher conferences are held in the Fall and in the Spring. Progress reports are issued directly to students in homeroom and are issued to students regardless of whether tuition is current, neither the progress report nor the report card require parent signatures, however we expect that students show the reports to their parents and that parents follow up with teachers who indicate that the students is not performing or behaving appropriately.

Numerical grades are given:
First Honors 89.5 average or above
Second Honors 84.5 to 89.5 average
Passing Grade 65

English:
At the Academy of Mount St. Ursula, the English department exposes students to a wide variety of literature in an effort to inspire the desire to read. Equally important is the department’s emphasis on strengthening critical thinking skills and enhancing both oral and written communication skills. Our ultimate aim is to educate our students to be mature and responsible members of society and to foster within them a lifetime love of learning.

Foreign Language:
The goals of the Foreign Language department are twofold: (1) To emphasize active language skills in the areas of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in the target language, and (2) To increase the students’ knowledge and appreciation of the diverse cultures whose language they are learning.

Health:
Students will understand how family, peers, communities, and their own behavior influence their health and will be taught how to become advocates for good individual, family, and community health. In addition, students will know how to access valid health information, products and services, how to develop positive health behaviors, and how to develop plans through individual goal setting and decision-making.

Mathematics:
The Mathematics Department adheres to the basic goals for students as listed in the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and follows the guidelines of the New York State Board of Regents wherever applicable.

The department encourages students to learn the value of mathematics in their everyday lives and in their future vocations. The students are encouraged to become confident in their ability to do mathematics, to learn how to reason mathematically and become successful problem solvers. Students are required to use the language of mathematics, both written and oral, to achieve a better understanding of mathematics. In addition, the department enhances the learning process through the use of technology and expects students to be competent with the technology offered.

Physical Education:
For all levels of the Physical Education Program, the focus is on the development of skills that can be used in lifetime physical activities, along with the development of teamwork and improved self-esteem. We enable our students to accept responsibility and demonstrate social behaviors with a focus beyond self. Attention is given to the areas of body composition, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and muscular endurance.

Religion:
During her four years of study at AMSU, each student is offered the opportunity to participate in the following courses of study in the area of Religious Education: Faith, Relationship and Identity, A Study of The Sacraments, Hebrew Scriptures, Christian Scriptures, Church History, Morality, Issues of Peace and Justice and Christian Life Styles.

The Religion program integrates opportunities to reflect on faith, prayer, and life experience within the context of the community’s primary commitment to live out Gospel values. Relationship with God is examined within both the intellectual and spiritual dimensions throughout the curriculum as a whole.

Yearly retreats are incorporated into the spiritual life of the school, affording each student the chance to spend a day or a weekend in reflection on faith issues and life choices. In keeping with the Ursuline tradition of “serviam”, service opportunities are offered as a consistent element of living out the mission of any faith-filled person.

Science:
Science Department teachers aim to produce students who are scientifically literate, that is, who have the background to make decisions in our increasingly technologically complicated world.
The Science Department offers all the courses needed for the Regents diploma: Earth Science, Living Environment, Chemistry and Physics. Students who come to AMSU with less science background can take Science 9 first, followed by Living Environment in the tenth grade. The department also offers Anatomy and Physiology, to prepare students for health-related fields, and AP Biology for those who want advance placement courses. Additionally, the Lab Assistant course gives students practical lab management experience working closely with a science teacher. They also learn to manage their own time in order to complete an independent quarterly project.

Social Studies:
The Social Studies Department has established several goals. First, to educate the individual student in the role of active citizen in our democratic society. Second, to help students develop an understanding of and commitment to the principles of the American democratic republic and to appreciate the moral obligation to political, social, and economic justice. Third, to encourage students’ awareness of the interdependence of all nations on political, social, and economic levels. Fourth, to enable students to master a broad body of historical knowledge while improving writing, research, and critical reading skills. Fifth, to help students develop the critical thinking and decision-making skills that will enable them to creatively and successfully remain lifelong learners.

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