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Classical Curriculum


Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS/CASI)

St. Mary’s School was awarded accreditation from Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in 1998 and its accreditation was renewed in 2019.  St. Mary’s next review will be in 2024.  St. Mary’s is a part of the parochial school system of the Diocese of Memphis Catholic Schools, and is approved by the Tennessee Department of Education.
After diligently working on their ten-year study in 1998 to be re-certified St. Mary’s faculty and staff received several commendations but the one we are most proud of is the one given to our students. It is unheard of for a SACS team to give a commendation to students. but they said, “We cannot leave St. Mary’s without commending your students.  The students are commended for their outstanding politeness, kindness, and age appropriate sense of personal responsibility.”

St. Mary’s Curriculum

St. Mary’s provides a strong Catholic, Classical education that is a coherent whole in which each year of study builds upon the skills and knowledge of the previous year. Students gain wisdom by reading the classics under the guidance of experienced teachers whom possess integrity, knowledge, and wisdom.

Daily Religion class is taught at all grade levels. The Catholic faith is taught through our religion texts and in developing their life as followers of Jesus Christ.

Latin is taught each day in Grades 2-8 with an emphasis on Latin grammar. These grammatical skills are used across most subject areas and help students to master English grammar while building a foundation for other foreign languages.

Reading and Literature
Students study meaningful classical literature throughout all grade levels. Grades 3-8 spend more time on in-depth studies of selected books that help build comprehension, vocabulary and questioning skills. Each novel is intended to inspire and nurture our students so that they become vigorous readers.

Phonics and Spelling
Phonics and Spelling are taught on a daily basis in our primary grades. Our approach is based on a mastery of letter recognition and sounds. Daily practice is provided for our students to help them develop word recognition and reading skills.

English and Composition
English Grammar Recitation is taught in grades 3 and 4.  Students learn how to examine and discuss literature and poetry and express themselves with accuracy, transparency and distinctiveness through their own writing. Our program teaches students the art of communication in a logical, organized approach as they learn to refine and master their writing skills.      

Penmanship is taught on a daily basis in our lower grades. Cursive begins in first grade and is taught systematically through grade five.

Our lower grade math program provides a solid and ample foundation in arithmetic and algebraic readiness. We offer a coherent, logical approach that emphasizes mastery. Pre-Algebra is taught in grade seven and Algebra 1 in grade eight.

We offer a hands-on science program with daily investigations, group work, detailed lab notebooks and an outdoor component with each unit of study. Our students study each topic in depth and are expected to use their math and writing skills with each inquiry.

Social Studies and Geography
Our social studies curriculum includes a comprehensive study of the United States, the origins of world cultures and the influence of Christianity on Western Civilization. Our Map skills and geography studies are expansive as each region is explored in its historical context.


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