Mount St. Mary Academy
Academic Guidelines



4 credits in Theology

4 credits in English

3 credits in Social Studies – to include

1/2 credit – Global Regions**

1/2 credit – Civics

1   credit – American History or AP American History

1   credit – World History or AP European History

3 credits in Science – to include

1   credit – Physical Science or AP Physics

1   credit – Biology

1   credit – Chemistry

4 credits in Mathematics – to include

1   credit in Algebra I

1   credit in Geometry

1   credit in Algebra II/Trigonometry

1   credit – elective Math

2 credits in Foreign Language (One Language)

1/2 credit in Fine Arts

1/2 credit in Speech Communications

1/2 credit in Physical Education

1/2 credit in Health

1/2 credit in Economics (*digital experience)

5-1/2 elective credits

*Starting with the Class of 2018, at least one half credit of the twenty-eight required for graduation must be through a digital experience.


Students are encouraged to take an additional year of science, foreign language, and social studies.  Mathematics must be taken each year.  Credits are granted in grades 9 – 12.  Adaptations are made for students who enter later than their freshman year and for students who have learning differences.  The five and one-half elective credits are considered REQUIRED credits.  Their importance is equal to all other credits.


**AP Human Geography may replace the 1/2 credit Global Regions course requirement.




The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program (AP) enables students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school.  Through the currently offered courses, each culminating in a rigorous exam, AP provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both.  Taking AP courses also demonstrates to college admission officers that students have sought out the most rigorous course work available to them.


Each AP course is modeled upon a comparable college course, and college and university faculty play a vital role in ensuring that AP courses align with college-level standards.  


Each AP Exam costs $93.  AP Research and AP Seminar exams cost $141.  There are no additional fees for obtaining the AP Seminar and Research Certificate or the AP Capstone Diploma.


AP courses offered for 2017-2018:


  • AP English Language / Composition 11
  • AP Biology
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Environmental Science
  • AP Physics C:  Mechanics
  • AP Human Geography
  • AP United States History
  • AP European History
  • AP Psychology
  • AP Seminar
  • AP Research
  • AP Studio Art:  2-D Design
  • AP Studio Art:  Drawing
  • AP English Literature and Composition
  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Statistics
  • AP French Language and Culture
  • AP Latin
  • AP Spanish Language and Culture   


AP courses are weighted.  In order to receive the weight factor, students must finish the course and take the College Board AP examination.




Students at Mount St. Mary earn grades and credits based upon work completed during each grading period.  Semester grades are permanent grades and appear on the student transcript.  Quarter grades indicate the student’s status at the midpoint of the semester.  Each grading period ends on the day designated on the school calendar.  All assigned work, make-up work, and teacher-approved extra-credit must be turned in by the end of the grading period.  Any extension to turn in work after the grading period has ended must be approved by the Assistant Principal and is limited to cases of illness and family emergency.  No student may receive a grade higher than 100% in any course.


A+ 100-98      B+ 89-87      C+ 79-77      D+ 69-67      F    Below 60

A 97-94          B 86-83        C 76-73        D 66-63

A- 93-90         B- 82-80       C- 72-70       D- 62-60


Grade Quality Points     

                      College Prep          Honors            Advanced Placement

A                             4.0                     4.5                                5.0

B                             3.0                     3.5                                4.0

C                             2.0                     2.5                                3.0

D                            1.0                      1.5                                2.0

F                             0.0                      0.0                                0.0


According to Arkansas State Law, weighted grades are granted when all coursework and tests are completed.



The cumulative G.P.A. is the combined G.P.A. of all semester grades and is determined by adding course quality points for each semester class (dividing by two), then dividing by the number of credits.


For example:


Semester 1                                        Semester 2

Honors English  (.5)      A=4.5         Honors English   (.5)        B=3.5

Honors Math      (.5)      A=4.5        Honors Math       (.5)        A=4.5

AP Human Geo (.5)      B=4.0         AP Human Geo   (.5)        A=5.0

Theology            (.5)      B=3.0         Theology              (.5)        A=4.0

                               Total=16/2                                                Total= 17/2

                                       =8                                                                =8.5


GPA= 16.5 total quality points divided by 4 credit hours =   4.125 GPA   

*Students who drop an AP course or fail to take the AP exam will not be awarded higher quality points.

**Courses taken for credit during the summer or outside of the “regular” academic schedule (including online courses) will be listed on the official transcript, awarded a grade, and awarded appropriate credit but will not be calculated into the cumulative GPA or credit total.



Students failing more than 3 semester courses will repeat the academic year and may be asked to seek an alternative learning environment.  Please see the full policy in the Student Handbook.  




Learning Strategies 9

Learning Strategies 10

Learning Strategies 11-12



Multimedia I (1/2)

Multimedia II (1/2)

Human Relations (1/2)

Student Network Administrator

Economics (1/2)



English 9

Honors English 9

English 10

Honors English 10

English 11

AP English Language and Composition 11

English 12

AP English Literature and Composition 12

Creative Writing (1/2)

ACT Test Preparation (1/2)

Women in Literature (1/2)



Family and Consumer Science

Child Development (1/2)

Culinary Arts

Foods and Nutrition (1/2)

Fashion/Clothing and Textiles (1/2)

Financial Literacy (1/2)



MSM Concert Belles

Harmony Belles

Intro to Guitar (1/2)

Guitar II (1/2)

Intro to Piano (1/2)

Piano II (1/2)

Guitar Ensemble (1/2)

Catholic High School Band (no credit)

Music Appreciation (1/2)


Speech Communication (1/2)

Forensics: Speech Performance (1/2)

Theatre Appreciation (1/2)

Theatre Arts

Stagecraft Elements (1/2)


Art Appreciation (1/2)

Studio Art I

3-D Design/Sculpture

AP Studio Art:  2-D Design

AP Studio Art:  Drawing



AP Research

AP Seminar



French I

French II

Honors French II

Honors French III

AP French Language and Culture


Latin I

Honors Latin II

Honors Latin III

Honors Latin IV

AP Latin


Spanish I, II, III, IV

Honors Spanish I

Honors Spanish II

Honors Spanish III

Honors Spanish V

AP Spanish Language and Culture



Algebra I

Honors Algebra I


Honors Geometry

Algebra II

Honors Algebra II

Algebra III


Honors Pre-Calculus



Health Education (1/2)

Physical Education (1/2)

Physical Education/Health Basketball

Contemporary Health Issues (1/2)

Recreation for Life (1/2)




Honors Biology

Physical Science

Honors Physical Science


Honors Chemistry

Anatomy (1/2)

Environmental Science (1/2)

Forensic Science (1/2)

Geology and Space (1/2)

AP Biology

AP Environmental Science

AP Chemistry

AP Physics 1



Civics (1/2)

Global Regions (1/2)

American History

AP United States History

World History

AP European History

Street Law (1/2)

Sociology (1/2)

Psychology (1/2)

International Relations

AP Psychology

AP Human Geography



Theology I

Theology II

Theology III

Theology IV




Below you will find the 2017 – 2018 Homework Guidelines.  Homework is defined as anything which the student is required to do at home in order to prepare for a class.  This includes reading, study, memorization, completing written assignments, test preparation, etc.  Please use the Guidelines as a reference when deciding on course choices.


College Preparatory Classes


Freshmen and Sophomores should normally expect 30 minutes of homework for each 90 minute period.  At times this may increase to 45 minutes, but 30 minutes should be the norm.  This represents approximately two to two-and-one-half hours of study per night.  For Juniors and Seniors, 45 minutes will be more frequent.


Honors Classes


Freshmen and Sophomores should normally expect 45 minutes of homework for each 90 minute period.  At times this may increase to 60 minutes, but 45 minutes should be the norm. For a typical sophomore taking Honors English, Honors Foreign Language, and Honors Math, this represents two-and-one-half to three-and-one-half hours per night.  For Juniors and Seniors, 60 minutes will be more frequent.


AP Classes


These classes are intended to prepare a student to successfully pass the exams at the end of the course.  As such, students enrolling in these courses should anticipate a workload that exceeds that of an honors level class.  Because the priority of these classes is to help students pass the exams, their pace cannot be moderated and may frequently exceed one hour of preparation for each 1 1/2 hour class meeting.


Weekends and Vacations

Students should not be given additional work for weekends and vacations.  On a weekend, students should typically have the same amount of homework they would have on any other day as indicated above.